Friday, December 5, 2008

Parenthood revisited or accepting your kids on their terms

My son spent a good portion of his life going to a good Christian college, and being a permanent student. We thought, for a minute, he would still be in college when he was 40. I remember many days worrying about how we would pay his tuition 20 years in the future.
My daughter was the same. She has enough college credits for several AA degrees, just not enough of any for a BA degree. But unlike my son who didn't ever choose a major, She chose several. She was a writer, a teacher, a nurse, a journalist, and several others that escape my memory just now.
I remember spending many many days worrying about rather or not they would be successful in my terms. You know college degree, professionals. That kind of stuff.
My daughter tried the call center stuff, working in a office even retail none of it suited her. I realized since we moved to Charleston and she has gotten a job waitressing at Denny's that she is very happy in her job. She was a waitress for years at Golden Corral. We always thought it was a temporary position. But guess what? It wasn't.
That is hard for me to think, who can be happy as a waitress?
Well apparently she can, and she makes excellent money and most importantly she comes home feeling she has done well.
My son on the other hand, is an entrepreneur. His lively hood now, is bar tending at one of Charleston's More upscale restaurants called Reval , http://www.ravalwinebar.com/ It specializes in wine tasting, Spanish wines and other exotic drinks. Hard to accept at first, as a Christian.
But the truth is my son is a wonderful Christian, and what better place to witness? His careers have ranged from salesman, manager of a health food store, Wendy's (at 16) and quite a few more I don't remember.
The reality is they are happy and what is more important? The future I would have for them is not what they would have for themselves. Both careers are far more normal and everyday then I had planned. At 3 months of age I had my son General of the us Navy on the way to being president and my daughter of course was going to be head of a great big corporation.
My son on the side has many little Internet companies going, He always on hand to help a friend, and he continues to learn by Reading, exploring, taking classes and trying new things all the time. he has been in countless movies and commercials on the local level.
My daughter is a wonderful mother, she loves people, a good listener, a person friends turn to in need. She also reads and continues to grow in many ways.
So I didn't get what I wanted. But I got better. Because who could ask for more for their children then for them to be happy, healthy and satisfied with their lives?
I guess we all have lessons to learn as parents and one is this. What is good for us, is usually not good for them. And what a learning experience for both of us.
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