When the stars align.....

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by slsh, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    and you get kicked solidly in the teeth, you must laugh or... flood the state with your tears. Somehow husband are still laughing, albeit a wee bit hysterically and while holding onto each other for dear life.

    thank you is still thank you, coming up with unrealistic schemes so he can get a job with big $$ and minimal effort. He's not living here, not my problem. At least we don't have listen to the plans or try to bring him back to reality. His car is still in our driveway.

    Diva developed a "chain" of enlarged lymph nodes on her neck Wednesday. I called MD Thursday who prescribed antibiotics, but then got text from Diva at school saying neck really was hurting. Being me, I immediately go for worst case scenario and decide meningitis needs to be ruled out, though in the back of my head I'm thinking she doesn't have classic symptoms, i.e. she's not acutely ill, no fever, etc. Run up to Urgent Care, where an MD prescribes antiinflammatories after checking D's blood work (which was blessedly normal across the board). I kept her home Friday.

    Diva had ring mass Sat night (sophomores get their class rings during a mass for them and families). I decided to go and let husband stay home with Boo because it's snowing (again), the van drives like a brick in snow, and there's not a single place in the area that is truly wheelchair accessible due to the massive volume of snow that has never had a chance to melt.

    A half hour before we're supposed to leave for mass, I notice Boo has a funny look on his face and then notice that next to him, husband is just reaming someone out on the phone about getting a job, not ruining his life, etc. I'm thinking it's thank you, but then realize it's Weeburt, who is in his second semester at college. husband is HOT, which is completely out of character for him. So I take phone and discover Wee hasn't gone to class for 2 weeks, didn't go to class last couple weeks of first semester, ergo dismal but passing grades. He doesn't think school is "going to work out." Wee is actually A) telling us how he feels (which he never does, being the poster child for stoicism and/or emotionally completely bottled up) and B) crying. Holy cow.

    husband is obviously in no condition to deal with this, and I unfortunately have experience with this, having dropped out after a month at Emory. So - quick change of plans. husband, Boo, Diva will go to ring mass. I will drive (in snow storm and dark, which is not my friend these days) 2 hours, which turned into 3+ due to weather, to make sure Wee is okay, or at least not contemplating something *really* stupid.

    Of course, in the middle of all this, husband's work calls his cell first and then the home phone. husband just screams at me not to touch the phone. In hindsight, kind of .... no, actually *very* funny. husband isn't a screamer. And work rarely calls him - like once every 2 months or so. Timing is everything.

    Wee is stoic, and wicked stubborn. He has absolutely no plans. At least I was going to leave school to be a waitress in Wyoming, LOL. He sees no point in school because he has no goals. ARGH! The boy is incredibly smart, truly gifted, and about as motivated as a slug - long history there. So I make it down there, we talk, I tell him he's making a *huge* mistake, think about it, we love him unconditionally, it's his choice, *huge* mistake to leave, but again his life that he gets to define, but if he comes home he needs to remember that we are no longer under any obligation to house/feed/clothe him, and basically he needs to get his s*** together, whichever way he chooses. He cannot play on the computer for the next umpteen years, and if he thinks there's no point in college, he ain't *seen* no point until he's working a minimum wage job, trying to pay the electric bill (voice of experience from both his parents). I reminded him that husband and I *are* going to die someday and he needs to make his own life. Parting plan is he has to make a decision and *act* on it - either get his posterior to classes and make up what he's missed, or go and do official withdrawal so that we're not out the whole semester in tuition.

    And I told him to do his da** laundry!!! Honestly - he has not done laundry once, not *once* while at school. I told him that that is just inexcusable. I don't give a darn how lazy or unmotivated he is, there are some things, as humans, we have to do. How he can shower daily and then put on dirty clothes is just beyond me. OMG. Seriously....

    I call my father yesterday from dorm parking lot to wish him a happy 79th b-day, and to apologize for quitting school 30+ years ago. Or more accurately, apologize for putting *him* through that, because I now know exactly what he felt at the time. It was a bit surreal to hear my father's words come out of my mouth as I talked to Wee. Dad is a funny man, I think the source of my very dark humor. He said he wished he could help with Wee, but *obviously* he had no clue of how to keep a kid in school. ROFL. He asks about other kids. thank you... well, whatever. Diva - lymph nodes. Dad tells me he had one when he was 25 that they ended up cutting out, but he's sure medical science has progressed since then. I told him I was pretty sure we would find out exactly *how* much it's progressed, unfortunately.

    Drive home in sunshine, past multiple cars that had slid off the highway during my trip south on Sat. night, to find Diva still with sore neck and lymph nodes. She has concert at school to play in - I literally pass out on couch (emotional overload) so husband took her up to school. They get home however many hours later and now cannot move her neck from side to side, said something "popped" in the opposite side from her lymph nodes (definitely not spine) and now the whole thing hurts. I call MD, who had someone else on call. He calls me back, thankfully asks I think all the right questions, we rule out meningitis again based on symptoms, and switch to ibuprofen.

    So... Diva is home, I'm calling MD first thing this morning. Weeburt I'm sure is dropping out of college. Will have to get him license (which he does *not* want) and who knows what to drive. He has to get a job - I love Wee dearly, he was in many ways my easiest kid, but he is not terribly adept at social interactions - I'm worried about him getting a job, much less holding onto one given his motivation issues. I told husband we should just buy foreclosed house across the street and put both boys in it. Not sure I was joking.

    In the wee hours of Sunday morning, husband and I were trying to figure out how things got so utterly fouled up. We're good people, I think. Work hard, are honest, believe in the golden rule, etc. Volunteer at school and in the community, try to do good and set good example. I'm not sure how we ended up here. I really feel like we let our kids down, somehow, somewhere. I am trying to hold onto the thought that at some point our kids stop being a reflection of our skills as parents and start being a reflection of their own selves, but having a hard time holding onto that.

    So.... anyhoo.... just had to vent and since you guys are the extent of my support group, thought I'd provide a little light reading this morning. And the beat goes on.......
  2. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Don't you just love it........
  3. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Sue, I have no idea what to say, but I'm sending a giant basket of virtual hugs to use as required.
  4. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    You need wine. Barrels and barrels of wine. And do not buy that house across the street. Make sure it is at least several blocks away.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    So sorry. Unfortunately I am in the same place except college isnt even in my vocabulary. I want to either run away or do something else drastic. I absolutely hate everyone I lay eyes on right now.
  6. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Grrr...to much for one person. You have your share with Boo. Thankfully he does not come with a drama story today!! I have to agree with TM, wine and lots of it!

    sent from mobile phone
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    ((hugs)) Sue

    If the lymph node swelling doesn't go down soon, as in a day or two, I'd get Diva into the doctor asap. That worries me.

    With Wee, sadly he has a point......a valid point......School with no goals runs up astronomical bills and too many times with no positive end result. Nichole dropped out for that reason. She was just running up bills. Her interests were in too many areas to feel strongly about any of them to point her the way to go. Often (after speaking to a lot of people over the years) life experience tends to help them find their way and many return later with a clear cut goal in mind.

    I think we as a society have decided college is the answer to everything. It's not. Especially when a child has no clear cut goal in mind. There is so vast amount of choices it tends to overwhelm a young person. Knew a guy who went into computer programming at college. He had the brains for it. Thought that is what he might want to do........ He dropped out knowing that wasn't it. He'd been just taking classes the last year, basically random ones, because once he realized he wanted nothing to do with computer programming he didn't have the slightest clue what he wanted to do. He got a job doing construction work. Eventually it led him back to school but not college. He went to a tech school to learn how to be a brick layer. As an apprentice he was making nearly 20.00 a hr. He loved it.

    When Nichole told me the reason she wanted to drop out of college I didn't fight her on it. It made sense.

    With thank you......well, that is his personality and it is probably not going to ever change. (I have a bro like that) At least you don't have to deal with it.

    The transition from teen to adult can be a rough road for our kids, but sometimes it can be just as rough (or more) on us as we watch them stumble along.
  8. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Lisa - yes, she's seeing doctor again this afternoon at 4:00. It's been going on since last Wednesday, getting worse not better in spite of treatment with the NSAIDs.

    Weeburt actually has talked for years about being a computer programmer. I asked him if he found the computer science classes interesting. Yes, but.... I don't know what his function is. We'll look at tech schools, but I think (*think*) the greater problem is his utter lack of motivation to do anything. Not sure how to light a fire under his posterior, but I know husband has got the flint out, LOL.

    And I am *NOT* going to be Wee's taxi service to school/work. I'm counting down the days until Diva gets her license (November 7th, if I'm counting right). I've been schlepping kids places for 25 years, and to be honest, getting Boo in and out of the van, especially in snow, is getting to be a bit challenging for me. I'm done.

    Wine would be good. Barrels even better. But I drink rarely these days because Boo hasn't had a seizure in about 4 years so we're overdue. Murphy's Law, it would strike after a barrel or so, and husband is *not* good in crises like that, so.... I'll have to wait a while.

    House across the street would be fine, because after this winter???? I swear, the day Diva graduates, I'm putting our house on the market. I left the Midwest once to get away from this crud - canNOT believe I let husband bring me back. We are so outta here.

    Got a text from thank you today - one word. "check?" He means his SSI check. No "hi mom, how's it going?" PRIMAL SCREAM.

    I'm thinking Calgon is going to have to take me very *very* far away tonight, LOL.
  9. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    The only acceptable reply to the "check?" text is "mate.".
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sue, encourage Wee to stay in school. It is INCREDIBLY normal/typical for students to go through this at about this point in their college education. The first year or two of a standard college education is largely the same regardless of your chosen field of study. The general education requirements vary somewhat, as you don't see an early childhood education major taking the same math and science classes as a physics major, but mostly you have until sometime in your sophomore year to truly decide on a major.It is uncommon for classes for a specific type of degree to be offered before you are a junior.

    This makes those first years BOOOOOORRRRRIIIIIINNNNNGGGG, which we all know is so conducive to getting one of our difficult children to do something. Don't laugh (too hard), but I had 11 majors in my first 3 semesters at college. I thought about dropping out many times, but didn't.

    I assume Wee is in a dorm. Are there things that can be done to make it more comfortable for him? Things to help with sensory issues can calm anxiety and help you cope with a LOT more than you could otherwise. Take a look at his life/routines and see if there are reasonable ways to accommodate any sensory issues and other issues that would contribute to him succeeding in school.

    Also assure him that as long as he passes the courses he is taking for the general ed requirements, he can put off choosing a major for a while. WHY do this? Many people see choosing a major as saying, "I want to do this for the rest of my entire life." That is a SCARY choice when you are just out of high school. Many kids don't understand at first that a college degree does not shut doors to other fields of work, it opens them even if you studied something different. It can be tough to understand though.

    Has Wee taken any aptitude tests in the last year or two? NOT SAT or ACT type tests, but tests to help identify what he is good at and/or well suited for. Seeing results of this type of testing can help Wee figure out what he wants to study. It is FAR different to take a test and be told you would be good a this or that than it is to have a parent or high school teacher tell you the same thing. Esp if you are a teenager, because then you are POSITIVE that your parents have no brains at all. The college career center should have aptitude tests and other ways to help Wee figure out what he wants to do.

    Another thing to contemplate is a gap year. It is more and more common for students to take a year off between high school and college. Studies are showing that students who tae this gap year are more likely to graduate and be successful in their careers. This only applies if certain things are done during the gap year. Backpacking through Europe, the Appalachian Trail, doing missionary work for your church the way Mormon's do, travel to experience the world, working and supporting yourself in a field that interests you, etc... are the kinds of things that make a gap year successful. Staying home and playing video games or hibernating on the computer do not help make it successful Pretty much taking the world on as an adult and exploring it is helpful during a gap year but hiding away from life and people is NOT, esp if you hide in electronic screens and don't support yourself. You are not learning to be an adult if you stay stuck in screens,Know what I mean??

    I really hope that whatever Wee chooses, you know that you did an incredible job of raising him, and you are still doing that job, and of course so is your husband.

    I hope you did something nice for yourself after a night like that!
  11. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    I quit college after my sophomore year. I was out for one year and went back. The year out was an incredible year for me. I learned how to be self-sufficient, how to live in an apartment (dive!) by myself and I learned that I did not want to be that poor forever.

    I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up then and I still don't. But going back to school was important and having a degree on my resume helped with future job prospects. I used to thank my Mom (Dad died the year I was off) for having the courage to tell me I could quit. She was absolutely heartsick at the prospect. But without her saying I could quit I wouldn't have had the chance to learn those lessons on my own. Instead, I would have sabotaged myself in school and probably flunked out. As it happened, when I went back to school I got straight A's the first quarter and made the Dean's list every quarter until I graduated.

    You did well, Sue. Your gut has always been right on the mark. Give Wee the chance to learn those lessons that I had to learn. He will thank you one day even if he doesn't go back to school.

  12. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Update - Who the heck knows what Diva had. Except for we did discover she is allergic to penicillin. Perfect. She's been on another class of antibiotics and the swelling and pain are gone, so who knows.

    Wee came home last weekend. husband and I both had "ah-ha" moments with him this week. The kid is completely unprepared for life. I mean, completely and utterly. He has no idea of how to get a haircut, make a phone call and leave msg on voice mail, or how to use a laundromat. So we don't think it was laziness re: his laundry, it was lack of knowledge and fear.

    He's always been wicked smart, and I guess we assumed he was picking up this stuff as we went or at least had the gumption to figure it out. We were horribly wrong and feel awful. Wee was the easy kid. While he was in elementary and middle school, thank you and Boo were both completely out of control with their various issues. Wee was quiet, didn't make waves, was pretty self-sufficient (we thought). By the time he was in high school, he was pretty set in his ways and we didn't push him a lot (though he *did* go to Spain senior year, his idea, which in hindsight was truly extraordinary). We did him a huge disservice. So.... we're gently guiding him thru some basic lifeskills stuff. Lots of reassurance. Getting some stuff lined up, like driving school, but making *him* do the calls, with us right there to prompt/guide him.

    I think the most telling statement was when I went down a couple weeks ago to try to get him to see reason. He was just so utterly unhappy. I was trying to get him to verbalize some of his issues (kid is still stoic as a stone) and he said to me: Mom, life was so much easier before. You woke me up, you drove me to school, and everything else was taken care of.

    I had no *idea* how literal he was being. My heart breaks for the kid. He really is just the sweetest and smartest guy I've ever run into. Hopefully we can gently introduce him to the world. We just had absolutely *no* idea how badly we did at preparing him for it.
  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Dont feel bad. I was totally unprepared for life on my own. In fact it was so bad that I thought there was a Clean Clothes Fairy. I had no clue that you had to do your own laundry. All my life I had just tossed my dirty clothes on the floor of my closet and my mother would go in and take care of them. Magically they appeared in my drawers and closet on hangers. LOL...Im being real. When I moved in with Tony I was astounded when all the clothes I tossed in the closet didnt wash themselves. He taught me what a laundry mat was.

    We made sure Jamie and Cory could do most everything. Billy lived with my mom and had the same issues I had. We had to teach him how to use the washing machine, how to cook basic thing on the stove and not only eat microwave food. He still isnt worth a darn in the kitchen. Jamie is a semi okay cook but Cory can really fend for himself. He is almost as good a cook as his dad.

    Maybe Wee would like to go into the military to learn computers. Trust me, they would teach him all kinds of life skills. Jamie can even iron!