Tag Archives: parenting

Taxi! Taxi!

Is it OK for parents to enjor their kids’ sufferring? I hope so, because I’m enjoying this.

My son just left here annoyed because he’s driving his sister and a couple of their friends to a birthday party for Lydia, the girlfriend’s girlfriend. He’s not thrilled about the idea, but his sister assumed he would be going to the party, since Lydia is the girlfriend’s girlfriend. So of course she and the friends would just ride with him.

Only, he didn’t really want to go to the party. Or, judging from his level of personal annoyance when they left, he didn’t really want to go to the party. Sis and friend were waiting in the car for the other friend to walk over from his house and son comes back inside grousing about having to drive people everywhere and not knowing about things until the last minute and so on and so forth. My little ears perked right up when I heard the words “at the last minute” in his rantings. This kid has been the king of “at the last minute” for, what, most of his 18 years? The delicious irony of hearing him utter the words we’ve been screaming at him was just too much. Of course I had to point it out to him. It was fun.

This same kid calls me after school last week and says “I’m going to give Jordan a ride to his guitar lesson before I come home.” I ask, “Where is his lesson?” The answer, “Downtown.” Downtown is a 20 mile roundtrip from school, to downtown, back to home. Mind you, son VOLUNTEERED to do this for Jordan. He didn’t have to, but hey, he’s a nice guy. It would have been OK if son was going to stay home once he got here that afternoon, but he wasn’t. He had a commitment he was supposed to attend (NOTE: WAS SUPPOSED TO.) You’ll never guess where it was? Go ahead, give it a whirl…

 

DOWNTOWN.

 

Gas is expensive and son doesn’t have a job at present, but he’s such a nice guy and all. And he’s dependable. And trustworthy.

Well, there was that speeding ticket last month….

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I Knew It!!!

I knew it wouldn’t last.

It was nice to think that it might, but alas some things are just not meant to be.

Remember that suddenly diligent senior that moved in here recently? Well, he left and my son came back. Not sure where he’s been, but he doesn’t seem to have learned anything on his journey. He has a mountain of papers to fill out and return to GU to get his financial aid award in place. Needs to be done this week.

He has a way of shirking certain responsibilities that is driving me crazy (crazier, actually,) especially when those responsibilities involve tasks that require him to use his brain for anything other than his art, his music or his girlfriend–subject for a future rant-petite. So, this morning as he’s straigtening his hair–subject for a future rant-grande–I remind him about the forms by telling him, “When you get home this afternoon, you will complete your college forms before you fix a Jethro-snack, talk or in any other way communicate with girlfriend, or hide in your hidey hole room.” He says “Oh yeah, I was going to ask you about this afternoon. Lydia (not the girlfriend, the girlfriend’s girlfriend) is in a play at her school and it starts at like six and I was wondering if it would be ok with you if I went.”

And I said, “When you get home this afternoon, you will complete your college forms before you fix a Jethro-snack, talk or in any other way communicate with girlfriend, or hide in your hidey hole room.”

No wonder I think I’m crazy. I keep saying things over and over and over and the same thing happens, which is not much. Insanity is produced by the process of doing the same thing over and over and over and expecting a different result. So I get his dad involved and tell him to please communicate with this alien and tell him to get his crap done because I’ve already invested several hours into it and all he needs to do is read and sign.

I am pretty (definitely) sure that 30 years ago when I was doing the go-to-college dance that I also did the paperwork. With a typewriter. And white-out. And erasable ink. And duplicate copies of forms. Yeah, I know, the times they have indeed changed and everything is more complicated now, blah blah blah. And he is finishing that darned senior project next week.

But, for heaven’s sake, what will he do come August when he moves on campus and has to take on RESPONSIBILITIES?

I know.

He’ll fall down a few times, learn some lessons and come away changed.

Like the rest of us.

Between the rock and the hard place

I don’t know how it happens, but I constantly wind up here. Having to make a decision that’s going to hurt someone and trying to balance the amount of pain I seem to inflict on others. Funny thing is that I don’t seem to worry too much about how much pain I inflict on myself, and that’s just not right is it?

Here’s an example. A few weeks back we received an invitation to a family reunion. Mom wants to go, I’d like to go with her, so we agreed we’d go. The stable where my daughter’s horse lives has schooling shows during the year, and they have always been on the second Saturday of the month. She wants to participate in this month’s show. It’s been scheduled for, you guessed it, the same day as the reunion, which isn’t on the second Saturday of the month. No problem, the horse show starts at 9:00 and is usually over by noon, then we drive up the mountain to the reunion. Only the reunion is a lunch affair, not an afternoon or evening affair. So, someone wins and someone loses. I go to the reunion and my daughter loses; I go to the horse show and mom loses.

In the discussions on non-negotiables, one of mine would be that my job as a parent comes first. But there’s a caveat to that: my relationship w/ mom is stretched almost to the breaking point, and I fear doing anything that might cause it to break. And even more complicated than that, it’s beginning to feel more like I’m the mom in the relationship w/ my mom. This is scary stuff to me. I’m not equipped to mother my own mother; I feel barely equipped to mother my own children.

And then my son comes in and says “Thank you” for giving him boundaries, for saying no, for not giving him everything he sees and thinks he wants, for asking him to work for it. So I must be doing something right I suppose.