what the heck happened?

Captain Phil Harris said, and I quote (edited for PG audience, that is): “Sometimes you make things happen; sometimes you watch things happen; and sometimes you wonder what the heck happened!”

I think I’m in the middle of all three phases with Wubby. I wish I knew where he is, metaphorically speaking that is. I know where he is…I think. I think he’s between classes on the next to last day of what looks to be the divorce of Wubby from college.

It’s absolutely pouring rain right now, which is appropriate. If I can’t cry, then at least the sky can do it for me.

The rain comes in waves. One minute it pours; the next minute it quits. Then it drizzles like it can’t make up its mind about what to do with itself.

That’s Wubby. When he started college he was 25 miles away, living on campus. He was also seriously involved with his much younger girlfriend, spent as much time here at home as he did at school, and it lasted one semester.

Then he came home, signed up at the local community college, continued with the girlfriend and bombed that semester as well. He took last summer off, came back to it last fall and produced a 4.0 average.

This semester has been a roller coaster. Started out high. Then the break-up with the girl. He got a job right before the holidays and has continued working, picking up a second job recently. He found some old friends from high school and earlier and has been spending time with them. Lots of time. As in coming home in the wee hours the night before an 8:00 AM class. Doesn’t work.

I asked him recently if he’d been doing his best this semester. No. Agreed. I asked him why. Interesting answer, something about the freedom of not having girlfriend, combined with lack of motivation because his dad and I told him to get his act together, find an art school or some other appropriate institution, and get busy because we were through with paying for failing grades at community college. In other words, it’s our fault. It’s my fault.

I’m wondering why it matters so much to me, when it doesn’t appear to matter to Wubby. Maybe it will matter to Wubby in time; he just needs to come to the realization himself that he is almost 21 and needs to become self-sufficient.

All I know is that I look at my baby boy, marvel at the artistic and musical talent God gave him, watch him struggle, and turn on the tape recorder inside my head that repeats “It’s your fault. You are the one who is failing him. You are the one who has failed, again. You were not good enough for him. Not good enough. Not good enough.”

I don’t know what to say to Wubby. We’ve told both of our kids that, no matter what the problem is, the best course of action is to tell us what’s going on and not to hide it. I know it’s counter-intuitive to the nature of a teenager, but still. I’d rather hear it from the horse’s mouth instead of from the gossip vine at the racetrack.

This semester ends Wednesday. Saturday we are leaving for a week at the beach, which was scheduled to coincide with the week between semesters. Guess that wasn’t all that important after all. But we all need a break from the grind.

Proverbs 22:6, from the Message: “Point your kids in the right direction—when they’re old they won’t be lost.”

OK then.


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