What is Washboard Express?

Washboard Express is a way for me to express my own opinions, to be a provocative gadfly, by writing a "letter a day" to the President. I may miss a day here and there, because sometimes my family with be my first priority, but my goal is to write a total of 365 letters, representing one full year. To say I have opinions about most things would be to understate the obvious. Those of you that know me, know this is true, those who don't know me, will learn that it's true. The Washboard is a reference to going back to basics and "keeping it clean," so if you would like me to post your comments or opinions on this blog, I only ask that you be respectful. So go ahead, express yourself, and I look forward to an exchange of ideas and opinions.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Day 6... Dear Mr. President

Day 6
Dear Mr. President,

Today I’d like to talk to you about family, and raising our children to be responsible adults. Not an easy task these days when so many have a sense of entitlement they have not earned, nor deserve.

I thought about Mrs. Obama and the girls because my son Colt, came up yesterday to build me two raised garden boxes so I can plant some vegetables, and perhaps a few strawberries. My husband Gary, and I live in Rancho Murieta, CA, a place where there is a huge deer and wild turkey population. That is why I haven’t planted a garden earlier, but I’m sure I can outsmart the critters and grow a fine crop of veggies. I was inspired by Mrs. Obama’s white house garden and her message to all of us that we can and should eat more fruits and vegetables. She also encouraged each of us to plant our own, a full-proof way to ensure freshness.

Colt is my youngest son and will turn 40 next month. He lives in Redwood City, CA with his wife and two children. Colt is a contractor now, but he has been in construction since his teens. He is an excellent finish carpenter, and has always had steady work until about two years ago. Because of the economy, people were reluctant to start new construction, or remodel jobs, fearing that they may need the money for necessities like food, insurance, cloths, education, etc… So finding work was difficult at best.

As a parent we do what we can to help our children through difficult times… the trick being, not to have it appear as a handout, because the message you send is that you don’t think they’re capable of taking care of themselves, when really… we just want to help make things a little easier and less stressful for them and their family. So I hired Colt to build my garden boxes, and plant some new trees. The project becomes a win-win for both of us. I get to have an extended visit, cook his favorite things, gain a garden and new trees, and Colt gets to visit, remember what it’s like to get a ‘little spoiled’, and he earns the money for the work he does.

I thought of you and Mrs. Obama, and how you are raising Malia and Sasha to be responsible and self reliant, and I can’t tell you how wise you are, and how right you are in your approach. They may complain a bit, but in the end they will thank you for teaching them these valuable lessons.

I hear so many parents say it’s easier to do things themselves, rather than teach their children how to do the simple household chores, and it’s a shame because the message they send is that the kids aren’t capable and their parents don’t value the contribution they could be making to the family.

You and Mrs. Obama are doing a wonderful job with Malia and Sasha… instilling a strong work ethic, teaching them to be self reliant, and teaching them that as a member of the family… they need to contribute. Everyone needs to feel important and needed, often we are the happiest when we are doing something for the benefit of someone else. Please give my best to Mrs. Obama, Malia and Sasha.

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers
The Gadfly Granny

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