Transformative Stages and Bank Practices
As our children grow up and move out we do NOT expect to hear from them on a daily basis for a while. And that is OK. They are growing, exploring, and learning who they are. They are figuring out what it means to be “free,” and pitting their own wisdom against the world. During their first venture out, they don’t call home much because of what I call the Certainty Stage. The deep certainty that they will not ever need their parents again. Certainty that they can burn the candle at both ends and still be OK. Certainty that the world will soon fall into their plans. A certainty that no one understands their particular situation. It doesn’t really take long. I am always glad for them to move through the Certainty Stage because that usually leads to the transformative stage of “Parents might have a clue after all.”
I am not crazy about the Certainty Stage, but it has some advantages. The younger children remaining at home are often thrilled because they are enjoying the new spaces afforded them and less competition for attention at supper time. A new pecking order is established within minutes – nay, seconds – of an older one leaving home. AND if there is a need to fuss, they can generally call an older sibling and get a sympathetic ear. At least for a bit.
Within a year or so, the older ones mature, and we (parents) become smarter. They begin to call home more often just to talk. Or they call home to find out how to make a recipe that they particularly enjoy. They hesitantly call and want ideas on how to make their money stretch a little farther. Actually, they start out asking for money and I give them FREE advice on how they can manage without an infusion of MY cash. They call to tell how ridiculous it is that the banks won’t lend them money. At some point, we begin to discuss deeper issues such as spiritual matters, technology, politics, and the education system. Somehow we tend to get off on how we (parents) are failing the younger ones with our now, feeble, discipline efforts.
Every now and then, we get to experience a disconnect between the stages of the older children and the younger children.
Our third child (now 22), entered the Certainty Stage around 18 years of age and the communication from her was sporadic for a few years. Which was OK. Now, however, with the birth of HER first child, she has completely transformed. We talk daily, or twice daily, or several times daily. Depends on the situation. I am loving it, but the younger ones can get aggravated at the amount of time we text and phone each other. Often, we use our fancy phones to “face-time” at supper so that we can all see the baby’s progress.
Last week, the phone rang just as we were sitting down to supper. I tapped the speaker phone icon and told her that we were all at supper. She said, “Oh, don’t put me on speaker phone. I just wanted to vent about the Hubs.” I told her that I would call her back after we ate.
As soon as I hung up, the youngest said, “Why didn’t she talk?”
I replied, “Because it was private.”
He pressed, “But why? What about?”
In exasperation I said, “She wanted to vent about her hubs. I will call her back.”
For some reason that shut him up. We had a lovely dinner and the younger two boys were cleaning up their spaces when I heard the ten-year old ask the seven-year old, “What is a HUBS?”
I heard him confidently reply, “Something they do at the bank.”
“Oh, I didn’t know they did THAT at the banks,” he replied as if he knew exactly what was being discussed.
They finished loading their plates into the dishwasher and ran out to play.
I smiled at my own Hubs and we finished the dishes, secure in the knowledge that these innocent little boys would one day pass through the Certainty Stage and head out into the world to make their mark and we would be here waiting for that phone call.