Two of my children are driving me to tears right now, and for very different reasons.
My sixteen year old son has been having a hard time of it, poor chap. He’s been totally disengaged at school; disinterested in pretty much anything except hanging out with his friends. And of course living the nightmare of having to deal with moron parents who hassle him despite their complete cluelessness.
Yes, he was a bit of a lost soul … until the start of this school year. Suddenly his grades started to pull back up, and he got a job in a restaurant washing dishes. Frankly I was a little nervous about how long he would keep the job, but far from quitting after a few weeks, he worked like a rock star. They marvelled over his prowess at clearing the kitchen of dirty dishes, and before we knew it he was promoted to food prep, and then to cooking. They love him!
All very nice for his satisfied employers, but even better than that – we seem to be getting our son back. He’s smiling and chatting, and starting to act like he almost wants to be part of this family. He just passed his driving test, is saying thank-you for stuff and offering to be helpful all over the place.
I’m not afraid to admit that I choke up on a regular basis just thinking about how wonderful it is to have him back.
On the other hand my daughter is still suffering the pangs of heartbreak and it’s hard to stay detached from her drama.
On a positive note she’s been accepted to a drama school and I know that September will bring a renewed confidence and sense of purpose.
On the other hand she is still getting stomped on by the mormons. After the forced demise of a relationship that apparently God and the boy’s family couldn’t tolerate, the two of them managed to come to a kind of friendly peace with each other. Yes that might sound like a satisfactory outcome, but no … the family freaked at the idea of them being even friends. He was forbidden from seeing her, lest she distract their beloved man-child from his mission.
My poor baby!
On the one hand I’m so grateful that, as a self-employed freelancer working from a home office, I can be there for her to support and distract her when she needs a shoulder. On the other hand I’m starting to wonder if she mightn’t be stronger if I wasn’t around to sympathize (and enable?).
Is there such a thing as too much parenting?