Welcome to the trenches
Ohhhh, this crazy, upside-down inside-out world of G2e parenting. It’s not like anything (vague arm waving) out there.
It’s been 222 months since I landed in this trench. 969 weeks of every emotion you could possibly imagine, every action and reaction and overreaction in the history of man and beast, every possibility and impossibility ever. It’s been a full ~162,864 hours down here.
Not that I’m counting. Unless it’s counting to 10. Repeatedly. While doing my damnedest to not roll my eyes because I’m fairly certain insurance doesn’t cover dislocated orbitals. It’s bad enough I have to get two different sets of glasses for my aging eyes. The more things change, the more they stay the same, and knowing this doesn’t make it any easier.
This many years into G2e parenting you’d think I’d be ready for the unexpected. You would be quite incorrect, and the last few months is proof of my flatfootedness around the unexpected I should have long ago expected to be unexpected.
We’ve been dancing the 2e Pivot Key Change Cha-Cha here this year. There are no official dance movements, no programmed music, no sparkly costumes. Just sudden changes of direction, unexpected key changes, and whoooooops didn’t know you were going to dip me just then. You know, the standard life with a 2e young adult, right? Except now I walk a knife’s edge between privacy and sharing so others don’t feel quite so alone. Oh, and generalized <again with the vague arm waving> screaming, application of the forehead to the desk, venting into the judgmental silence of the interwebz.
When we pulled our kid to homeschool almost 8 years ago we hoped he’d attend high school. Gave that up when we found a supportive gifted coop community, and with online classes as well as dual enrollment, homeschooling through high school it was!
Time flies when you’re living the G2e life, and before we knew it, the college search days were upon us. (This should really be accompanied by haunting music in a minor key, preferably performed by a low-pitched instrument, maybe some wordless chanting, perhaps ominously flickering firelight). And we were caught off-guard, much like flying down the interstate and being unable to change lanes for your exit, which of course is the last one for fifty miles. But hey, there were backup plans.
So the backup plans were pulled out, dusted off, and set into motion. Plans that included the fantastic local community college, one last year with the gifted teen coop, and living at home to shore up some skills and resilience before transferring somewhere to finish the degree.
And lo, Life laughed. Life laughed long and hard, called up Murphy and his little Law on the phone, and the two of them laughed themselves damp. Then the two of them (and the un-potty-trained Law) went on a road trip to meet up with Irony, Best Laid Plans, and Never Say Never; 2e and Executive Function split the cost of the rental RV, it being BYOB for everyone. Then they all sat around and had drinks and laughed and laughed and laughed.
So the backup backup plans were hauled out, spread on the table, and spoken of in hushed whispers, so Life and Murphy and Irony and Best Laid Plans and Never Say Never weren’t roused from their drunken stupor. A full-time job as a junior programmer at the tech company where he interned this summer, a single semester with the gifted teen coop, living at home to shore up some skills and resilience, saving a butt-ton of money, getting his drivers license, acquiring more computer certifications, and a slower search for a smaller, more intimate college to attend in a few years.
The backup backup plans seem to be holding. The duct tape so necessary in a 2e family’s toolkit again came in handy, just when I thought it would no longer be needed. But the 2e Pivot Key Change Cha-Cha was an unexpected addition to what I already anticipated would be a very active and intense 2019.
I’ve never been a good dancer. I can keep a beat, I’m reasonably graceful (aka can cross the room and nearly always not trip over my feet), and really do appreciate the beauty of the human form. But I’ve gotten better. Like a tree that bends in strong winds rather than break, I am still learning to dance the 2e Pivot Key Change Cha-Cha without collapsing. I suspect it’ll be a lifelong effort, never to be mastered. And I’m good with that.
Strike up the band, there’s a Cha-Cha to dance!