Everything's Coming Up Rosen
Emily’s been writing a column, essays, travel stories, profiles, features for over 20 years. Her work is available for syndication and reprint.
I am the self-appointed president/dictator of “The Bleeding Tongues” club. We (“I”) do not yet have a sophisticated organization and so I am, acting in my additional capacity as Membership Chairperson.
Here is the very simple criteria for membership. Listen up, young people. You may soon be one of us.
1) You must be the parent of an adult child. This entitles you to a Category One membership.
2) As a parent of a married adult child, you become a Category Two member. Dues decrease as your category number increases, because – I said so.
3) The parent of a married adult child with children of his or her own, hits the jackpot as a Category Three member, with dues deferment.
Adult children, of course, refers to anyone over the age of 18, until which age you have nominal and legal control (responsibility) over some very specific areas of their lives – namely – money! Beyond 18, we are talking (legally) optional. Until that age they behave as if they believe themselves to be adults . At 18 they know they are adults and separation from parents is the nirvana many of them seek.
This is when you have lost control . Sure, a nice “let me tell you why I believe there is a better way to handle this,” sometimes works. But when it doesn’t and the “adult kid” is determined to do something that is nuts (which may actually NOT be nuts, but I’m on your side here) that’s when it’s time for the tongue to go back in its cage, possibly with a slight nip.
As your adult children with children of their own (especially, but not limited to – teenage kids) wrestle with the unbridled spirits who have absolute certainty that their parent (YOUR child) is a bloomin’ idiot who has never been their age and surely has no sensitivity or understanding of their feelings, (never meander into a dangling sentence like this) – then these adults in their crazed state, will inspire you to tell them a thing or two about raising kids.
The bottom line is: watch it all happen and keep your mouth shut. Put your tongue back in your head, bite a little harder, suck up the blood and somehow manage to say “Yes, dear,” He or she has enough trouble from the other end and doesn’t need any mouth from you, much as you have wisdom on your side.
You will want (here, I am conjecturing) to maintain the most respectful and loving relationship possible with your own progeny. You do NOT accomplish this by criticizing, or by suggesting that they don’t know how to parent, and that if they would only do it YOUR way, it will transform the kids (your grandkids) into – what’s the English word for “Mensh?” And if you start to notice a bit of blooding oozing from your tongue , well so be it.
For those of you in categories 1 and 2 – you’ll be dealing with your child’s choice of college, career, friendships, lifestyle and — oh Lord! choice (or non choice) of spouse.
This of course will give you a head start on hauling in the tongue, especially the last one. With the discipline you’ve learned from these experiences, you will be eligible for Category Three Membership in the Bleeding Tongues Club wherein we provide shoulders to cry on , plenty of free tissues, and pathways to a free-er life wherein you will learn to find joy and fulfillment without giving your kids the benefit of your infinite wisdom — at which time, the bleeding will stop.
Applications at my email address.