For Mother's Day, Let Them be "Settled"
It used to be macaroni picture frames. Then we graduated to flowers and chocolate. In recent years, it's been a night off from cooking. And all of it was lovely.
But this year for Mother's Day, I want one thing. I want everyone settled.
"Settled" doesn't sound like much. In fact, when the kids were little, getting everyone settled was a nightly occurrence. After dinner, homework and baths, I tucked all three kids into their beds, eventually followed with my husband and myself, and there we all were--settled. Now, however, with two kids graduated from college and living at home again, while the youngest completes her sophomore year at a local university, settled is the Holy Grail of metaphysical states in our home. An illusion to be pursued, but elusive in its attainment.
I'm not unrealistic. I know that, for this generation of kids, at least, the twenties are a time of transition unlike any we experienced. When we graduated from college, we went home under duress, and then only until we could scrape together enough to run screaming out the door to life, however impoverished, away from our parents.
But a lousy economy, coupled with a generation of kids who are afraid to commit to, well, sometimes, anything, has created an environment where, not only are adult children coming home to live forever (really, it just seems that way), but in which they're also putting off choosing (and sticking to) a career path for fear of "not liking it."
All of which creates an atmosphere of definitely "unsettled," an understatement if there ever was one.
No, I don't want them to live in a hovel, although most of us did, and we survived. And no, I don't want them to work 30 years at jobs they hate. But what I do want is for them to pick something, anything, and stick with it long enough to see how things will work out.Continued on the next page