Just when I thought things were coming together, my children throw something new into the mix, creating drama and upheaval and more pain for me.
Somehow, at some point in the past, I bought into the myth that the hardest part of parenting involved changing poopy diapers, 2 a.m. vomiting children, and nit-combing lice-ridden hair. Boy was I misled.
My husband and I have six children. Three of them are now "adult", though their behavior more often screams "threenager"! They make stupid decisions, based on immaturity and what their friends think, without any thought of or seeming care about implications for their futures. Somehow, we are supposed to keep funding these flights of fancy, but never ever dare ask for any repayment or help in return. Because two of these "adult" children are currently at home and working, we discussed charging rent, which was apparently a HUGE problem. Additionally, it was wrong to think that they might contribute anything toward buying food, but fun shopping trips with their siblings and friends happen with regularity.
Today, when asking the oldest about her work schedule for the week, she dropped the bombshell that she will be flying back to South Carolina on Friday, and her last day at work is on Tuesday. Meanwhile, we are left with a $6000 amount to reimburse one school, and $1200 for another one, as well as a car parked in the garage that we bought and insured for her.
The next child is in Virginia and barely speaks to us. He graduated in June, and started college, but dropped out because he couldn't get the financing to pay for his semester. Meanwhile, he couch-surfs, and works two or three jobs trying to pay for his car, insurance, and phone.
I miss having children that are sweet, and thoughtful, and respectful, and considerate. I miss being able to send them to their rooms. I miss the children they used to be, before life changed them into people I don't recognize, and don't particularly like. I keep hoping that the others learn from the actions and mistakes of their siblings. I keep hoping that these horribly painful months will just be a bump in the road, and we can go back to having loving and communicative relationships with our children again.