Michael Madrie Tingle: Senior at Fayette High School. Class of 2012. Michael had his senior pictures taken a month or so ago. He is not driving yet, but it scares me to death when he leaves the house with his buddies who are driving. Michael is overall a good kid. He doesn't drink or smoke...at least not that I know of. All of his friends seem to play it pretty straight...at least the ones we have met. He works with his dad on occasion to make spending money. I was hoping he would save for a car and gave him a couple of hundred dollars towards that on his birthday, but I am pretty sure the money is long gone and none of it made it to the bank. Typical of most any 18 year old. I can't lie and say nice things just so we have a record of the happy times. The bad stuff is part of this family history too and I have to say that I am concerned that Michael will not make it to graduation. The past four years have been a real struggle. This happens at the beginning of every single year. He begins the year by failing math. Tutoring is offered and extra help is there, but he doesn't have the ambition it takes to reach out for it. Unfortunately for him, one class failed this time, means he won't have enough credits to graduate. I have tried to explain over and over again that being on the phone and skyping when you are supposed to be doing your homework or studying is not working for him. We've taken his internet access away and his phone away, but to no avail. It's tough to watch your kid make decisions that...although on the surface are minor...are effecting his future. He will not be allowed to go back to school next year if he fails this time. He will be 19 years old in August and it seems a bit weird to even imagine a 19 year old starting his senior year. The thing he would dread the most would be joining the military, but unfortunately for him, this is likely where he will end up. Michael is in a position to have a fantastic senior year, but the lack of effort that he is willing to put into it is astonishing. I've heard lots of parents say their kids are in the same shape, but I doubt those parents are the type to make them stand on their own two feet. I don't believe that Michael was grown the day he turned 18, but I do think that he is old enough to put forth whatever effort it takes to walk with his senior class. I refuse to check his grades online this year. It ruins everyone's night when I pull up a bunch of zeros and have to spend two hours discussing with Michael why he is not turning in his homework. His dad still looks at them once a week. He doesn't say anything to me right away, but I can always tell when he's seen something that he didn't want to see. Michael: If you are all grown up and reading these words, I hope you will realize that we loved you and we wanted the best for you. We did not want you to end up like so many kids from your generation, living in your parents basement when you are 30 because you aren't strong enough to make it on your own. I hope you have found your way to real happiness. To the 18 year old Michael: Do your homework and turn it in on time. We see the progress you have made, but this is down to the wire and it isn't enough if you have a 48 in Math.
Destiny Lynn Tingle: Age 11. Fifth Grade at Inman Elementary.