Ah, it can be tough to be a parent. So much guilt to deal with. I used to see those bumper stickers on cars that said:
"I AM THE PROUD PARENT OF A MIDDLE/GRADE/PRE SCHOOL HONORS STUDENT".
It always seemed so boastful. And made me feel parentally inadequate. More flash cards, more discipline, more harassment....maybe we could have gotten the GPAs up another smidgen or two.
And yet in the end all works out just fine.
I have already mentioned my oldest son. He went the traditional route. College to Grad School to Career. It has worked out for him, but I always had the sense that we were approaching the end of an era. There are so dreadfully many folks with advanced degrees working at Starbucks these days. Yes, I have always held that if there is still a single job available you can say "there will always be a spot for the best". But in some fields there might not even be that one entry level job.
My second son is the one I have never really worried about. Correction, he has given me more worry than the other two combined, but I have never worried about him supporting himself. He has after all been working continuously since he started his own lawn service at age 9. He is, and I am being realistic not boastful here, a mechanical genius. He can make anything out of metal, and in a pinch I think he could probably mine the ore, smelt it into alloy and then make anything out of it. If he becomes bored with what he is doing he can always just pick up a new skill and a new job. Heck, if he felt like it he could hop in his truck tomorrow and drive out to the new boom towns in North Dakota. He can weld, machine, fix and operate any kind of motor. No doubt he would prosper handsomely.
And if society ever collapses into a Mad Max post apocalypse, well, he would RULE that world.
Which gave us two down and one to go.
The youngest graduated high school recently with no clear plan. He considered a variety of options but in the end just decided he would get a job and work for a while.
Given the current debate about just what a college degree is good for he is exactly in step with the times. With a finite amount set aside for his future education and enlightenment it is not a good plan to simply meander about through various majors and assorted schools. Figure things out. Set a plan. March. Don't waver.
And until then it is always preferable to have a job that makes you appreciate that there are better things out there, and also to work somewhere that creates in balance more joy than sorrow in the world.
I understand why people who need to put food on the table work as telemarketers and so forth, but as an exercise in good karma one would rather not.
So, off to the working world for my Russian speaking, juggler-unicycle rider.
He is working at a brewery.*
I asked him what he would be doing.
"Mopping a lot of floors."
Seems about right.
I am seriously considering making a custom bumper sticker. Same color scheme as those HONOR STUDENT ones, now fading on the cars of our peers. This one will say:
MY CHILDREN ARE THRIVING IN THE CURRENT ECONOMY
* Archy the Cockroach would approve:
"but if i had my life
to live over again
i would give dignity
the regal razz
and hire myself out
to work in a brewery"