Kids These Days…

At every family gathering where old folks linger, the inevitable “Kids these days…” statement begins woeful tales of the ever widening generation gap and the head-wagging that follows. Just so we all know in which generation I belong, I admit that I’ve caught myself uttering this same phrase lately.

In the past two months, we’ve had two weddings in our family. Very different in structure and very different timelines for each. My oldest son announced his engagement and completed his non-traditional civil ceremony within a matter of weeks. I barely had time to cry! Forget planning and fretting. My brother’s middle daughter got married this month in a beautiful beach ceremony that had been months in the planning. My sister-in-law and brother had plenty of time to fret and plan, and the ceremony and festivities proceeded as smoothly as the flowing waters of the tidal creek upon which we celebrated into the night.

I wasn’t ready for my son to get married, but who is ever ready for their children to grow up and become independent. I dare say my brother and his wife were not quite ready to let my niece fly into the great unknown of married life either. I’m reminded of when my son started kindergarten, and I declared to my husband, “Just when I got him trained and fun to be around, they take him away.” I felt much the same when I watched him take his first steps into manhood and the sanctity of marriage.

Some kids these days are getting married younger than their parents did but probably not younger than their grandparents.  Some kids these days remain single long into young adulthood. Kids these days take different paths to the altar of marriage, some traditional, some not. As one of my friends observed, “In our day, a wedding was perhaps more about the parents and their values, inviting the family and all the right friends. Nowadays, kids seem to make the wedding more about themselves and what they want it to be.” Whose approach is the correct one? Can anyone decide that better than the bride and groom?

Trying to remind myself that I, too, was married when I was my son’s age, I reflect on the reason we work so hard as parents: to help our children grow into productive and independent adults. While they are doing it sooner than we thought and maybe earlier than we had hoped, my son and niece are making their own way in the world. They have chosen their life partners and are forging their own trails. Success as  a parent never tasted so bittersweet.

 

 

Part-Time Writer, Part-Time Business Owner, Full-Time Mama, Full-Time Crazy

Part-Time Writer, Part-Time Business Owner, Full-Time Mama, Full-Time Crazy

As I was thinking about starting this blog, I wondered, “How many part-time jobs can you hold before you consider yourself full-time employed?” I’m not sure. However, I am sure how many part-time titles I can have before I become full-time crazy. Here are just a few I currently hold:

Part-Time Writer

I’m one of those writers who wakes up with the thought, “I just have to write this down,” and I do, and then I might not write again for weeks. Actually, I’m not even sure that qualifies me as part-time. I am constantly writing in my head; it’s the putting it down on paper that doesn’t happen that often.

Part-Time Business Owner

I don’t even know if it’s possible to be a part-time business owner, but I like to trick myself into believing I’m part-time. I work with my husband who is a chiropractor. He does the chiropractor thing. I do the office manager, bill paying, supply ordering, filling in as chiropractic assistant, marketing, organizing, pretty-much-everything-else thing. I don’t mean I do everything, but I do a lot of the peripheral “stuff” that either no one else wants to do or never gets around to doing. While I work part-time hours in the office, the worry of owning your own business and having all your eggs in one basket is pretty much full-time.

Full-Time Mama

First of all, you should know that my children are no longer children. I am not thirty-something. As a matter of fact, my kids are closer to thirty now than I am. My three adult children range in age from 20-23. Yep, I did have three kids in four years, which should tell you something about why I’m coming to this writing thing so late in life. While they are semi-grown and one is even now newly married, they still know I am a phone call or text away from dropping everything to come help out. Helping out includes but is not limited to furniture scavenging and delivery for the newlyweds, picking up a stranded young man after his car has broken down again, and last minute runs to the dollar store for project supplies for the youngest who’s still in college.

Full-Time Crazy

Most people will tell you that women try to do it all, and it’s true. The amazing thing is how we try to do it all and still expect to be sane, normal, nice, and fun to be around. After decades of chasing normal and sane, I’ve just decided to admit my craziness and go with it. I’ve always tried to appear as serene as the duck gliding across a glassy pond as the first rays of sunshine break over the pines of the eastern shore. Now, I’m letting you see my little duck legs paddling furiously under water just trying to keep this whole crazy life afloat.