I got in trouble yesterday.
For the last several weeks I’ve been playing matchmaker between an elderly relative on the other side of the country who needs a companion and a young lady in our community who is floundering around trying to figure out what comes next in life for her. Leah is a lovely young woman who has grown up in the local homeschool community. She is talented, smart and very beautiful. Leah doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life and isn’t willing to put in any more semesters at the university until she figures that out.
When Aunt Sadie called to tell me that she really does, finally, need help driving (thank you, Jesus!) and just managing the mechanics of life and would I please keep my eye out for a young woman who might be a suitable companion…well, Leah was the first to come to mind.
Aunt Sadie came to visit and met Leah. They both enjoyed each other and are willing to start a dialog about what a companion job might look like.
Then yesterday, Leah’s mom confronted me at Bible study. She needed to talk to me about what I had been doing behind her back (!) with her daughter.
Leah is 21. I didn’t MEAN to go behind anyone’s back! Leah doesn’t live at home anymore. It honestly never occurred to me to ask her parents if it was okay to share a job opportunity with their daughter.
I was discussing the situation with Mountain Man and he pointed out that if some other family was trying to convince my 17-year-old that he needed to take a job 3000 miles from home, I would probably want to be part of the conversation. And while Leah is 21, she is a girl…and I don’t really know how differently protective I might feel about a daughter.
What this little dust-up has illustrated for me is that even when our kids get big, different parenting styles and choices can still cause tension. I wouldn’t think twice about someone persuading my 21-year-old son to travel across the country for a job, but some other mom might.
Our differences no longer center around what curriculum we use or whether or not we believe in spanking or junk food or dating. The issues may well be BIGGER!
I listen to another one of my friends talk about her expectations on her married daughter and grandchildren. Yikes. SO not how I would approach things, but evidently it’s how things run in THAT family.
The challenges of navigating different parenting approaches haven’t gone away. I still have the ability to get into trouble with other moms. I STILL need to live graciously with differences.