2014-09-05

Did I Leave The Iron On? FTSF

At the end of the summer, I always feel...

A million different things. 

This year I have so many questions it's actually getting hard to Life.
Not just THIS question.
Before my son, I always felt happy summer was over. Fall and Winter are better weather for asthmatics, end of summer is bad breathing weather. Going outside means walking into a giant pot of boiling soup. Glad to see it go.

Once my son came along and started going to school, end of summer meant Back To Battling Homework. Some nights it took us hours. I know, it's not supposed to be that hard, and that's a long story. Still, at the end of summer I also felt glad to be back to a routine, a bit of a schedule which serves us both better, and also excited about the challenge of a new year. Is he ready?

Without really getting into it, Back to School is a tough time for some parents. Now with social media, watching all the 'normal' families post their smiling, happy Backpack and Getting on the Bus photos is a bit of a soulpunch. Having to have a plan in place with the school ahead of time helps you feel prepared, but you always feel unsure. Hopeful, but always doubting at the back of your mind.

Once he got to high school, each end of summer/new school year was a bit of a countdown. 4 more years, 3 more, 2 more.....Soon I would be done. I foolishly thought after high school, he would go on to take some additional classes or vocational training, or whatever on his own path to his future. What, when, and just how that was going to happen never really occurred to me to worry about. 

Last year I was very excited as he was starting his journey at the community college. He was on his way! Of course I couldn't go with him, I couldn't do it for him, and he had a really hard time. Let's just say that this year, he's not going back or starting any journey with education. That doesn't mean anything other than what the words say, but it really makes me sad. Or scared maybe? Nervous?
from deviantart.com
He's alive, he's not in jail, he has two jobs. I just want the best possible options for him. I know that plenty of people have found success without a traditional college degree (cough, cough ME) but I also know that in life we have to find something to focus on, our own challenge and our place in the universe. 

That doesn't just mean a paycheck, but yes, we also do need a paycheck. If you're one of the lucky few, your place and your challenge will come with a paycheck. 

For the rest of us, you find a way to get that paycheck in the least amount of your day possible, so you can do what you actually enjoy in your spare time. You just have to figure out one thing: What do I enjoy anymore?

Anyway, as he finds his way I have a feeling these next years will leave me feeling melancholy at the end of summer. Did I forget something? Did I mess up? Did I fail?

Luckily (?) enough, my middle child is starting her journey into education. Her father and I have pledged to put our girls' education at the very top of our list of things to worry about. 

That's the parent quagmire: Am I agonizing over the right things? What is it that I'm not worrying about, that I'm missing?

So far she really enjoys school. She is smart, sweet and social. She likes to make people happy, make someone smile with a joke, or share her toys, she's amazing. I feel like she is really going to enjoy school. I loved school, and I never had half of her natural charm. 

Maybe one day I'll be excited about the end of summer again. Instead of sad....and/or parent-guilty....and curious

Is this pain in my stomach what the start of an ulcer feels like? 
Do people know before they're going to have a nervous breakdown?
DID I leave the iron on?*
Love this goofy bastard
*just kidding, b-the-w. I don't iron. I don't even know if our old iron from the original Comfytown even works. For those confused, the "Did I leave the iron on?" bit is from the movie Airplane. Here is a highlight of the best 'Johnny' moments. Classic stuff.


Oh, this was part of the mental-social experiment called "Finish The Sentence Friday." Click here to link up with some good people, great writers.



30 comments:

  1. I LOVE Johnny AND Airplane! One of the best movies ever.

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    1. Agreed. It's one of those movies I never, ever get sick of.

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    2. hahahaha I wish I had a dollar for every time I've quoted this movie, from "Oh, we all have our SWITCHES, LIGHTS and KNOBS, Turner!' to "What can you make of this?" "I can make a hat, a broach, a flying pterodactyl!"

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    3. At work, I'm frequently shouting, "We have clearance, Clarence! Roger, Roger, What's our vector, Victor?"

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  2. I surely love the movie Airplane and haven't watched it in years (and don't call me Shirley). I need to watch it again. I'm so glad that your daughter seems to be adjusting to school so nicely - it sounds like she'll love it and be really successful. Also, I have complete faith that your son will find his way. After my freshman year of college, I came back to my home town, and got a crappy apartment with a roommate. It was years before I ended up going back and graduating. I turned out mostly okay. And so do lots of people without a degree. If he finds something that he loves doing as his career, he'll be successful.
    I don't iron either. ;)

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    1. I knew I loved you, Shirley.
      I wish I could worry about him less. I've wished that since before he was even born. And I have yet to figure out just HOW to do that. But laughing helps, and talking to good people! Thanks, Kristi.

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  3. Can I admit that every time some on in my family says "surely" someone will reply Don't call me Shirley? HAHAHAHA I think you've given your children the tools needed to forge their own path. I bet you are super proud that he has not one but two jobs and he will be where he is meant to be. At least that is the lie I tell myself with Boo :)

    I will also admit I own an iron but have never turned it on or even it's present location

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    1. We did too for the SO LONG that nobody ever says 'Shirley' anymore!

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  4. The only expectations my parents ever laid on us kids were: (1) don't end up in jail; (2) don't knock someone up (brother) and don't get knocked up (we girls); and (3) don't expect to be financially supported after the age of 18 when you're a legal adult. Apart from that, they were pretty darn flexible.

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    1. I had a similar experience, because I was the 4th of 5, both of my parents were either working a bunch of jobs, or basically just DONE being parents by the time I came around. We got a similar speech about becoming adults, but the thing my old man hit home to us the most was that we were getting LUGGAGE for our 18th birthdays. Why? To GTFO. Didn't matter how or where. He held us to this. I moved out when I was 17 and never went back.

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  5. Great post! You made my day. I feel the same way. Love, love your humor and upbeat attitude! Sounds like your "kiddo" is going to be a success!

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    1. I'm glad, and a little surprised to hear that. I thought I sounded crabby. I guess it's all in the beholder. Thanks for beholding, and I'll be-holding a beer hoping you're right!

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  6. I love how this was hilarious, honest, and relatable. Are we agonizing over the right things? I think every parent, no matter what their situation, asks that question. This was such a clever post, and I'm so glad you linked up with us today!

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    1. It's different for everyone: Food, safety, whatever was either focused on in their lives, or sometimes what was LACKING, becomes THEE most important thing when we're raising our own kids. We just do our best and hope a little bit. I'm glad I had the time to link up again. It's been too long!

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  7. You took "Did I leave the iron on"? and end of summer anxiety and made it one post . . . and you made it WORK! I bow to your brilliance!

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    1. Ha. I use quotes from Airplane and other 80's references kind of a lot, because if I have my finger on the pulse of anything, it's what was funny 30 years ago.

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  8. Thanks for reminding me about Airplane -- what a gem! Your boy will be okay. He needs to find his passion, and the rest will come. He's got great support from you, and that will really help as he figures out what he wants to do with his life.

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    1. It's one of the classics. Whenever I meet a (usually young) person who hasn't seen it, I'm blown away.
      I hope he finds something soon, before I worry myself into an ulcer. Thanks for the kind words.

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  9. What a great (and hilarious) metaphor for that feeling. "What is is that I'm not worrying about, that I'm missing?" That is probably the parenting mantra of more people than you'd expect.

    I so feel you about the soulpunch of "normal" families and their back to school giddiness. My kid looped with his teacher last year, but this year has a teacher that is new to the school. We tried to set up a meeting with her before school started, but it didn't work out. Having had to call us on days 2 and 3 of school, I think she's moved that meeting up on her priority list...

    Thank you for sharing some hard stuff in a witty format!

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    1. I feel like most of us do that at some point.
      As far as your son, I'm sorry to hear his teacher didn't make it a priority. My son had a "plan" in place most of his life. It involved TONS of paperwork, 'experts' giving their opinions, most of which didn't work for my son because he was very different than the other kids who were given the same condition names (ADHD/ODD, etc.) but at least when we got to a good school district, they cared and helped as much as they could. They were aware of the situation, I was in almost constant communication w/his teachers, and almost all of them respected my decisions. It was exhausting, and I had to fight not to give him medicine most of his life, but we got through it. Good luck!

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  10. It will all work out, just have to be patient and have Faith.
    This was funny even when your serious.

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    1. Thanks. I don't know who this Faith person is, but she sounds great.

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  11. I just love how you put that question with so many people's pictures. It's universal!

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    1. I was wondering how many people would do the Scooby Doo sideneck and wonder "WHAT is she talking about?"
      Glad you enjoyed it.

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  12. My iron hasn't been out of the cupboard in years ... Thanks for including that brilliant video. Had me smiling throughout! Your "am I worrying about the right things?" is so spot on. Hang in there. He'll find his way.

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    1. You're doing it right then, w/the iron. The movie Airplane is one of the all-time greatest!
      That's the whole parenting thing, you can spend hours obsessing on one thing, and before you know it, another weird issue pops up. It's a crap shoot :)
      Thanks for reading, and for your kind words!

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  13. My brother and sister both are happy and employed and neither went to college. Your son will be fine as long as keeps moving ahead!

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