Today is the day.
The counter has a few hours left on it, at which time I will be hitting the road to retrieve my eldest spawn – I mean daughter.
The past two days have been grueling; fighting a migraine with a to-do list a mile long, storms raging through the area, power outages, (hard to vacuum when there’s no electricity) all while the clock ticks away.
Every item of mine that was in the room is moved. If you don’t count the bed, dresser, bookshelf – all of which we paid for. You understand that our kids don’t see it that way though, right? Last year at this time she gave us fits because we gave her mattress away when she went to college. The mattress that we bought for her, for a full-sized bed, that had a “nest” indent in the middle when the younger daughter got the bigger room, and she would get the twin bed for the 3 months out of the year that she was home. Technically we didn’t give it away. The guys hauled it off when we got the new one for the other daughter.
She has already started in about we need to buy her a futon. She’s 21, if she wants a futon she can buy it herself.
There will be a lot of shifting over the next several weeks. She will have to adjust to our schedules. She will have to maintain her room to a certain level of cleanliness. (Oh, trust me. I’m far from a white-gloved inspector) She will be expected to pull her own weight around here which means helping out with household chores once again.
I absolutely love her to pieces, but she’s about to get a slap of reality. My wonderfully talented and gifted daughter has decided that she’s not going back to school. With one year left to achieve her degree, she’s quitting. So, it’s time to enter the workforce. She doesn’t seem to understand that she’s basically pushed her timeline forward by a year without the benefit of a degree.
Her student loans will come due in six months. We aren’t paying them for her.
She doesn’t have a car and expects to use ours to get a job. Problem is, that car has 200000 miles on it.
At 21, making adult decisions she will get to experience adult consequences. You know, you try to help them avoid the same problems that you’ve had to deal with, but they don’t see it. As parents, we want the best for our kids.
We want them to do better than us and we try to shelter them from the same stupid mistakes that we’ve made. But those mistakes help us learn how to do things better, how to manage our lives. Is it a good thing then to shelter them from experiencing them?
There will be a shift on our part to help her but not coddle her. She’s not 2 anymore. She’s 21. I don’t want to be an enabler, and I don’t want to be harsh.
This is new territory for all of us. God give me strength – and wisdom. I need lots of wisdom.
With anything new, it’s a learning curve. Learning a new software. Learning a new job. Learning to live with your adult child when they’ve been on their own for a while. There will be snags, rough spots, and testing of boundaries. But at the end of the day, our daughter is back home safe and sound with us and we won’t be worried about what she’s doing. We may be praying for answers and the patience to not engage in senseless arguments but we will know that she is alright.
The future is full of opportunities, possibilities, and the road to success. Whichever road that may be.
As I sit and enjoy my last few hours of freedom, I mean quiet. . . . . I can’t wait to have her home but I am still anxious about the next few weeks. My family means everything to me. This wasn’t in my outline for life. But then again, the best stories have sudden twists and turns.
I know this one is going to be good.
Write on my friends, write on.