Counting Down

There are two days left until I take my middle child—thing two—to school. To part with two of my three children this month has been beyond intense, and if I weren’t so overwhelmed with the logistics of the process: shopping, packing, planning, working, traveling, I’d probably be in search of matching slacks for my straight jacket. 

I had a long conversation at work yesterday with young man who had been born and raised in Taiwan. He told me that when he came to the US, the most surprising thing he found was that teenagers have to leave their homes when they turn eighteen. He went on to explain the living arrangements in his culture, telling me that families stay together to “help each other“—adding that oftentimes there will be three generations living together in one house. His own sister only left his family home when she married, and she now lives with multiple generations of her husband’s family. 

I thought about how wonderful it would be to have a support system like that. It actually sounded ideal…for thirty seconds. I wouldn’t have to worry about my dogs, and…that’s all I could come up with. 

As an American, I had to correct this misconception of his regarding my people. We don’t “have to leave when we are eighteen.” Usually we need to get the hell away from “those people” by the time we are eighteen. Isn’t there teen angst, and aren’t there parent/teen power struggles in Taiwan? I thought that was a universal malady. And please don’t tell me that because I am encouraging my children to be independent and self sufficient that I don’t help them, because I am financially, tactically and emotionally supporting their exodus. Not only do I hold the door open for them when they leave, but I help them carry their crap out of my house. 

I am excited for my girls, for their new beginnings and the adventures that lay ahead of them. They are, by their own choosing, off to arguably the two most ideal locations in this country. The best thing I can do for them is to push them out of the false security of our nest. While I’d love to hold onto them, I can’t. If I could have frozen them at four years old, they’d still be four years old. It’s fortunate for everyone that that wasn’t an option.

August 15, 2016, One Word Prompt: Confused~ <a href=””>Confused</a&gt;

2 thoughts on “Counting Down

  1. I heard news last night about the large number of adults who are living with parents or grandparents. Painful for those who have been independent for years, then things crash around them, many times not from their own choosing. I recognize how humiliating it can be to throw in the towel and start over. Congratulations on your independent daughters. May it go well with them! (I loved your slacks/straight jacket line.)

    Liked by 1 person

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