trying yet again to find the balance

My nineteen year od and her eighteen year old brother will be testing for their brown belt in a little over four weeks. I only know this because as we picked them up from karate last night I heard in passing the test was coming up.
“So,” I say,”Your brown belt test is coming up soon.”
“No,” responds my daughter, “It isn’t until the week before the second tournament”
” The tournament in March fifth” I reply
“I know” My daughter says
” That means the belt test is the last week of February,” I continue.
“Yeah.” says my daughter.
“We are in the third week of January,” I explain,hoping she will do the math in her own head.
“Yeah” she responds in a tone of voice that lets me know this proves her point-the belt test is far down the road.
“That’s only four or five weeks away” I continue. “Do you need to practice?”
“I know everything” She responds confidently. ” All I need to remember is all my early belt stuff. I don’t remember any of that. And my self defense.”
That is a lot on information. The brown belt test is not anything like testing for the black,but it is difficult.
She had also forgotten that we no longer pay for her karate fees-including the nearly two hundred dollar brown belt test fee. She is nineteen and has a job. If she had tested last year we would have payed half. We are paying half for her brother. She gave me a look to tell she did not think this was fair.
We are trying to find a way to transition these two into adulthood. They are only ten months apart in age. They are both legal adults. They should (crossing fingers) finish high school this year. They handle their twelve hours of work each week very well. They are well liked by their co-workers. They do work hard while at work.
However,they never try and pick up hours. They do not want to learn to drive. They have no attainable goals for the future. My son does not even have pipe dreams.
Both of them have resisted everything we have tried to do to help prepare them for independence. They tell us they are not afraid of being independent. We tell them they should be-everyone is. They seem to think it will come about with no effort on their part. Magicly they will have full time employment in an age where that is hard to find without a degree or contacts. They will be able to work nearly full time for their dad. Eight bucks an hour at thirty hours a week is not going to finance the life style they think is going to fall into their laps. More than once we have told them that they will not live at home for free when they graduate. They must be full time students to have free rent. If not,we will charge them rent. We will also charge them for gasoline if we are still playing chauffeur. I don’t know what else to do.
I know I will resent them hanging around the house doing nothing unless directly asked. I already feel that way some days.
The Wii died. It looks like it has been dropped a few times. They are very surprised we are not replacing it.
Their response was along the lines of “well, we still have the (eighteen year old’s) PS3” They also have hundred’s of dollars in Wii games that they now no longer care about because they would have to pay for the counsel.
They would be more than happy to play the games if we pay-if not, they are just as happy to abandon them.
Sometimes I think they feel that way about us. As long as we provide for them they are happy to be family. Once we start expecting them to provide for themselves we aren’t as advantageous.
There are other times I think they are very attached to us.
Only time and circumstances will tell.


About lenell

Wife to a very patient man and mom to 8 interesting kids via birth,marriage and adoption. Grandma to nearly 5,nearly perfect grandchildren.
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