My big wake-up call was coming home from work one summer afternoon and finding my then sixteen-year-old son lying on the floor in front of the T.V. playing Nintendo. Instead of giving me a Christian greeting, he wanted to know when was I
going to get him a new car, because his old Toyota station wagon was on its last legs??? Hmmmm.....
I took one look at him, before I walked over to the T.V. set, turned it off and told him in NO uncertain terms: "If you want a new car, you are going to have to get it yourself.
I then put him in my car and hauled him over to our local Wal-Mart and made him fill out an application. "If you are old enough to drive, you are old enough
to take on the responsibility of buying and maintaining your own
car, son", I added afterwards. The rest is history. He got the job...and a new car, which he spent the next five years paying for. My family (and my ex-husband) thought I was out of my mind, for making this child take on such a responsibility at the age of 16. When my ex- started into me about it, I informed him very cooly that he hadn't been around for the past 15 years, and for him to shut up. I was in my mid-forties and NO longer the little pathetic, trusting fool he had married 20 years before. "You're right, I haven't", he admitted quietly, and never brought up the subject again.
I don't think any of us who have raised kids have a clue as to how they are going to turn out. I just had a gut feeling on that summer afternoon back in 1994 that told me I didn't want to come home ten years later..and find my son still lying on the floor and playing Nintendo. I felt that the time had come for him to "be a man". He is now 27 (almost 28) years old, married seven years with three kids, has a great job in IT which pays more than I will ever hope to make, and is a Deacon at his church. I miss my baby, but never fail to get that weekly call from him as I did last night...making sure that I'm O.K., and looking forward to seeing me this weekend.
I am now 54, and happy and proud to be a Mom and grandmother, which were THE four best things I EVER got out of my marriage!