Saturday, August 9, 2008

Tough Love

So here's the plan... because you know I have one. Thought that I would take a minute to explain the "windows in the shop" comment from the other day.

We have a shop in the back yard by the pool. It is about 15x15... you've seen it; it looks like a yard sale was dumped in there. It's actually in better shape these days, because Brian still does not have a job and I am running out of manual labor for him around here in my attempt to make him miserable enough to motivate him take this job hunting seriously.

Speaking of Brian, he is quickly approaching his 19th birthday. Young men this age need to work. They need to be in school. They need to have a car OF THEIR OWN. They need to at least be on the road to independence, if not there. To that end, Brian is moving out... to the shop. It is unfinished in the extreme. It has a roof, a door, a concrete floor, electricity... oh, and a refrigerator. All that a boy/man could need.

I have bought him two windows for his birthday. He will have to install them with his grandfather. He has already bought an air conditioner. It's in a box on the floor. We have been talking about this move for months. Brian loves to talk. He's not so big on action. I have told him that on the day after his birthday ( 15 days from now) he will be parking his carcass in his own "studio apartment" and that I may invite him for dinner now and again.

I remind him how the eagle momma lines her harsh nest with love and bits of fluff and leaves and softness in anticipation of the baby's arrival. Over time, as it grows, she throws out the comforts until she finally has to throw him over the cliff to teach him that he really has the capacity to fly. I am throwing him over the cliff... because I love him. I am also tossing out a case of Ramen so he doesn't starve.

He told me the other day that one of his friends (another 19/20 year old, eating at his momma's table... and mine these day) said that he couldn't live in the shop because it is a "health hazard". I would love to take him to Central America so that he could see the conditions that the majority of the world lives in to help him with his perspective.

I told him that there were no health hazards to sleeping in the tent.


rthling said...

You can do this. But I think you're going to have to do the ugly thing and actually kick him out. Sure, he'll be angry with you...
for a while. But he will thank you in the end for it.
You and I both know that he doesn't do anything unless he wants to do it. If you stop providing, he will want to sooner rather than later. And he won't starve to death, I'm sure.
He has a building, two brand new windows and an air conditioner to install. He has a room of furniture to move into this building. He has much more than many kids his age, and he has parents who are willing to let him have the poolhouse/shed to call his own. (and access to a toilet, so he doesn't need a bucket.)
What more could a boy need/want, a piano?

Joanna said...

Wow! I'm suddenly afraid of the future. My BIL is one year younger than me and he STILL lives at home.