Hey, Mom

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Frustrated doesn’t even begin to describe what I’m feeling right now.

It was a great long weekend with all four kids home.  While it was exhausting, I so much enjoyed having my kids close for a few days.  More than the interaction I had with them, I enjoyed watching them talk to each other.

Boom!  One phone call later, and that feeling of satisfaction over a job well-done in raising such wonderful adult children, is gone.

Luke, who is graduating from college next month called me this afternoon while I was at work.  “Hey, Mom.  I found an apartment.”  While he is graduating next month, he still has an additional month of student teaching to complete before he’s certified to teach.  He has to stay in Milwaukee.  Plus, he wants to continue staying there indefinitely.  Gee….I wonder why?

Luke’s longtime girlfriend has three more years of school.  She’ll come out with a doctorate.  Beyond his beer money job as a bouncer, Luke doesn’t have a job.  He doesn’t even have a job prospect.  He claims that “he’ll find something,” and I believe he will.  But….in the meantime, “Hey, Mom.  I found an apartment.”

Yes…months ago, I promised him that I would help out with the transition between school, when his lease is up, and the period of time when he still has to live in Milwaukee to complete his student teaching.  Yes…I knew that he wanted to stay in Milwaukee after graduation.  What I didn’t expect was that he would ask for a $2,600 deposit on an apartment that costs $850 per month.  Or…if I want to avoid such a large deposit, I can put the apartment in my name.  Uh uh…  Not going to happen.

T called Luke tonight.  He expressed his concerns.  Why doesn’t he look around for a job in his field?   His determination to stay in Milwaukee, while understandable, is limiting his reach for an actual job.  Why doesn’t he come home for a while and use our house as his home base while he looks for employment in his field?  Luke doesn’t want to live here with us.  Maybe he would consider coming back home….if we still lived at HOME.  Really?  Apparently, our lives were supposed to remain in a state of dormancy in case Luke wanted to return to our hometown of 1,800 people for a job opportunity?  Obviously, our small hometown offers opportunities that I was not aware existed.  He is being unreasonable.  Living here with us, even for a short time, would give him the chance to apply for jobs all over the Chicago area. “That’s OK, Dad.  If you don’t want to pay the deposit, I’ll just find something I can afford…but you know where I’ll have to live.”  I guess living in a dangerous, gang-infested neighborhood is preferable to living with his family.

To say that I’m frustrated right now is an understatement.

Tomorrow, I will call his school to see what options are available to the hundreds of students who will graduate and lose their housing yet must remain for an additional month to complete their course work.  I’m not a betting woman, but my guess is that the university has some kind of short-term accommodations available for my son.  That’s my first step.  My second step will be to try to figure out how any child of mine has grown up to expect a life of privilege and entitlement.

While my son may have learned some valuable lessons in college, it seems that he still has a few valuable lessons left to learn.


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