Monday, March 20, 2006
Spring is springing here in Northern California, and it seems to be the time for change and renewal.
My oldest daughter is moving into her own apartment today, and I'm not sure how I feel about that. She's been living full time with her mom for the past 3 years, since her mom and I split up, and things have been sometimes rocky, sometimes wonderful, but she is nearly 20 (going on 30), and very independent minded. Its time for her to make this move, and I'm not sure how to feel.
I'm know I'm proud of her. She's got a decent full-time job (it doesn't pay all that great, but it is with a very respectable firm, and it's steady, secure work, and she does get periodic raises), she's responsible about her job, and she's happy with it. She and her roommate (a girl-friend from work) found the apartment on their own, and have made all the arrangements by themselves. She's a good kid, really.
But I'm also kinda nervous. She's not going to college (ok, I didn't either, but THAT's why I'm nervous: I know it can tough with or without a college education, but there's no denying a college education can help in the workplace competition), and we all know that children who don't go to college while they are at home are much less likely to do so once out on their own. The apartment is going to be party-central for a time - she already jokingly told me as much, and she's an energetic 20-year-old - how could it not be? I think every kid who's ever had their own apartment as a young 20-something has stories. Independence and complete freedom from day-to-day parental observation and input always results in chaos for a time. How could it be any different? I don't like the tradition, but it's time honored, and for the most part, in the long run, harmless. I hope.
But I know I'm not scared. She's a smart young-lady. She's made a few choices that raise my eyebrows (didn't we all?), but over-all she's been pretty smart in what she's done. She's learning about the world, learning about people, starting her freshman year at Life U, if you will, and she's got a full load. She just needs to be picky about the extra-curricular activities, choose wisely, and I think she'll be fine.
by Mike Jones