Monday, June 25, 2012

The Morals of Today (& Yesterday)

Having a college student return home for the summer is a kind of like a cultural exchange program. A person comes to live in your home whom you know, but you sort of don't know. Things have changed between the time you dropped him off at school in September and the time he arrives home in May; events have occurred for which you were not present, of which you haven't been informed - which is just as well, judging from some things I've seen on facebook. Not my son's facebook page, specifically, but facebook in general!

I am friends with our son on facebook, but I'm not allowed to comment or tag him in photos or postings. He set the ground rules. I'm fortunate to be his friend on facebook, from what I understand; not all parents are allowed to do this. I abide by the rules he set so that we can remain friends in that forum.

David has found some of our rules at home to be a bit uncomfortable, after being away at college. I recall the same feeling, returning from college in Southern California to my parents' home in Washington. I couldn't understand why they cared what time I came home at night, for example. I was away all year, self-regulating, and answering to no one. Why should I have to consider their rules over the summer?

Because I am their daughter and was living in their house, that's why.
Cara, Phil & David hiking
David and I were discussing the difference between the way things are today and the way they were when I was his age. I admit to being a bit old-fashioned; I have a little bit of the Victorian, romantic and idealist in me. Dinosaur? I think not. Modern? Possibly not all that, either.

Anyway, I was discussing this with David, and the conversation went something like this:
Me: I just want you to be a man of honor, a man of integrity, a gentleman. You know, we named you after King David in the Bible, a noble man with a heart for God.
David:  You mean the guy who stole someone's wife, and had him killed so that he could keep the wife?
Me:  Well, yes...I mean, no - well, yes, he did that, but he repented! He was also a poet, a musician, a man of valor, and he had a huge heart for God...
David:  Yes, he repented AFTER he did the other things.
Me:  Yes, that's true,

I just put my foot in my mouth and proved a point I didn't mean to prove. You can quote the Bible to support just about any point of view, by the way. It's a big book, full of the truth of human nature! (And I'm not suggesting that David was advocating adultery and murder; he was just following the trajectory of the argument.)

Possible Morals of this story: 
*Talking can get you into a lot of trouble. The Norwegians are mostly silent for a reason; we French/Germans have a lot to learn from them.
*King David is still a wonderful role model in many ways.
*Old fashioned mores are not bad.
*Loving and allowing people to make their own choices (and allowing them to deal with the consequences) is probably the only (albeit uncomfortable) way to go, at this point.
*Parents have a lot to learn, always.

"Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.
This is the Law and the Prophets."
- Matthew 7


Elizabeth said...

Oh, this made me laugh! I have a very strong memory of the first time I came back from college. I had gone out with my high school friends, and when I pulled up into my driveway at 3:00 am, I saw my father standing at the top of it, in his robe, looking very, very grim. I was terrified. He saw me, turned around and walked back into the house without a word! The next morning was NOT pleasant, and it's a memory that still makes me shiver a bit -- and laugh!

Busy Bee Suz said...

Oh my gosh. I could have written this post!
Growing pains....and I think it isn't just our kids; but us too.
I described a certain someone recently as: She has a personality disorder. She is not the same person one year ago.
it is hard. We will get through it...hopefully with all our hair still in our heads.
I kinda thought that was what you were referring to earlier. I had to have Jeff give a "come to Jesus" talk because I thought I might injure the certain someone.

Karen said...

Agony. Watching a teen become an adult. Watching a college student get influenced in ways outside our comfort zones, or how we raised them. My son would have answered exactly as your David did! Fortunately the Good Shepherd goes after His sheep and it's not up to us alone as parents. You are wise if you can let him live by his own consequences. Sometimes that is very hard to do. :)

Leslie said...

Wow. Isn't it ever so ironic I did not read this blog posting until just now? Love you Karen, and love David too. What a hoot! (per our conversation earlier.)


kappa said...

The naming story of David is so funny. i loved it.

It's hell when yoour kids have answers for everything.



Karla said...

I love it. That's one smart young man you raised there.

AnnDeO said...

My niece was recently in a bit of trouble for coming home and saying her "parental units" were infringing on her lifestyle. Made me giggle.

Kay said...

Thankfully we aren't 'there' yet, but I know my day is coming. Hang in does get better...from what I've heard. : )