* whatta ya think …

Posted on April 12th, 2010 by melinda in Another day in the life of me.

Hi.  Tonight’s post is going to be a bit different from any post I’ve ever written … stay with me here.  This post is a direct result of a conversation that I had yesterday with my neighbor.  I’ve never written about my neighbor, although he is now and has always been more like a younger brother than a neighbor.  I mean, I have a real younger brother, Thad, and then I have Davey … I’m not even sure how to describe Davey.  His mother, who often reads our blog is probably getting in her car about now to drive up here and hit me over the head with a big stick.  I don’t remember life before Davey, and I cannot imagine life without Davey, although I have cursed him a time or two over the past 30 odd years.  I may have even made a voodoo doll in his resemblance and stuck pins in it on occasion, not really, but had I thought about it … I might have, but only when I wasn’t needing him to do something for me, he’s actually very handy.  When Richard and Davey first met, it use to drive Richard insane that Davey was never (and will never be) on time for anything.  Richard is very punctual, it’s a defect I haven’t yet corrected.  I had to sit Richard down and explain to him the phenomenon known as Davey time…  Davey time works like this:  Davey shows up whenever he takes a notion, not before, not after.  You should never get angry about this, it will do you no good, you should never expect this to change, it won’t, you should never make plans with Davey that actually require you being somewhere at a certain time, you will be late, if you are not smart enough to understand that and you do make plans that require being somewhere at a certain time, you will be late and angry.  BUT!  if you need sheet rock mudded at 2 am, Davey is your man!  I do have to tell y’all, that despite all  of those things, I love him almost as much as I love cheesecake.  He never fails to make me laugh, never ever leaves without giving me a kiss and has long since stopped showing up at my house in the middle of the night, laundry in tow, loudly proclaiming how much he has missed me & the joy of seeing my beautiful self, all the while waking up my children on his way to the fridge to eat the fuzzy, molded left overs from 3 weeks ago.  Now, he lives across the street from me on the Devil’s Track, owns his own business and is a dad himself.  I imagine we will grow old together and one day he will pay me back by being the sole person responsible for changing my adult diapers.  (someone please promise me that you will not really leave Davey in charge of taking care of me in my old age, that was just a joke … a great big joke, having a gawded behind is no way to live out ones later years)!

Anyway, yesterday, I was riding the mower up to my house from Dad’s (yes, I realize it was Sunday and I was on a mower, that is an entire blog post of it’s own, my children are still on the edge of a nervous breakdown at my expense).  So, I’m cruising along on the John Deere and Davey waves me over to his driveway for some long overdue chit chat … which can be translated to say:  Davey had a question he needed to ask me.  During that conversation we somehow got on the subject of my children, who are now grown and in college.  Davey begins to explain to me that I need to let them move away from the Devil’s Track, or our home town in general, and experience life in the real world.  After a second or two of shock at the notion of Davey giving me parenting advice, I gathered my thoughts and formed a sentence that went something like this:  Davey, I am not holding my children hostage on the Devil’s Track, they are adults and can move anytime they so choose to do so.  He gave me that whatever melinda look and it occured to me that this was not the first time I have had this conversation, and not just with Davey.  Apparently, there is a common belief amongst the natives that I have somehow hog tied, threatened, coerced or bribed my daughters in to living near or with me.  As I rode on up the road on dad’s my mower, I pondered that notion … have I snipped their little wings in the bud?  I tend to think not.  I’m not sure I see the bad side of the girls being happy here.  They have a wonderful, loving, tight knit village of people who love them.  They both have the option to move at any time they want to (I may have to be committed if they do, but it’s still an option).  We can’t afford a 4 year college without a huge amount of loan debt and they are both doing exceptionally well at their current community colleges.  I realize some of you do not share this same opinion, and I’m good with that, we don’t always have to agree, but it is extremely important to me that they aren’t in debt the moment they graduate from college, although I do understand the upside of building their credit, which we have taken steps to accomplish.  I realize there are things about living on a college campus that may have been or may some day be good life experiences, but there are also things about college life that I’m glad they don’t have to be tempted by.  And, they do know all about life away from our small town … they have traveled more than most people will in a lifetime, so being exposed to different cultures or seeing new sights isn’t really on the top of my concern list.  They also have more cultural, lifestyle and ethnic diversity in their immediate every day life than most people will experience in a lifetime.  So again, I find myself asking, what could possibly be so wrong about my children being happy right here, loving their home?  So what if I happen to live here too?  So what if I happen to have raised children who value a deep sense of security and tradition?  So what if they aren’t chomping at the bit to move far far away from their mama, does that make me a bad mama or them co dependent children?  I’m pretty certain it doesn’t.  I’m fairly certain I’ve done a pretty good job, or at least I will take partial credit for doing a good job, it’s been a group effort, raising them.   I know what works for my family may not be what works for your family, please don’t think I’m trying to make an argument either way here, I’m not.  I just simply don’t understand the concern other people seem to have about the girls still living here or very close to here.  I promise I haven’t enlisted them in the Taliban, sold their birth rights, arranged their marriages or duct taped them to anything lately … shoot, I even let them cut their hair, wear pants and make up and even on occasion let them put on a bathing suit!  Maybe, just maybe, we like each others company?  Maybe it’s ok if we just do things our way without feeling backward for it.  Maybe they will move to the moon one day, who knows … what I do know is this, I will forever encourage them to seek their dreams, wherever those dreams may lead, if it’s .05 miles or 10 million miles away and I won’t apologize for our decisions or second guess myself in the process.   I learned a long time ago, if I always listened to other people’s opinions and didn’t rely on my own intuition from time to time, I would be missing out on a lot of good things in my life.  And, in this case, I think each individual family has to decide what is the best decision for their family and go with it.  It may not make sense to the others, but sometimes, that just has to be ok.

I’d be really interested in your opinion on the subject.  Be nice, even if you don’t agree with me, or I will have to beat you up!  And if any of you point out that I am truly a psycho crazy control freak mama … well, we will just have to break up forever …  even if you are right!


8 Comments on “* whatta ya think …”

  1. Courtney

    I cannot wait to come back home. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve really enjoyed my 4 years away from home in Buies Creek, and I hope I’ll enjoy the next three years. But all along my ultimate goal has been to get an education and come back home. I love it in good ol’ Taylorsville. And I love that you and your girls are there.

  2. Bobbi

    Personally, I think that having your children want to stay so close to you shows how much they love & value you. It also shows that they don’t feel pressured to have to fit into a mold that you have created for them. They are free to live their lives their way but they still want & accept your guidance when needed. I also think that it shows your family & friends are a tight knit group that has a closeness we need more of in our society. I pray that Caleb wants to have close ties & a close relationship with us when he is older & doesn’t want to move far away because he thinks I am too controlling & he can’t be his own person. I also think I need to do some growing as a parent because I try to control so much about him that I get upset over his emotions & the way he feels & reacts to things in a negative way so much that I forget he is 8 not 28. I expect him to see things my way all the time & let’s face it he is a child. That being said, no one can ever say that Caleb is afraid to voice his opinion. He gets that boldness from his dad I am praying God will use that boldness to his Glory one day. Caleb has always spoke his mind about things, sometimes it is a good thing sometimes bad but you always know how he feels about everything like it or not. And Melinda, JOB WELL DONE!! YOUR GIRLS ARE EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULE!!! As a matter of fact our youth group is an awesome bunch of kids. I am so glad to have my church family to help me in my journey as a parent!! Love in Christ, Bobbi

  3. eric

    I think “don’t say anything about them girls going anywhere, especially one of them to Southern Wesleyan (which is closer than NCSU) or you might get chewed slap out. Now having said that, its only natural that a parent likes to have their children close and you have done a good job with the girls and I know you can trust them when they move far away, far, far away.

    • melinda

      did i fail to mention that this post was for comments from anyone other than mr. preacher man? silly me.

  4. Marjorie Markham

    Your girls are very level headed. Had they felt like they wanted to go to college in another city, they would have told you. Fact is, they love being around all their family. As a advancing society, the tihinking is , in order to get ahead, we must move. Getting ahead in a job is not always the best thing. Too many times, in order to get ahead in a job, you have to work longer hours. That is ok for short term. But it usually ends up long term. The longer working hours is what is tearing apart families.

    I miss not having any family near me. I miss not being able to just go see my sister or when my parents were alive, going over on a Sunday for dinner. Unfortunately, due to this and a divorce, I don’t always have the nice family times I wish my kids had. Due to the moving around, I am the only one of my siblings, (10 of them) that live in NC. That sometimes makes my life hard.

    My first 3 kids went away to college. They still live at the moment about an hour away. Sometimes I wish they lived closer but at least they are not living on the other side of the US.

    I had many talks with Chrisi before she went to college. She is a smart girl and knew where she wanted to go. She knew she didn’t need to prove to anyone that she could stay home and be happy. She knew she could. She knew all of you would treat her like an adult the moment she was handed that high school diploma. No reason to feel guilty. You did not force them to stay. Nothing wrong with wanting to be near family. I miss my real family and glad to know, you guys are my extended family and have been for 20+ yrs.

    Love you!

  5. eric

    why? I said something nice.

  6. Jodie

    I hope and pray when my children are grown I have just as close a relationship as you have with yours. Melinda, from what I know about Anna and Chrisi, they are not afraid to voice their opinion. They are where they want to be. You have showed them the most important thing in life…LOVE!!!

  7. Anita

    I think your girls have very good values, and I think it is wonderful to have such a close knit family and that kind of relationship with your family. You have done a wonderful job, and keep it like it is….. :)

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