Father Knows Best — The End

It’s been fun over the years reading about WGOM citizens as they started having kids and going over the joy and frustration of parenthood. I’ve had a lot of “yup, I remember that” as I go through FKB posts and other discussion threads. I smiled knowingly when Stick would be amazed at how fast Louisa was adding to her vocabulary or SoCal’s son Trey would have another good day out at the ballfield or someone would wonder about birthday parties and how to handle misbehavior. I lived those years too with all those same, and not so same, joys and frustrations. Given that, I beg of you to not take this the wrong way when I say: I’m done with parenthood.

Oh, I still love my kids and want to see then do well and will undoubtedly provide guidance when it's needed, but my kids are 22 and 24. I’ve been at this for nearly a quarter century and frankly it's time they make their own decisions, pay their own bills, fight their own fights. Sure, it hasn’t helped that I’ve been a single parent for over three years now with not even an Ex to help out but I also believe that it’s time for me to shuffle off into the corner and let the kids figure it out on their own. They’re old enough and and I'm not sure I have a whole lot to add.

Luckily, I have two great kids and in the past few months they have officially launched. Frances has been in Milwaukee for a couple of years now but recently moved to Chicago and got a real salaried job in the HR department of Guaranteed Rate Mortgage. So no more rent payments, supplemental deposits, or health care benefits from me. Charlie graduated in May and moved back home in August but he also recently got a job with a real nice salary. He’s going to stick around the house for a little bit and who knows, maybe I can get him to pitch in on groceries every once and while.

Parenthood is a great blessing and while there will never be a day that I’m not a dad, it’s also nice to retire from the day-to-day burdens of being the all-decision maker, the responsible party, the fixer-upper. I can still play those roles, but now it’s only in a limited, or emergency basis. Right now, you may be in the midst of full-on parenthood and can’t even imagine that the end is out there or that you will even welcome it. I’m here to tell you (and I bet Twayn, Runner, and brianS can also attest) that there will be a day when you will gladly handle over the reins. I bet your kids will grab them lustily, looking forward to the day when they can make their mark as a parent.

Now get off my lawn you snot nosed punks!

8 thoughts on “Father Knows Best — The End”

  1. Good stuff, Free. It's almost hard to imagine this day coming.

    On the other hand:

    frankly it's time they make their own decisions, pay their own bills, fight their own fights

    My kids all have the independent decision-making and fighting down already! Two-thirds of the way there!

    1. Funny. My mother and the gal pals' mother are both very much involved in their grandchildrens lives, sometimes to the point of meddling. Just the other day I said that I'm just going to be the grandpa that does cool stuff with the kids, but otherwise has no role or interest in their lives. My sisters Facebook feed is all about her grandkid. The only time you will see my (future) grandkids on Facebook is when I bring thme to their first GBV show.

  2. I know exactly where you're coming from, free (minus the "make their mark as a parent" -- don't think she's going there). It's satisfying to check off things like; living in a different place, paying own medical, paying own car insurance, doing own taxes -- it's nice to know we raised them (more or less) right.

    Mrs. Runner and I joke when Runner daughter happens to be around now and then at mealtime or when we're running for groceries or whatnot, but I really don't mind paying a little "freeloader tax" now and then

    1. We are edging ever closer. The Boy is gainfully employed and soon will be secure enough in the start of an actual career that the Mrs will acquiesce in my inclination to drop the subsidies (car insurance, health insurance) we are still providing. He seems pretty capable of taking care of himself.

      The Girl is a Junior and has grown by leaps and bounds in her ability to cope with people and basic life skills (her book smarts have never been in question). So her day is fast approaching.

      Like free and rhu and ??, we are very much enjoying key aspects of the independence afforded by the empty nest. We love hearing from them, enjoy their successes, are here to offer advice when asked, but increasingly are just happy to see them be capable and independent young adults.

      I will admit to delving into nostalgia now and then when I run across one of their pictures as wee ones, however.

  3. there will never be a day that I’m not a dad, it’s also nice to retire from the day-to-day burdens of being the all-decision maker, the responsible party, the fixer-upper

    Yes.

    I still talk to my Dad almost every day. He's my sounding board, my friend, my cheerleader. I pay my own bills, etc. But, the end of his job as parent will be when one of us shuffles off this mortal coil. We had a long conversation the other day where we both reaffirmed the importance of this relationship between us. I've talked with my daughter many times about how I am preparing her to leave me, but I know that she will never really leave me as long as we both shall live.

  4. It's a long ways off for me, but I simultaneously look forward to and mourn the coming of the day when my nest becomes empty.

    I feel like they are currently at their best ages ever, yet I look forward to their futures, as I know they will be even better.

    1. While Runner daughter didn't move that far away from us, we didn't exactly mourn the nest becoming empty. I think X years of them growing up helps prepare for the day. Back to when I moved out (to Los Angeles!) in the days of $$ long distance phone calls, etc., and compare it to today with ever-present cellphones, facetime, FB, and all other means of communication, we are never really separated -- certainly not like "the old days"

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