We have been doing it all wrong

8058562257_2328ffa1a4_z“Nothing against the way you and dad did things, but …”

When a conversation with one of my kids starts like this, it’s time for my poker face. Whatever he has to say is likely to conjure up an “oh reeeaaally,” followed by a “let me tell you a thing or two about a thing or two …”

…which is a good way to shut down a conversation with the under 20 set. Or, anyone for that matter.

In our case, this smooth entre into conversation always precedes something that can be filed under: You’re Doing It Wrong. Subsection: No Offense

As you can probably guess, the fact that I have a strategy for dealing with condescension from a sixteen year-old means it’s not new. I’m okay with that. It means he’s being thoughtful about how he’s going to live his life, or processing some random thought or other. There’s a lot going on currently in Jack’s life, and in the world, really, for anyone of a thoughtful nature to process. For that matter, there are far too many people who don’t care to give a lot of thought to things that require it.

I try to remember these things when the whole of my parenting curriculum vitae is being called into question.

I do warn him, though. I’m keeping track of all this stuff for the sole purpose of dredging it up again one day when I’m old and need to laugh about something ironic.

I also happen to have a crappy memory, which is actually one of the reasons this blog exists. You probably thought it was all the fame and fortune. But nope. It’s so some blue-haired old lady (or whatever color I’ve chosen for the moment) can one day call up stories on her ginormous, large-print smart phone to share with her little grandbabies, and laugh until she pees herself.

At any given time, these days, I could be questioned on any of a whole range of subjects: from our stance on illicit or illegal substances, what kind of car we would be driving if we won the lottery, what I think about body art, politics or career choices. On this particular day the topic with my insightful offspring is money.

“Nothing against the way you and dad have done things, mom, but I plan on being a millionaire.”

I’m just going to let that sit there.

Go ahead and conjure up an image of Alex P. Keaton with earbuds, sitting next to me in my eight-year old Prius speeding down the interstate with a bum headlight.

“… even if it’s doing a job I don’t necessarily like. I’m okay with that.”

Um hmm. I nod a very thoughtful nod.

“Then I’ll retire early. I figure I’ll build up enough to pay for my kids’ college and maybe my grandkids’ college.”

I wanted to call Mike and let him know right away.

“Honey, we forgot the part where we make all the money.”

But there was more: “Of course, I’d also pay off your house and make sure you and dad were comfortable.”

Hang on. There we go. It’s not that we forgot the check the box that says “make gobs of money.” We were just thinking bigger picture. We have ourselves a kid who is going to take care of things for us.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I do kinda wish he’d get a move on.


The teensy favor of your vote is almost like money in the bank. Not really. Not even a little, but it makes me happy. Thank you.



Photo by: Phelan Riessen

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  1. Yeah. I have one of those as well. Only he\’s almost 20, and has way too many opinions for someone who is living rent free in my basement and only taking a small load of classes at university. At the rate he\’s going I suspect we\’ll be going into the old folks home at the same time. I\’m glad your son has plans to pay off you house and take care of you. That sorta makes up for the deep wrinkles from the laugh lines you\’ll get when you\’re rereading this to your grandchildren.

  2. Wow, you\’re son sounds like he not only has a plan, but wants to take care of you and your husband! Take a bow. You and your husband obviously did something right! (I agree, though, get it in writing).

  3. You just KNOW I\’ve never heard anything similar to this from my 14 year old! hahahahahaha!!! 🙂 I love it. Mine is going to be famous, you know. He will be bigger than Justin Beiber, you know. And maybe, just maybe, he will take care of us when he gains on his riches and fame.