Monday, March 14, 2011

Parent's dilemma

(First, an aside about the word 'dilemma.' I thought it was spelled 'dilemna' and in fact I found some support for that on-line. But when I checked the Webster's dictionary here in the house, I couldn't find dilemna. It's not in the OED, either. So dilemma it is.)

Number One Son found work as a security guard for a company here in Tulsa, surprisingly enough, the company that does security at the maintenance base where I work. And in a happy coincidence of monumental proportions, he's working the same shift as me! He has two weekdays off, so we ride to work together on the other three days.

This morning, it was 38F with a stiff north wind as we left the house well before dawn. I wore a windbreaker and a sweater. He had a short sleeved uniform shirt with a t-shirt underneath.

"Where's your jacket?" I asked. "It's cold out there."

"One of the cats peed on it. Mom hasn't washed it yet," he replied.

I wanted to ask 'why was your jacket on the floor?', 'why didn't you wash it yourself?', and 'why didn't you put a long sleeve thermal shirt on under your uniform?' But I stifled all that, thinking that a cold day at work would serve as a good reminder to take care of his things on his own. And almost immediately, I felt guilty for thinking that. He's my kid and there's a powerful urge to take care of him, even when he should be doing it himself.

I kept my mouth shut. Ultimately, he spent the day in the security van with the heater cranked up. Still, I wonder if I made the right decision today, but I suppose the real test of that will be revealed by his behavior. If he decides to do his own laundry as needed, I'll consider it a victory.


Blogger Steve A said...

"I'll consider it a victory."

So will others. One of my daughters mowed the law entirely on her own initiative, so there's hope for them all!

6:34 PM  
Blogger lemmiwinks said...

You did the right thing Ed. A significant part of adulthood (which seems to be missing from most so-called adults these days) is taking responsibility for your own actions.

7:07 PM  
Blogger Yokota Fritz said...

Ha, sounds like my son. Except he just grabs one of my jackets.

3:13 PM  

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