Today the Kid is 18. I don't even know how that happened. I just know that it did. WOW. He's pretty amazing. I am really proud of the person that he has grown up to be. But that's his story now and he can tell it how he wants to. I am going to take one tiny blog post to brag, cause OMG I DID IT.
Look, I had like the worst examples of how to parent. So my goal was was mostly "DON'T DO THAT". I can tick some pretty big things off the "That didn't happen to Kid" list. He made it to 18 without smoking, drinking, drugs, or having sex (the sex thing I don't so much care about, but I was 19 when I had him so I am hoping that a later start for him means a later start on babies as well, if he decides to have them). He also never heard anything come out of my mouth that remotely resembled the kind of emotional abuse that I went through. He has never been emotionally blackmailed with the potential loss of my love if he didn't do chores, for example. He has never been thrown out of the house to fend for himself as a child. He's never had to be the parent and had giant grown up responsibilities pushed onto him. Actually I may have kept him a little unknowledgeable on that front, dude can't remember our zip code and doesn't know how to fill out an envelope. But he can and will learn those things.
There are things I could have been better at, that's for sure. No parent is perfect. I would take back the entire beginning of 6th grade. I played that wrong. I was ignoring who Kid is for who I thought I was supposed to turn Kid into. I wasn't being myself either. We were both miserable and fighting and unhappy. When I finally said "OH FUCK THIS! THIS IS NOT US!" and calmed the fuck down, Kid and I were both much much happier.
I also wonder if I made the right choice in homeschooling him. I don't know. He's terribly introverted. Would he have been less introverted if forced into the gauntlet of high school hallways, or would he have been depressed or worse with the daily torment? I don't know. But I do know a lot of late blooming people who did fine, and I think Kid will figure that out for himself when he is motivated (probably by girls) enough to want to. That is how Kid has always worked. He does things when he is motivated to do them and not a second before. But when he is motivated WHOOOOOSH he goes from not reading at all to reading at a 12th grade level overnight. Booyah.That's my kid.
18 years, WOW. I can't believe it's here. It seemed so far away and then it seemed too close and now it's here.