I Have a Choice Before Me

With the college boy home for his senior year, should I be hard-necked about all those rules he followed as a child (which he’s seemingly forgotten) or shall I make his last year (will this be his last year?) at home pleasant, with reduced stress for him, as he wades through a bit of depression and a heap of anxiety?

I had a discussion with my daughter regarding the overwhelming anxiety college students are experiencing regarding job prospects in today’s economic reality. I am reminded of this conversation when the college boy gets an all too often blank glaze in his eyes.

Will I be harming him for life if I simply choose to look past neglected chores? Will choosing to pick up his household slack in favor of a joyful greeting (painfully swallowing the curt response on the tip of my tongue) be wise or folly? Is the “love you mom’s” worth the lazy habits I’m ignoring? If I choose the stress-less scheme, will he leave the house in a year’s time with unrealistic expectations and with an entitlement complex or with appreciation?

I can hear my dear Empty Next friends advising me to negotiate a contract with him, detailing my set of expectations. The fatal problem with that idea is me: I don’t want to police a contract. Talk about stress!

I think I’ll be doing lots of tongue biting over the next months. Of course college-boy may surprise us all by not being a returned child at home, but by taking up the manly mantle. And wouldn’t that warm a mother’s heart?