After reflecting on my life as a parent, I've considered writing a book entitled What To Do When Your Children Act Irresponsibly and You Are Ready to Pull Your Hair Out, but the title is too long and sounds unchristian. Too, my personal examples seem to pale in comparison to some of my friends' whose adult children continue to bring them immeasurable woes. Their situations run the gamut: poor financial decisions; unstable job selections; divorce, resulting in grandkids who quickly learn the art of manipulation as they play one parent against the other; alcohol and drug abuse; even a rejection of the faith that was one time so prevalent in their lives. Not infrequently these adult children move back home "until they get back on their feet." My heart breaks for the parents who have inherited these burdens, and even though my children continue to do bone-headed things that make me believe they were somehow switched at birth, I am able to laugh-albeit not immediately-instead of cry at our family's predicaments
Around midnight two weeks ago, my husband Dave and I picked up our sons, Jeff and Adam, at the Kansas City airport and dropped them off at Adam's ranch. Jeff was here to purchase Adam's truck and the next afternoon was to load it with things from our house to take back to his home in the mountains of Colorado. Did you get that? Afternoon. He showed up at 9:30 that night. Something about being "delayed." I told him that wasn't a "delay"; it was a flight to San Francisco. By 11:00 the truck was packed -- and I mean packed. Jeff didn't want to drive it on country roads back to Adam's, so, instead, he drove Dave's empty truck and parked his filled one in our driveway. His parting words? "See you at 5:00." (a.m.). The plan was that Jeff and Dave would drop Adam off at MCI and from there drive to Colorado together.
Now, were my sons here at 5:00 so Adam easily could make his 8 flight? Uh, no. Dave and I, on the other hand, had been up since 4:00, Dave finalizing his packing and me making breakfast sandwiches for their trip. Around 5:20 my adult sons skidded into our driveway. Apparently, at the last minute they had decided to load 600 pounds of Adam's organic hamburger (his new business) for Jeff to try out in his Colorado restaurant. The fact that there wasn't room for a thimble left in the truck did not deter them.
Jeff jumped into the bed of the packed truck and began his "Beverly Hillbillies" version of re-packing while Adam started tossing huge containers of beef from Dave's truck into Jeff's. Dave and I stood by, me (a) warning of lawsuits for things that would inevitably fall from the truck and hit oncoming vehicles, causing the boys to live the rest of their lives in our basement, (b) threatening that Adam would miss his flight because of rush hour traffic, probably get released from his baseball team because of it and ... well, live in our basement, and (c) reminding them that if God intended children to live with their parents forever, He never would have declared, "A man shall leave his father and his mother and shall cleave to his wife."
Of course, the fact that Jeff isn't married (much to his mother's consternation) sort of nullifies that analysis.
The three of them pulled out of our driveway at 5:25. At 6:00 my phone rang. It was Dave. Apparently, in their hurry, Jeff and Adam had left their travel bags in the back seat of Dave's truck. Jeff's keys to his own vehicle (left at the Denver airport and intended to be intercepted on their trip to the mountains) were in that backpack, so now their plans would change. They would drop Adam off at MCI and return to Fort Scott before leaving for Colorado. Just a few hours of "delay," I guess.
Perhaps I'll ditch my first idea for a book and will, instead, write one entitled What To Do When Your Husband Fails to Teach Your Children How To Act Responsibly I think that's a much better idea.