I have to promise you something. And that is that your adult children are going to disappoint you. They're going to live their lives in all kinds of ways you really, really wish they wouldn't. And it's tough. You want to support them without appearing to support all of their decisions.
I can tell you that my oldest is 19 and it's already hard. Do you know what it's like to chat with your son's old best friend's parents, and learn that their son is in medical school at an elite university, and what is Patrick doing? Minecraft.
I was disappointed that he didn't apply to colleges. And no matter what you say, it does reflect badly on me. This is the little guy who learned to read before kindergarten, who used to have aspirations, yadda yadda yadda. But it's his life. I can be disappointed. But it's his life. Even if his choices reflect badly on me, it is his life.
I came across this dad's note to his adult children, not in some bitty blog somewhere with a stock template and three readers, but in an international online newspaper. Could you imagine reading a letter addressed to you, with your father's byline, stating that you can't keep your pants on, you can't stop whining at your mom, and you can't hold down a job, so quit being such a loser or stop contacting us? And PS, your kids are really cute? Could you imagine that?
"We are constantly regaled with chapter and verse of the happy, successful
lives of the families of our friends and relatives and being asked of news
of our own children and grandchildren. I wonder if you realise how we feel —
we have nothing to say which reflects any credit on you or us. We don't ask
for your sympathy or understanding — Mum and I have been used to taking our
own misfortunes on the chin, and making our own effort to bash our little
paths through life without being a burden to others."
Lately I've been very relieved that Patrick has recently applied to college and been accepted for next term. I am proud that he is taking this step. I am learning, however, to distinguish between his success and mine. It seems when children are younger, they're so intertwined.
Have a great weekend, guys. We are still battling some flu here in the house and so prayers are always appreciated.