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Posts Tagged ‘adult children’

The Evolution of Children

mary and jackI recently read something that said husbands and wives get bored with each other because we never change.  But we never get “bored” with our kids because we expect them to change constantly and that’s what they do.

This isn’t an earth shattering revelation but man is it a true statement.

My husband, Alex Hampo is the exact same man he was when we got married.  He works too much, smokes too much and doesn’t take care of himself.. He loves his family first and foremost, in fact he really doesn’t like anyone but our family. He’s fearless and hates confrontation unless it’s in his kitchen.  Then he’ll bow up on a bus or a big ass dishwasher.

My kids, on the other hand are lava lamps. The change is constant.

Growing up we all felt pretty certain Mary would eventually be a lawyer/political figure. She was addicted to Murder She Wrote, loved to argue…dramatically and was passionate about all kinds of political topics.  When people would make ugly remarks about lawyers and politicians, trying to discourage her I told her time and time again, “A good attorney or lawyer can do more good in a single day than the rest of us can accomplish in a life time.”

Then she got to college and things changed.  Mary was all about non-profits and saving the world through the  .org people. She even considered starting her own organization that made birthday cakes for little kids in shelters. Her non-profit passion lasted for five years. Now she’s sick of non profits and more than a little discouraged by their sense of entitlement and  lack of hustle.

Next week Mary starts a new job with a law firm and is more excited than I’ve seen her in years. She’ll be a Litigation Specialist . I’m not sure what that means but at twenty six she now officially has a job that sounds way more important than mine.

Jack went to college to make me happy. He graduated, handed me my diploma and started his life.  He’s always been exceptionally good with money For six or seven years now Jack has worked as a bartender and manager at some of the best known bars and restaurants from Manhattan to Nashville. He makes huge money for a young man. He dates beautiful women and is able to buy himself anything he wants from electronics to expensive tennis shoes.  But what Jack really loves to do is save his money and go on grand adventures. He goes surfing in Puerto Rico, hiking in Hawaii, he spent a month just hanging out on the beaches of Belize and swimming with manatee. He roams the globe from Turkey to Kentucky.

Last November jack called to tell me he wasn’t coming home for Christmas this year.  We were all shocked. Jack loves Christmas with the family. He explained he’d decided to host a dinner for all the homeless men in his Nashville neighborhood. He’d enlisted lots of local restaurants  to help, there were goodie bags with socks and gloves for the guys who showed up. And he had lots of unlikely volunteers who really wanted to help too. Bar people, who don’t normally volunteer, but were suddenly touched by the power and magic of giving to others. He called me Christmas eve so excited , so full of stories about serving these homeless men I just listened and cried.

Jack, the money making glob trotting man is now working on a way to create a Non-profit that connects unexpected volunteers with projects they can really get behind.

Jack and Mary have flip flopped and it’s absolutely spectacular. Nothing boring about it. I just want them to find their joy in life.

And Alex, maybe he’s changed a little.  He doesn’t mind if I buy crunchy peanut butter anymore and he’s learned how to text like a teenage girl. “I luv u”  with a little winky face. That’s progress.

 

If you like this story you can get a whole book full for just $2.99 on Amazon!

http://www.amazon.com/Raising-Kids-You-Actually-Like-ebook/dp/B00NN2FOBW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1420218655&sr=8-1&keywords=Diana+McDaniel+Hampo

 

 

Sit Down And Shut Up When You visit Your Kid’s Apartment

If you have a son or daughter who moves into their own place please read this. First, remember, if your kid invites you over you are really lucky. Nine times out of ten children will insist on meeting you in public so you can’t see how they are living. And sometimes it’s better that way. Maybe you can’t handle the truth.

But if you decide to go in you need to follow some serious rules.
When you first walk in, no matter what kind of nightmare national disaster you encounter, you must not gasp, shake your head or say something like ”
“Oh Lord.” You must keep smiling and talking without staring at the hairy kid with the catfish tattoo who’s sleeping on the couch. And don’t touch him either. Do not comment on the forty three Taco Bell bags behind the couch.
Now, find a place to sit down, then stay there. And don’t act like finding a chair is a big deal, even if you have to dig past dirty clothes and beer cans. Be Cool. Act as though it’s not a big deal. And please, do not pull out a germ-X wet wipe.

Once you are seated, stay there. That will keep you from doing the one thing you must not do. Clean. You absolutely positively can not start cleaning. Don’t touch the nasty dishes, don’t put dirty clothes into the empty laundry basket, do not empty the revolting ash trays. Just sit down and hold still If you start cleaning , you will offend your kiddo and they won’t ask you back. For at least 18 months. Would you walk into a friends house and start cleaning? I hope not.

While you are there, try not to use the bathroom. Sometimes a bathroom is so foul you’ll forget all the rules and start cleaning or crying.
Do not comment on the smell in the apartment, unless you seriously smell something burning. It’s their home. If they like the smell of wet dog and bong water that’s fine. Maybe what you smell is the roommate so bite your tongue and keep smiling and breath through your mouth..

If they offer you something to eat or drink, take it and say thank you. Do not point out that the coffee mug is chipped and dangerous, drink from the other side. Don’t try to pick the dried cheese off the plate with your fingernail. And don’t ask where the nice plates you gave him at Christmas went. Just take what they give you, look relaxed and smile. And you actually need to eat or drink, you can’t just fake it.

If a member of the opposite sex walks out of the bathroom or appears from a closet or bedroom don’t say, “Who are you?” Be polite and say something like, “Hi, I’m Diana, Joe Joe’s mom.” Again, be polite, You might try  “Those are  really pretty beads in your hair”.  Do not be nosey, you may not look at your son and say, “Did she sleep here last night?”. You actually don’t want to know the answer.

And finely, do not start poking around. Do not open drawers or cabinets, do not dig through closets. I promise you, you will not like what you find (a zip lock full of assorted condoms or midget porn). If you rummage  you are invading their privacy and you’ll never get invited back.

Things will get better as you child gets older. Eventually, they will clean the fridge and do the dishes, it just might take sometime.

Remember, your kid loves you, they invited you over! That’s an honor and probably means you did a good job. So, keep loving them and ignore the beer can sculpture.