College daughter left yesterday afternoon to return to the land of dorms and classes, in pursuit of a degree and eventual career. She had a four-hour drive ahead of her, a packed car to unload once there, and a chance to excel at Ballroom Dancing and Kick Boxing. Yes—she is taking both of those classes as well as her Graphic Design stuff. How dancing and kicking fit into designing—I have no idea. But I guess you call that a well-rounded education.
All I know is that colleges and universities have managed to turn every four-year degree into a five or six year degree and still raise tuition annually. Giving parents something to work longer for while we worry about the future job market for our offspring. But why worry? With that kind of an exceptional education, my daughter should be able to find work as a bouncer, a P.E. teacher, or a starving artist who draws portraits of ex-celebrities who’ve been on Dances With the Stars.
On the other hand, our “living on his own” son is doing just great without a college education. As long as the 1996 pickup we gave him in 2003 continues to run, Santa comes yearly to replenish his socks, underwear, and jeans, and he never has to go to the dentist—he’ll be just fine.
I’ve come to the conclusion that parents worry needlessly. We have to stop this nonsense. It only gives us worry lines and ulcers, while our children blithely go on their merry way, completely oblivious to the danger, stupidity, or wastefulness of their lives. Let them figure it out for themselves, I say! They’ve been warned. Now, let it go…but we can’t—because we’re parents—and parents are like that. Clinging to the hope that someday our words will not fall on deaf ears or into an abyss of ingratitude.
Regardless of what it may look like now, I’m still pretty sure that someday our kids will understand and appreciate our inadequate parenting methods, our seemingly ineffectual attempt to keep them safe and from having to learn the hard way. Because we all learned the hard way and most of us are here to tell about it. The only difference is, some of us have forgotten most of what we had to tell and therefore only remember the good and none of the bad and ugly. That is one of God’s greatest gifts to parents. Memory loss.
What was I saying?