Our oldest turned a year older last week and as usual, a few weeks before the big day, I asked him what he wanted for a gift. He gave the same answer he’s given since he transitioned into young adulthood — he wants to go back to kindergarten! This young man is not in a hurry to launch out into the big bad world just yet because he knows it is hard work being a responsible adult.
I don’t blame him for wanting to go back to the days when things were so simple that the biggest problem was not having enough hours in the day to play. On his very first day in kindergarten, he apparently had so much fun that when the hubby went to pick him up at the end of the day, he started bawling because he didn’t want to leave! He wanted to stay forever in this wonderful place where he could run around, swing, see-saw, climb the monkey bars, paint, sing and then play some more, with no one telling him that it was time for dinner or a bath.
So he put up quite a fight until the teacher told him he was coming back the next day because that’s the way school works. The tears dried up miraculously and he agreed to go home and wait (impatiently) for the next day, when he could return to school and play to his little heart’s content. Those were the days when waking the young ones up for school in the morning was never a struggle.
Easing him into adulthood
The young man got his first real taste of being ‘grown up’ when he was in high school and had to make a major decision. The hubby and I decided to help him weigh the pros and cons but leave the final decision to him, and we told him we would go with whatever he decided. The poor fellow did not sleep properly for two weeks as he pondered over the matter and tried to come up with the perfect decision — as if such a thing really exists.
He’s had to make many other big decisions since then and discovered along the way that you can only go with what you have and pray for a good outcome. Over time, our two oldest are realising that as much as they want to be independent, it comes with responsibilities! For instance, they now appreciate — reluctantly — that if they want to use my car for their own errands, I expect them to fuel it out of their own pockets. This often gives them pause for thought as they consider whether the errands are really that after all.
And they have also had to take on the responsibility of managing their school schedules without us parents breathing down their neck — what time they wake up, how they get to school, how the get back home and still do what is expected of them — for instance, when the housekeeper is away –— rests a lot on their shoulders now. Even the youngest has to manage her morning routine now!
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What they don’t know…
What they will never hear from my lips is that my own mother continued to wake me up even when I was a young working adult living under her roof. The first time she came to check if I had woken up on time so I could go to my new job, she was sunk, and I was hooked! From that day, I would wake up well before time but continue lying in bed, half asleep and waiting for her to come and wake me up. Gently. Bless her soul (and I hope she never reads this!).
The girls and I love to tease our oldest about some of the adult stuff he will have to do when he has his own home and family. For instance, we decided long ago that he was going to have triplets — all girls — and when they are small they will naturally run to him for protection from nasty things, including cockroaches and grasshoppers, which he himself absolutely hates. I wonder how he will handle himself as the adult and man of the house then?
Aside from going back to kindergarten, he also wanted hard cash for his birthday. Obviously, being ‘liquid’ is one part of growing up he has no problem with! Happy birthday, son!