Hi, me at 20!
|NOT me at 20!|
As far as that goes, though, you’ll come to believe that there’s never an exactly “right” time for anyone to have kids, and that all things considered, this timing wasn’t all that bad. You’re young and healthy yourself, you’re not trying to get a career underway just yet, and you have support around you now.
Your parents, especially your mom, really couldn’t have been better about this unexpected development. There’s room in their house for you, your husband, and the upcoming addition, and they’re letting you stay there rent-free; your mom grew up in a multi-generational, extended-family household, and as far as she’s concerned, that’s just how family works. And she’s said she and your dad will care for the baby while you and B. are in college--because the one non-negotiable is that the two of you will finish your bachelor’s degrees. And although it’ll take an extra year to do it, it’s going to happen--debt-free, too. You’re in college at a time when your combination of high academic achievement and relative poverty will actually work in your favor; you’re both getting through on grants, scholarships, and summer jobs, and your parents’ contribution is keeping your cost of living minimal.
Living in your parents’ home as a married parent yourself won’t always be easy, and by the time you and B. finish university and move out on your own--you’ll work for the Ivy League university where he'll be in grad school--you and your mom will both be ready for some distance. But you’ll always appreciate their help, as well as the fact that your untimely timing allowed your mom three years with the only grandchild she’ll ever know. When the three of you leave, she’ll already be showing symptoms of the early-onset Alzheimer’s disease that will require full-time nursing-home care eight years from now (seven years of it, until she passes away in October 1999). You won't be around for any of that. I'm still not sure whether that made it easier or harder.
|If only "getting a clue" were this easy...|
And while I still have you as a captive audience, I have a few more things to tell you:
- That decision you made, spurred by the baby-and-marriage thing, to switch your college major to Accounting will pay off just as you hope. You’ll always be employable in your field, no matter where you live, and after years of the full-time-parent/full-time-job juggling act, you’ll be glad to have a solid career track record when you have to rely on your own income. You’ll never love the work, but that’s not really one of the payoffs you’re hoping for anyway, so I suspect that’s not a surprise.
- You’ve been reading since you were four years old, and you’re a chain reader--almost never between books for more than a few hours. What you read will change over time--your tastes will expand, and improve--but reading is fundamentally part of who you are, and from where I sit almost thirty years beyond where you are now, I can assure you it’s staying that way.
- There’s not much else I can make that assurance about, other than this: you can’t plan for everything, and all too often, your plans won’t go as you planned. It doesn’t matter. You’ll--eventually, usually--end up pretty much all right anyway.
me at 48
Other posts in the #GenFab "Letter to My 20-Year-Old Self" Blog Hop: