When my little girl got her ticket to ride on the Career Rollercoaster…
It’s right on the fence whether I will have my “Mom Card” revoked or just suspended.
I didn’t break any laws, per se.
But apparently I have not completely fulfilled my motherly duty by ‘caring enough’.
I have a daughter graduating from college this month. She is the second of my entire personal family tree to own a college degree and I am eager to throw some confetti at her ticker-tape parade.
Every time I considered “going back to college” I was held back by the thought, “I’ll have to take math.” If they would have accepted only the essay questions involving a speeding train, a crossing car and a pelican, I just might have gone for it. (Answer: the pelican should not have been driving the car in the first place.)
My daughter can speed read textbooks that are clearly written in Greek for secret societies in code.
And now she is pondering her next step which involves testing the waters in another state.
As yet another huge change descends on our family, the question I’ve asked my children from the womb re-surfaces: What do you want to be when you grow up?
The question has evolved to include what I feel are obvious sidebars.
Whatever you think you’re going to do, it had better 1) pay your bills, 2) be personally fulfilling, 3) allow you to move out into the big world, and 4) be respectable enough I can brag about it for a while.
The question involves a lot of thought, and it’s not like they haven’t had years to ponder it. As a matter of fact, I myself ponder the same thing but I don’t have parents waiting for the answer anymore. (So the pressure’s off.)
Based on where all of my money goes, I’d vote for the professions of orthodontist, auto mechanic, owner of a Target store, or perhaps diaper manufacturer. If I had a nickel for every diaper I’ve ever changed, they could just sit back and inherit. (Also a nice way to go if you can pull it off.)
As I sat one afternoon with friends and family, the subject of graduating and career chasing circled the room. One of my friends has a daughter who spent a couple thousand dollars flying to Texas for a job interview and was offered the position. The daughter had schooled and trained hard for her career choice and this seemed like very good news.
We both had daughters about to move away.
My sweet mom friend sat there and cried.
I’m trying to digest the fact that she is already desperately missing her daughter. The daughter who just attained huge success and reached her latest goals. The one about to become independent and self sufficient and fulfilled. It’s even respectable! Surely love can span a couple of states?
From where I’m sitting, it feels like the whole point of my career, “Mom”, is to work myself out of it. If the kids are no longer coming to me to fill their needs because they are well trained to do it themselves, I have succeeded in my job. It’s a win-win when a child becomes a happy, healthy, and whole adult. It may take a lifetime and that’s OK, but steady progress is delightful.
I don’t want to be a speed-bump in the fast lane of my child’s road trip.
But when my daughter compares the two moms sitting on the couch, one forlorn and one ecstatic, her frown indicates which one she’d prefer.
And I know my “Mom Card” is up for review.
I’ll have to be on my best behavior for a while. I can see the future ‘care packages’ will have to contain at least a dozen fuzzy socks, some Starbucks cards, definitely some country music selections, and a tin of chocolate chip cookies.
And very likely some confetti.