Maybe some useful advice for the kid who is ready to steal the coop
When I first blackened these beautiful pages – in the previous millennium, in the eleventh month of the year of our Lord 1997 – I wrote about the woman who told me that she was pregnant with our first child. Specifically, “baby is coming and your life will never be the same again, and since it’s the good old days, I have to take the buckboard to the dry goods store and stock up on hard-tack, pemmican and sassafras. “
Note – that last part on the buckboard and food may be anachronistic and not in the original column – I’m confusing all that 19th or 20th century stuff with that whole number that doesn’t match.
Well, whatever the century, this child-rearing adventure has come to an end. We just wrapped up that then theoretical baby and sent it 893 miles away, without a hint of pemmican or a hard nail, notice.
Yes, my little girl now has all of her adult degrees, awesome job, and boyfriend / fiance – I don’t know how to identify her, but I’m constantly being told by all of my kids that my IDs, pronouns, and language of base are now obsolete and offensive in any century.
The point is, she’s gone, doesn’t need me anymore, and my role as a parent has changed from a provider, a life coach, a pretty big guy to a name that appears on caller ID. and she has to decide if she’s in the mood to put up with my nonsense (No, daddy, I’ve never seen possum chew gum. Can I let you go? I’m a little busy right now to do adult things) if not Sunday afternoon compulsory call time.
As she drove off for the last time our mail shared the same address, I stood at the end of the driveway, watching the road and listening to “Landslide” on repeat and having chambered “dust allergies” if any drivers passing by asked me questions about my water eyes.
There was actually a little bit of coziness there, but after a while the woman told me I was freaking out the neighbors (“Did he have a stroke?”) So could I get it? please gaze sadly and glassy eyed at the horizon from the garage.
I have to admit, I really don’t dig into this part of parenting. I like to be a necessary thing for someone, but if you do it right then you are ultimately not necessary. The worst part is that I’m not even sure I parented properly. I’m pretty sure she didn’t – she did well in spite of myself – her departure being a good example. I forgot to give her the Polonius speech required when I sent her out into the world.
In “Hamlet”, when Polonius sends his child away from Denmark, he gives him the speech of “never a borrower or a lender” and so on. Even though Polonius is an idiot and even dies in an embarrassing way, the speech is pretty good considering that I am an idiot and will probably die in an embarrassing way. (He got cut by a passing car while standing at the end of the driveway for no apparent reason?). I have been writing my exit counseling speech for the past 20 years or so. Namely, my list that I had to tell him that I give you, if you want, need or can benefit from it or not: (I have to do something with it).
- Never will a borrower of a credit card be.
- Always wave at the parades. It’s really your only purpose to be there
- Never turn your back on a grouse, especially if you are eating a taco. (You, not the grantee).
- Always go to the funeral. It’s a small thing that has a huge impact.
- Never use your horn in anger.
- Even if you win a fist fight, it still hurts to be punched in the face. Do not do it.
- Chapstick is addicting. You don’t need it, so don’t start.
- If you have to ask, “Does this make me look fat?” It does. Don’t embarrass others with the question.
- Although snakes are more afraid of you than you are of them, you scream and they express their fear with heart-stopping venom, so they win.
- When faced with a tortoise and hare situation, always take the hare unless it looks incredibly stupid or mutilated. Shouldn’t even be near.
- People don’t have to earn your respect. You just give it to them because you’re a human, unless they force you to.
- Never trust someone who is 110% sure.
- You’ll never look at a 20 year old tattoo thinking, “Yeah, that looks good. ”
- Despite the evidence to the contrary, the squirrels in your backyard aren’t conspiring against you (I think).
- Less food, more exercise. All other regimes are superimposed.
- Nature always wins.
- Don’t work really hard to make your kids better human beings than yourself and then be angry that they are.
- Always pack pemmican and don’t stay at the end of the aisle for too long.
Gosselink is a humorous columnist for advertiser Bastrop.