For the record, I'm 53 years old. Wait. 54. Born in '59, never can do that math. I must have a mental block. At any rate, yes I do still think about what my parents will think. It doesn't keep me from anything, but I think about it. There I said it. I think about what my family will think too- my husband and my children. Other than that, generally I don't give a big fat flip what anyone else thinks, but always value input should they care to share it.
The reason I knew my Dad would disapprove is that when I was a senior in high school, I had no ambition whatsoever. No direction, no motivation, nuthin. All I knew was I wanted out of the house. I worked after school and on weekends for a family friend who was a beautician (yes, that's what they were called. Frankly, I wish the term would return to vogue or trendy status. It's too hard to say c-o-s-m-e-t-o-l-o-g-i-s-t.) At any rate, I announced one day that I wanted to enroll in beauty school when I finished college. My Daddy looked beyond incensed (about like my husband first did in aforementioned lunch date) and when he regained his ability to speak he said to me, "You must have lost your mind. You are GOING to college. Pick one. I'll drive you there."
Of course it was the right decision. The degrees served me well over the years and besides that, I lived by myself or with a roommate for four years. In doing so I learned several valuable life lesson, including but not limited to how to take care of myself without my parents being in the same home, how to live alone, and how to live with a roommate. Priceless stuff. Every kid should have the experience. I might've, sorta, kinda, (shhhh don't tell) also learned how to party. Might've engaged in that activity a little too much. Lesson learned there as well. Now I have a teenager, and remembering the party days evokes feelings from quite a different perspective. Interesting.
So back to the finishing school thing. Incredible that it has been a year and a month since I enrolled, and it will be a month or so until I am a licensed master cosmetologist, which is way too much of a mouthful for what amounts to a beautician. Hairdresser. Stylist. Haircutter. Tonsorial artist. Actually that one is a whole different licensure, but I digress. The point is, I don't feel the need for any politically correct posturing regarding the job name, and any of those terms suits me fine.
Now then. Here's my plan. Since it is so close to Christmas and my kids are off for a couple of weeks for the holiday (Remember. It's a "holiday break". NOT a Christmas break. Insert huuuuge eyeroll and teeth sucking here.) I am waiting until the first of the year to begin my assertive blitzkrieg on West Cobb County and surrounding areas. My freshman foray into this area is an exciting thought. I am such a weirdo like that. I always enjoyed employment interviews and approached them as though we were interviewing each other, with obvious deferment on my part to the interviewer leading the meeting. Besides interviewing for traditional beautician positions I also have a few novel ideas to flesh out. A couple of out-of-the-box approaches are floating around in the grey matter just waiting to be developed.
So. Home with the kiddos for vacation. First time in a year. Ohhhhhh the plans. Museums, plays, movies, bike rides, hikes, day trips. My kids roll their eyes when I excitedly discuss the possibilities, but they're gonna LOVE it. They are. Even if I have to persuade them they are. The truth is they will most likely talk me into ditching a couple of those plans in favor of staying at home and hanging out, eating cereal for brunch and making popcorn while watching movies, listening to music or playing video games, but so be it. Time together is time together. My favorite quote regarding this concept is from Mamma Mia - so I guess actually it's from an Abba song called Slipping Through My Fingers- where Meryl Streep laments:
Sleep in our eyes, her and me at the breakfast table
barely awake I let precious time go by
then when she's gone, there's that odd melancholy feeling
and a sense of guilt I can't deny
what happened to the wonderful adventures
the places I had planned for us to go
well, some of that we did, but most we didn't
and why, I just don't know
I cry every single time I hear that song. I can already feel that my incredible firstborn gift, my fifteen year old, has one foot out the door, and my delicious ten year old - my baby - is following in his brother's footsteps, pulling further and further away from Mom. Yes. I know it's a developmental thing for boys. The knowing of it does not help.
So, it is finished. Now on to the next phase - the next phase of my newest and hopefully last, professional incarnation. On to the next phase of my childrens' development. On to the two and a half weeks I am blessed to be able to spend with said children, and on to whatever the future holds. I'm smiling at it all.
"Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she rejoices at the time to come."