My son is in his first week of summer vacation and he has been cleaning like a whirlwind. He’s been promising to clean ‘when school gets out’ for weeks, but we didn’t know if he’d follow through or not. His room is looking awesome! He’s happy with his clean room, and the cats are happy to be allowed in to hang with him. There is more work to be done, mainly the surfaces. He started with floor space, which is always best. I hope he keeps going and then makes a point of putting things away as he’s finished with this or that so he can keep his neat room.
It’s an absolute joy to watch this boy growing into manhood. He’s been maturing as a student, which was confirmed by one of his teachers who had him for both freshman and sophomore years. He told me that he’s been ready to practice driving since the snow melted but forgot to tell me. He was nervous about driving, so that’s a big deal. Now, he’s hopefully maturing in personal responsibility.
DH started working on his master’s degree in January and it takes most of his evenings. The grass is now growing and many things outside need to be tended to, but it’s become apparent that this help-meet is going to need to take charge of outdoor care for awhile. Tuesday I grabbed my two youngest and we got to work. They picked up sticks, I mowed, DS weed whacked, DD2 swept millions of maple seeds off of the deck, DS and I trimmed trees and got the branches stacked for waste pick up. Much more needs to be done, but we were all whooped. DH noted that I hadn’t asked DD1 to help. She’s working at least 35 hours a week and as stated in a previous post, is in a state of perpetual annoyance this summer.
DD1 was making comments about dreading work before she left this morning (fast food) and I observed that she felt much the same way last summer (clothing retail). She replied that it’s more a thing of not being at college. I think this girl turned sixteen instead of twenty. College age kids today are in near daily contact with all of their friends. In my day, we wrote letters to the closest friends, and once in a while paid our parents for a phone call, keeping an eye on how many minutes we were on the phone. It’s something to stop and think about the days when calls were charged by the minute and it mattered what time of day the call was placed. It feels eons in the past, although it’s within the life of my marriage.
DD1 wants a car of her own, and it would make life easier for DH and I. I don’t enjoy giving up my car to her work schedule, but it’s only for a few months. Reliable used cars are pricey. She doesn’t have oodles of cash for a car and neither do we. Even if we could afford to buy the car for her, we wouldn’t. She needs to sweat about where the money will come from. She needs to take a good look at her finances and figure out where insurance premiums and gas money will come from. She needs to think about having some cash in reserve for repairs.
We took DD1 to a couple of used car lots recently. Her budget is out of touch (too small) and she needed a wake up call. Those don’t come from parents. Her college is an hour and a half away and most of the trip is on busy highway that I don’t always feel comfortable driving. Drivers tend to go up to twenty miles an hour over the speed limit. She needs a car that isn’t on its last legs and that isn’t a tin can in build (she’d be a pancake in an accident).
Last night DD1 was looking for ideas on how to earn more money. She knows, but isn’t ready to admit, that she really needs to wait one more year before taking on a car. DH asked her to list her reasons for wanting a car now. Not one of those reasons was a real need. It was all social, and tears were flowing. I’ve seen more tears out that girl over this car issue than all of her previous nineteen years of life.
In the same conversation, she mentioned that she feels like she loses independence and steps back in a child role when she comes home. Yeah, that’s what happens. Any of us who went away to college had that feeling to some degree. But those tears she’s shedding…well, I don’t think she’s ready to hear that grown ups don’t generally cry because they have to delay purchasing a ‘want’.