Reaching the halfway mark on parenting
Updated: May 3, 2012 3:46PM
The way I figure it, I’ve got eight years in and just eight more to go.
I’m talking about getting the kids from teenager to adulthood. And the halfway point marker is the triple graduation we will have later this spring.
My oldest is 22 and graduating from the University of Illinois in a couple weeks.
The middle child is graduating from high school and implementing his well-thought-out game plan. He wants to be a firefighter, so he will spend two years at a community college and then two years at SIU.
The youngest just turned 14 and is graduating from middle school. Like most boys his age, he is unsure of what he wants to do in life, which probably isn’t as important as figuring out how to ask a girl on a date.
So, according to my calculations I’ve got eight more years go to
go. Eight more years of this
parenting gig which should be
getting easier as we slide from focusing on all three children to just two and finally one.
I feel sorry for the last one. He will have our entire, undivided attention focused on him.
This summer will be the summer of marked change. In a way, it is almost as if we are reaching the top of a hill and I can now see the far-off horizon.
The oldest is working on getting a full-time job.
The middle boy has a summer job all lined up.
And once again, I’m coaching the 14-year-old’s baseball team. So my summer is set.
I’m down to one baseball team, not two. I’m down to monitoring one’s progress in Scouts, not two. I’m down to worrying about grades and homework for only two still in school.
Hey, I might be able to handle that.
I remember the last time
I only had one to worry about.
It was a piece of cake. But
I was on the upside of this
parenting gig bag then. My
only worry was how to get the musical score of “The Little Mermaid” out of my head while editing copy.
I might not have the same
spark I did when I was a young parent with only one to worry about, but now I’ve got the
experience as an older parent
with only one to worry about.
I’m not so sure that experience offsets the exuberance of
I’m one of the older parents now at the school meetings, the youth program meetings and the sports meetings. I can speak with authority on issues. I know. I’ve been there before.
Now that I’m on top of that hill, looking down to the valley, I’m hoping downhill is a little easier than uphill. As I said: Eight years in and eight years to go.
I just hope it doesn’t go too fast.