Farmer tells me to cut them loose, but he's as good at baling out teenage "independents" as I am.
How do you let them suffer when all they need is a little more cash? That's the million dollar question.
Princess turned six recently. Six is a big deal. I cut out a big paper "6" and hung it on the wall, so she faces it from her chair at the table. Princess frequently confuses six and nine while playing cards.
Show me six fingers, I ask her, and she counts.
One of her jobs this year is to etch into her consciousness the meaning of letters and numbers, so she can start adding them, as well as writing, reading, and telling the stories of her life.
She and Farmer left for town because we're short on calf tags. The house was quiet without them. Quiet can be a beautiful thing.
These days my eldest daughter is demonstrating that in order to live with ease and enjoyment, we really must be conscious of the numbers, especially outgoing and incoming finances.
What is a $100 bill worth? How is it we need six of these to pay rent, and where else could the money go? How much is left in the bank to blow? Choosing to be unaware of the numbers brings much exhausting drama.
High school graduates discover there's a price to freedom. Whoever said we lived in a free country wasn't telling the whole truth. When our children say they're free to do whatever they choose, do they know compounding consequences are also theirs, not ours?
On her last visit, I promised my eldest daughter that whenever she chose to be unaware in her life, disappointment would bite. It's a natural law, like gravity. Being mad afterward changes nothing.
Apron strings aren't long enough to do much once children leave the nest.
My son made a card for Princess' birthday and put his last $5 inside. I questioned him, but he was sure of his choice: "To spend on whatever she wants," he declared. Part of me was proud of him, giving that to his little sister.
Then I recalled his response recently when I asked him to give me a hand cleaning the yard: "Does it pay $12?" he asked.
Perhaps it could, if I also started charging them for the mess they make.