Spring and Summer seem to have come very early this year. Hard to believe it’s only the beginning of May.
The kids are in their last weeks of school. For the older kids, this is stressful for us. Our 19 year old, the one who’s not sure what path he wants to take because he doesn’t know where he wants to end up, and who sits in his room when he’s not at work or school and edits videos into the wee hours of the night, who complains about working in the fast food industry but doesn’t make the effort to find a different job…. is by far our biggest stress. We’ve given him to the age of 20, although this may be pushed up, to either have a full time job, be in school full time, or be looking for a job full time (which means no computer sitting). He knows if he wants to continue living with us, he will need to do pick one of these options – otherwise he’s on his own.
Our senior in high school graduates in a few weeks. He seems to have a little inkling of what he wants to do. He’s leaning towards the medical field and will begin taking college courses this summer at a local college. We’re relieved that he is headed in some direction, but it’s been like pulling teeth to get him started on his way.
Then there’s our freshman in high school. Without a doubt, he is our most intelligent kid. This guy floors me with his knowledge and understanding of stuff – especially science related. He spends his free time in front of the history channel or other educational channels, and is constantly looking to learn and share his knowledge. But he can’t pass his classes, because he can’t remember what he has for homework, or where he put it when he was done. This is something we’ve been struggling with since his grade school years. We’ve tried to implement many different habits with him, and have worked constantly with his teachers, all to no avail. We used to laugh it off and call him “The Absent-Minded Professor”, but now we’re really concerned. He is too. And he’s asked us to help him. The thought has crossed my mind for many years now, that he may have ADD. But I never followed through on it because I thought we could manage it on our own. Now that he’s in high school and the work load has increased tremendously, and he’s going downhill fast, it’s starting to show. The other day when he asked me if he could be tested for ADD, I was stunned. I’d never mentioned my concern before, but he has been doing some research about why he can’t stay focused, and he’s wondering if that’s the reason. So we have begun the testing process, and hopefully by the start of next year, we’ll have things worked out.
Finally, there’s our 7th grader. Our only daughter. Thank God she’s got it together. She’s heavily involved in cheerleading, volleyball, the school play, the community play, band… and she gets straight A’s and has her homework done, and keeps me posted about when and where she needs to be, and arranges rides if none of us can take her. Part of me feels bad that she has taken on so many responsibilities, but part of me is greatly relieved that I have at least one child who I know will be able to manage on her own as an adult. Now if I could just get her to clean up her room, bathroom, and kitchen messes, she’d be perfect. But at this point, I’ll happily walk around with sticky feet if it means having the comfort of knowing she’s got it together elsewhere.
Funny how we can raise such different children. It makes me wonder if what we do as parents really has an effect on what kind of adults they become, or if they are “wired” to be a certain way, and we’re just the steering wheel, fighting to keep them on track while they tug the wheel the other way. (I think our oldest has won that battle – we’ve let him take the wheel, but we’re not going to continue paying for gas, so to speak.)
And here, I used to think keeping up with dirty bottles, and dirty diapers, and snotty noses, and whining toddlers was stressful…. if only I had known that was the easy part.