Monthly Archives: June 2014

The Rules

A resident scowls on the other side of the hedges as he silently counts the number of people at the pool.

A resident scowls on the other side of the hedges as he silently counts the number of people at the pool.

The pool rules are few, but strictly enforced … when it comes to us. A resident is allowed to have 6 people (including said resident) at the pool. That is a great number if you are retired. If you are single, you can have five friends over! If you are a couple, you can invite two couples over! Very fair!

However, if you are a family of three, you can invite one family over IF they only have one child. Or you can tell them to leave a child at home.

If a resident wishes to have more than 6 people (including said resident) at the pool, the resident must submit a request in writing to the board two weeks before the event. If the “party” is approved, the resident must post their intent to party in several locations so that all residents can know about it and have an opportunity to complain about it and force you to cancel.

To be honest, I have never submitted a request. I think the rule is unreasonable for our situation and that the spirit of the law should be held rather than the letter. And that has been a problem for me.

I am currently in hot water and have endured several lectures because I invited our neighbor from across the street to the pool. My neighbor has 4 children. I have one. It was two moms and our kids. But uh oh! That means SEVEN people were at the pool! And wait, it gets worse! My husband got home from work, saw us at the pool and joined us. (Cue Psycho shower music.) Now we had EIGHT people at the pool! The horror!!! Three adults and five kids.

I’ve been yelled at by two different people and received several new copies of the pool rules.

Oh my goodness these people are killing me.

Inglewood to Pasadena? Why?

It’s a really really long story. Our son is extremely smart. I can say that because our genetics had nothing to do with it.

We researched schools like crazy. We were enormously disappointed to find that people are forced to choose between diversity and high academic rigor, especially when looking for a school with a large African American population.  It’s ugly, it’s embarrassing, it’s upsetting, and we both hated to see that it was true.

We were forced to decide which would be more important to our son: academics or diversity. We chose academics and hoped that we could shore up diversity in other areas of our life.

My fear was that if we sent our son to the largely African American private school near our old neighborhood that he would be bored and get into trouble. The diversity wouldn’t have been a benefit to him if he was in trouble and ironically falling behind academically. I understand that many people disagree with that call.

We researched and worked hard to find a neighborhood to replace what we had in Windsor Hills. As the time crunch tightened, we decided to rent a condo as close to school as possible. It used to take about 30 min to drive our son to school each way, now it takes 4. We knew the neighborhood was largely white, but we also knew it was temporary.

At this point be believe we made the right decision. Our son is thriving like crazy at his school. Out of 40 kids in his Kindergarten class, 4 are African American (the best number we saw) and several are Asian, 1 is Indian, 1 is part Indian, 1 is Middle Eastern, 1 is half Mexican. His class actually turned out to be fairly diverse.

In addition, he is challenged academically, surrounded by highly intelligent kids from families that prioritize learning. When the school  asks for volunteers, they often remind us to give some other people a chance to volunteer and to not be greedy and hog lots of opportunities. This level of involvement is HIGHLY unusual. And HIGHLY beneficial for the kids.

 

Background

Reed celebrating an anniversary gift. The 18th is the boxing year, right?

Reed celebrating an anniversary gift. The 18th is the boxing year, right?

Reed and I have been married for 18 years. Our son is 6.5 and it is of utmost importance that you remember that .5.

A jump with personality.

A jump with personality.

We love to swim. Most retired folks are very quiet. We are kind of loud.

When we first moved here, my son wasn’t a strong swimmer. I needed to be in the pool with him at all times. A month later all fear had vanished from both of us.

This pic shows his big personality and his big love of life. It also shows that we are not as calm and quiet as some of our neighbors wish we were. For the most part, people are pretty nice to us. However, some residents … not so much.

At first this frustrated me, but then I decided to write a graphic novel about my experiences. And I decided to create that graphic novel through blog entries. We’ll see how it goes…