Being a parent is so easy… When I was pregnant, I read all the books, I took in all the advice, I did EVERYTHING right… I was soooo prepared!! Man, I am the perfect parent!! Just call me and I will tell you all the answers. I am the leading advisor on all parenting issues.
Yeah, right!!! Ask my kids, they will tell you the real truth. My son is graduating from high school in a couple weeks and last night we had our “what are your plans for the summer conversation”. I am enlightened. I shouldn’t really call it a conversation. It was more of a one-way talk/defensive-response. I mean, I’m under no crazy assumptions here, I know I am not, let’s just say your Claire Huxtable/Mrs. Brady type of momma … but on the other hand I am also not your get-ready-for-primetime-Jerry-Springer-show momma either. I am smoothly on the side of “living-with-fibromyalgia-so-can’t-do-it-all-so-I-do-my-best-and-it’s-not-always-the-most” kind of mom. I am not sewing Halloween costumes or baking cookies or to be frank, doing laundry or making dinner or to really put it out there… cleaning the house or driving the children around. Are you still with me? Or did y’all quickly leave my post in disgust… that’s me, take me or leave me… I work full-time+, generally about 50-60 hours a week as a, let’s see my title this week is “Sales Operations Analyst”. I have two managers … I report to a Sr. Director of Global Operations and the VP of Sales at a hugemongous (yes I made that word up… and I like it!) corporation that is taking over the world one company at a time. I have worked full time since I was about 16. That’s 25+ years working full time, I’m just slightly tired sometimes. Until FMS hit me, I was definitely that type A personality. Now I am a type “a” personality… just give me the little “a”.
So, having said all that (remember… easily distracted)… I am enlightened. This is a difficult time for me. I want to stop the clock and just say “Wait a minute. I just want some you and me time to just chill. I know you are leaving, but I want to just hold on to you a little bit longer…” He, on the other hand, is ready to GO. I remember that time. I could not wait to get out of the house. I wanted to go, get out and not look back. This is a difficult conversation. Any words said between parent and child can be pretty hurtful.
Us. “We want you to get a job. We understand you are making money on your own, but we also want you to get some experience, have some structure, learn how to take direction within a management team, etc.”
Him: “ummmm, whatever. I don’t agree. I’d rather just hang out with my friends.
Us. “We know you are going out with your friends, we just need to say this so it’s been said… please make right choices about getting in the car with people who are driving under the influence”
Him: “I choose smart friends, why would they do that? I don’t appreciate you assuming they would do that.”
Us: “We just want to tell you our expectations for when you go to college, just on our mind…”
Him: “Why? Can’t you just tell me on our way when you drop me off in like three months, this makes no sense… I mean, why do you need to tell me now?”
Us: “You are graduating from school, you have a lot more time to contribute to the house, both inside and out. We would appreciate it if you would help out. These are not chores, these are things that need to be done, that we may ask you to do. You don’t have any chores that you do, so would ask that you help out a lot more until you leave.” (An alternative was given to pay instead of helping out…)
Him: “I’d rather pay than help.”
Anyway, I’m sure this is not drastically different than a lot of kids, but honestly. Selfishly, and I mean this, selfishly… life at work is so hard, why does life with him have to be so hard? He is so defensive and argumentative about everything that he disagrees with. He cannot discuss calmly, he just goes for the jugular. Aw well…
He was honest. He told us he’d rather spend his summers staying at the college than coming home… He said it’d be more fun staying at the beach with friends hangin’ out than coming home and getting nagged. Wow. That was enlightening. This kid has zero chores. I made a mistake somewhere not giving him chores and sticking to my guns on that one. Now any chore he is asked to do is an issue. On the other hand, this is also not so hard to understand. I would have felt the same way at his age. It’s is just hard to hear.
I am enlightened. Since he was a small child, he has been so stubborn. Very hard headed… to the point that we took him to counseling. I think I get it. Now. Just this moment. He is very serious about his stuff. Since he was a small child all the counselors have always said, “take away what’s important, whether that’s material or something like privacy, ie. remove the door from his room”. We have done that all his life. Now he pretty much hates us for taking that action. He KNOWs his stuff will get taken away, yet he will not give a shit. At the end of the day, he is pissed at us for all the shit we have taken away in his life. Still pissed. He remembers everything. So, why did he push it to the extreme? Why did we let things go so far? Life lessons. There is no damn “this is what you should do in this situation” reference book for each individual child.
In our children and godchild’s lifetimes, we have done our best as parents. We have made mistakes. We will continue to make mistakes. That is how life works. I know this, I accept this. It is painful for everyone involved. This is how we all grow.
I do know, my miracle child is smart, he is a genius to me, he is going to go exceedingly far in life. I am so proud of him. I love him. I trust he will make the right choices. That doesn’t mean I won’t worry, that’s just part of our DNA as parents, right?
Now begins the countdown… Lord have mercy. I can do this. He is ready. I will be too. He is a strong boy and when he walks out that door, he will be a b-b-b-….MAN! He’s been prepared. It takes a village and those he has been around the last 17 years have all given him the tools he has needed to become who he is. It’s up to him to take all of that and take the next step.
Y’all pray for me and give me your support… I already miss him!