Only Two More Years of High School at My House
My youngest of four children turned sixteen not too long ago. After surviving his three older sisters, I have mellowed quite a bit – as his sisters often point out – and this is a good thing. Teaching them all how to drive and how to be disciplined enough to go to school, keep up with their studies, and participate in a few extra-curricular programs such as sports or fine arts can be taxing on a mother-child relationship – very taxing. I have a senior daughter who is a photographer and plays HS golf, as well as a son who can never get enough body surfing, is a junior this year and playing HS football. And I mustn’t forget their growing independence, as well as their respective love interests; the strain and chaos can be almost unbearable. Clearly, I have mellowed or I have gotten better at being a mother of teenagers because it has certainly become easier.
But it is Busy and it is Often Loud
I remember being sixteen, myself. I remember learning to drive; my father having incredible patience as he taught me how to drive a stick-shift 1967 VW Bus. God bless him. Though I started earning money at 12, I clearly remember getting my first real job – you know, the first one the government got their hands on your hard-earned money? I remember the angst of trying to break away from my parents and developing my own line of thinking; it was tortuous. I remember falling in love for the first time and its ensuing heartbreak. Sixteen is a wondrous time and I would never go back, not even if I could go back knowing what I know now.
Just imagine going back to the first “real” job you ever had knowing what you now know. I worked at a ladies’ apparel shop called Stuart’s. Sadly, most of my paycheck went right back into the store – as a young woman, I found it difficult to resist the urge to buy clothing whenever I had a little extra cash. But if I went back, knowing what I know now? I’d be managing that store and we would have the best quarter ever. That particular store has since long closed, as have most of the surrounding stores, except the K-Mart down the road a piece in a small Northwest Indiana town.
A question I have often posed when reflecting on my past life, past work, and past love. Glad to be where I am now, knowing what I know now. Maybe we should celebrate a coming of age every sixteen years? If that were the case, I would have celebrated my third coming of age birthday a couple years ago. I will keep close with me what I have learned, making my next sixteen the best. Good to know and good to share with my last two kids (the babies – as we always called them) as they face only one and two more years of high school, respectively – reminding them the rest of their lives – “It only gets better…”
My Life as a Resume
Yes, we face struggles and yes, there have been difficult times, and there will be more, to be sure. But every day that passes, our knowledge and level of experience deepens. I like to think of my “life” as a resume. Everything that happens, every triumph I conquer, every goal I reach puts me in a different wage bracket, increases my level of experience, expands my skill set, and proves that I can do the job of life, and I’ve gotten pretty darn good at it.
Huh…, wonder when I’ll get a raise…
by Rayanne Thorn