Last year I sent two 17-year old sons to the army. This past week we sent a 16-year old son (#4 son) to the Job Corps program. Government scholarship program. Great opportunity. If you have students who could benefit from a more vocational focus than traditional school, you should research this.
He’ll earn his GED this semester and begin training as a pharmacy tech. When he finishes training, he can attend advanced training all the way through to college and a degree. While he’s doing this, he’s living in a dorm with other like-minded career-oriented students aged 16-24 who found school less than ideal and want to focus on getting to work at a good career quickly with apprentice-like training. They provide his uniform, food, a small amount for incidentals, and even a stipend when he leaves so he’ll be success in securing a place to live and a job. They’ll follow-up with him, too.
I didn’t have the final say in whether he left for this program as I am the "stepmother." I kept insisting he was too young, but his father insisted this was the chance of a lifetime. He is living about 3 hours from home and about 50 miles away from his older brother at Fort Knox, so we are close enough to visit. But, this was our youngest son, the baby! #3 son was shocked to realize he is the last one home. Thankfully #3 son is a junior, drives, and works for a fast food restaurant so he’s keeping busy and planning to stay through school.
While #4 son is gone, I also will be finding new homes for the 8-week old kittens. One of them has already been placed and is appropriately adored. Remember the story One Kitten for Kim? It was one of my childhood favorites. Now we are reliving it. I had to remind #3 son that we are not taking other pets as trades! If I were willing to stand on the corner with a sign saying "Free Kittens," I know I could find a home, but I don’t want anyone else choosing spur of the moment to get a kitten without considering all the consequences of choosing, raising, and loving a pet.
If we had looked at the financial picture before getting the kittens’ mama, we’d realized we weren’t able to afford to spay her as soon as we needed to. I have found Fix For Life since their birth which is a lower cost solution than some of the vets near here. Since mama cat escaped through the screen window and we didn’t have her fixed yet, we are taking the placement of kittens very seriously. We intend to follow through to help control the kitten population. Ask me in a month or so if I still have 7 cats or not. I do have good intentions, but by sending off #4 son, I find myself clinging to and petting the remaining 5 kittens. No, I am NOT becoming the cat lady, just the sad mama.