Monday, December 19, 2011

Re-Inventing the Wheel


When I was a junior and senior in high school, I went to quite a few “Grown & Goodbye” parties. Maybe, like 4? And it wasn't like those people were related or knew each other. What that is, when a child turns 18, the parents have a party for them and all the while their bags are packed and waiting at the door. At the end of the evening, said child gives their house keys back to the parents and leave with the guests. They don’t live there anymore. The appropriate gift for this type of party is cash.

Now think about this…. Everyone on their 18th born days aren’t necessarily done with high school and or ready to be on their own. What if you turn 18 in March but don’t graduate until June? What are you supposed to do? I’ve been to parties like this for boys as well as girls. And… I’ve been told that I’m lucky that my bornday is late in the year (November). Lots of my friends ended up with shitty jobs, GED’s, prison records and babies that they would not have had if they were allowed to mature under the auspices of people who knew how to navigate life.

Y’all know I’m not scared to ask a question. And my question to their parents is “Why?” The answer is always the same. “I left home when I was – Insert some ridiculously young age—And I made my own way.” Really? So you want your kids to experience all the bullshit that you did? You do know if you tell them, rather than show them, they will still know… right?

I don’t get they “re-invent the Wheel” mentality. I know I don’t have children, but isn’t the goal for them to do better than you? Isn’t that progress? By having your children learn life’s lessons exactly how you learned them does not make them better off. That means they have to do what you already know.

On the flip, I know a woman who has 5 daughters. And in addition to buying them cars when they graduate high school, she and her husband put the girls into their own home upon graduating from college. Not pay entirely for a new house, but pay the down payment, all the closing costs and the mortgage for 6 months. That’s some good isht right there. They claimed their rationale was that their girls didn’t have to worry about those things and could focus on their careers and/or lives. The girls could choose the house they wanted. That is what I’m talking about right there.

My grandparents did not finish high school. Their parents didn’t even go to school. But they made sure my parents and ALL my aunts and uncles did. My parents were college graduates. They did that on their own. Mommie is smart and got scholarships. Daddy had the GI Bill and played football. When my brother and I got to that level, they paid for our 2ndary educations. They said that wasn’t something they wanted to have us worry about. My brother was good when he got out of school. My ambitious ass decided to keep going and get another degree. But that was on me and not them. I saw other grad students trying to pay old student loans with new student loan money. I didn’t have that worry because my parents improved on their destiny through me. As I see is the duty for each new generation to do this.

But they can’t if parents throw you to the wolves and laugh. Let them stay until they at least finish school. Jeesh….



Leigh said...

Very interesting post. I'd not heard of a grown & goodbye party, but then it's been quite a while since I was of that age group. Maybe it's the reaction to seeing kids who never grow up and are still mooching off their parents at age 45(?). I think if parents take the time to teach their children responsibility, than it works out in the end. We prepare our kids for a life on their own and help them get their feet established. Then we step back and begin to enjoy an adult relationship with them. That should be the goal anyway.