Yesterday over on Dad's House, he was bemoaning that his teenagers are never home. I chuckled to myself, "oh yeah, just wait buddy!" I kept my reply to something along the lines of "they're just preparing you for college." The biggest damn understatement of the world.
I've always contended that every stage of childhood, from pregnant mothers getting up to pee every night right up to teenagers missing from family meals, is simply preparation for the next stage in life. Stepping stones is you will.
Jumping to my life scenario - when Keith graduated high school I moved across town, closer to work. I knew with two kids in college that I no longer needed a five bed room house and could certainly reduce that half hour drive. I sought a house that would accommodate all four of us if necessary.
Amanda had already flexed her muscle and had declared that she was in the market for an apartment. Keith also made other arrangements. I'll keep the details of that arrangement intentionally vague - OMG I'm not revealing all of my kids dirty laundry on the internets for once! Suffice it to say that everyone was placing bets as to how long Keith's arrangement would last. I warned him and I advised him that maybe it wasn't the best idea, but being the stubborn type that he is, my pleas fell on deaf ears.
It lasted a whopping two months.
He landed at his father's house, much closer to school and work and friends. Keith has been at his dad's house for nearly three years. This is a fine arrangement, but not what I had in mind at all. I kept my door open, if ever it was needed. Hell, Keith is still on my occupancy permit, although he has never technically lived here.
Earlier this week major drama unfolded at his dad's house - again the details not to be unloaded here. Keith wasn't involved, but felt the need to vacate for a while until the dust settles. This is actually unfortunate because it's a serious drain on Keith's resources. He now has to commute a half hour to work every day and can only grab a few moments to see his girl friend who lives a further fifteen minutes away. It's not easy on him.
Besides, I never see him. After work and dropping by to see the girlfriend, he comes in after I've gone to bed and then he gets up after I've left for work. Only extra shampoo bottles in my shower and a serious depletion of the milk in the fridge denote the additional person in my house. As always, if I want to talk to him it's done over the telephone. I saw Amanda longer yesterday than I've seen Keith in the three days he's been at my house.
The moral of the story: if you have teenagers, enjoy your time "together" because it only gets less and less and less. They turn into busy college students. And college students turn into very busy 20 somethings.
23 hours ago