Friday, June 09, 2006

That's All Well and Good in Practice - But Does It Work in Theory? (University of Chicago T-Shirt)

The oldest of my three children (by two minutes) is a lovely young man, almost 22, blond and blue-eyed and nearly six feet tall. About an hour ago he handed in the last paper for his junior year of college. Effective tomorrow at 3:00 he will be evicted from his dorm, which means that he is now trying to get ready to move to his summer apartment a few blocks away.

He does not own a cell phone. (He lost his first one the first week of college.) He does not the know the number of the apartment's land line. He does not know the cell phone numbers of any of his three new roommates. He did come up with all three names after a few minutes' thought, and with the address after it occurred to him that he had an old email inviting him to a party there.

He has not opened a bank account, which means he has not deposited any paychecks for months. He has, however, changed the identifying numbers on the account he and I share, in such a way that he has inadvertently precluded my access to the account. His meal plan has ended, all college offices are closed for graduation week-end, and he has $34.00.

He needs two courses to graduate, but he has not signed up for fall semester classes. The college lost its record of his having passed his swim test the first week of freshman year (maybe that's where he lost his cell phone?) and he forgot to retake it this past semester. He has not been to see his thesis advisor in weeks.

World, we are perilously close to turning this young man loose as a free agent. Beware.

In the meantime, cool carving, huh? I can't find the foxes in the cemetery, so I'm back to photographing stone. So much easier to manage than young men on the verge of adulthood, or some approximation thereof.

10 comments:

Vicky said...

Oh, mom! I am so sorry!! Kids, who'd have 'em? But you gotta love 'em. Good luck to you and your son!

Best to you both, Vicky

Cynthia said...

Oh man, i'll tell Western Union to expect both of you. Good luck wishes to you both.

sunflowerkat119 said...

I can easily see this being a description of my oldest as well.

That boy needs a little drama in his life...

:)

Stacy said...

Oh this is a frustrating age (though what age isn't?). They are supposed to be adults. We're supposed to allow them to manage their lives and suffer the consequences when they fail to do so. So much easier said than done when the mis-management leaves you shaking your head over how such a bright young adult can seem so disorganized and entirely clueless.

Love the T-shirt quote though....

Quotidian Grace said...

How frustration for poor Mom! I'd be gnashing my teeth, also. This, too, will pass...

elleme said...

Maybe what out schools need is a few courses in Practical Living Skills?

Globetrotter said...

Your 22 year old son is a carbon copy of my 3sons. The oldest is doing his apprentice ship for his official architecture license. The middle one is taking his LSATS next week and expects to score above 170 based on the pre-tests he's taken. The youngest just graduated from Villanova and is working to get Joe Liberman re-elected to the senate.

They're all smart, but can't figure out why they are constantly bouncing checks, losing their keys and cell phones and failing to fill out important papers including the lease that will extend their ability to stay in their app'ts.

I hope I'm dead before they start ruling the world.

Jessica said...

LOL and yet if you talk to both your parents and mine...they will have frighteningly similar anecdotes of our youth......and we managed to corral our senses, pull ourselves up ... and make that inevitable swan dive into adulthood without too many broken bones and tidal wave repercussions, either for ourselves or others.....He will as well!

LightYears2Venus said...

Ditto my son. Only he has been studying abroad this year, so I have been spared the details of his daily pinball lifestyle. He was supposed to stay one semester and then emailed us that he had decided to continue, not because of the quality of German education, but 'because of the World Cup'. Unbelievably, his university extended his grant; they don't realize that he is going on his 5th month with contacts that he should have changed 2 months ago, but has run out. I could go on.
My daughter (24) was bemoaning the dearth of ambitious, responsible young men who are liberal. (Do your son and mine lack organizational skills because they are not young Republicans?) As we continued our conversation, she asked, "Mom, do you know anyone who is not worried about a son?" She listed a few off the top of her head, with issues ranging from drug rehab to career cluelessness to being generally feckless. I mentally expanded the list from the long-time family friends she mentioned to college pals all over the country and colleagues at work who all have twentysomething boys. Eek, I realized, most ARE causing their mothers sufficient worry, while their sisters seem to be taking flight much (much) better. I also know, given their family foundation, that like your son, they will all turn out fine. You know what they told us in those parenting adolescents books about boys maturing later than girls. They just kept it a secret how much later. And this is the sex that still basically runs the world?
*debbi*

Wil said...

Time to let him sink or swim on his own. You've laid the foundation -- let him build his own edifice atop it.

You're due a vacation... disconnect your phone and forward your mail to Tahiti. Leave an email advising him the house has been rented for a year and he may contact you through Lloyd's of London -- you're going sailing around the world.