Oy.

Many of my colleagues have college-aged children, urticaria and are paying the way for their children to attend colleges of their own chosing with the understanding that said children will get good grades and make something of themselves. These colleagues were horrified to learn that my parents held high the value of their children having the honor of paying their own way through school. There was no “college fund” waiting for my brother or me to turn 18. This is not to say that my parents don’t value higher education – quite the opposite. However, sickness they understand what a source of pride it is to know that you’ve paid your own way in life. They also know what students who aren’t paying for English Comp 101 are likely to do, or not do. My colleagues feel strongly that it is the parents’ job to provide every advantage possible for their children, even into adulthood.

I can see both sides of this situation. I was fortunate enough to land a full scholarship that paid my way for the first two years, and when science courses (physics in particular) kicked my butt and I lost said scholarship, I was fortunate in that the university I chose wasn’t very expensive. By my reckoning, I only have 3.5 years of student loan payments to go! Woo!

Today DH and I were struck with a blinding flash of insight – we realized why parents save for their children’s college educations. It’s not so much to assure they will be able to attend hallowed institutes of higher learning. It’s not to pave their way to becomming adults capable of functioning as valued members of society. It’s not to reserve them a solid place in the middle class free of cumbersome loans.
No.
Parents save for their children to go to college so that in 18yrs or less they can be assured that their children will LEAVE THE HOUSE. College is not so much an opportunity for the children so much as a society-approved method of getting RID of the children. No, we’re not kicking you out, Billy and Suzie, we’re sending you to college! Lucky you! Here’s some quarters for the laundry and don’t forget to write!
College funds are a sort of life insurance to ensure that the parents will someday have a life again. Of course, by then they will be so worn down by the years of screaming and diaper changing and wrestling crabby toddlers and wiping bottoms and force feeding infants Mylecon drops and dancing and patting and hushing and picking dog hair off pacifiers and coloring Pooh Bear and doling out jelly beans three at a time and explaining that you don’t need another bun because you already have a bun on your plate and don’t step on your sister and holy crap the baby’s crying again please God make it stop that they will have no energy left to do more than sit and drool by that point.

It’s been on of “those” days. Now if you’ll excuse me, my naked two year old is running around the living room dancing to some bluegrass polka something from “Prarie Home Companion.” A few more hours and at least one of us will be blissfully asleep.

4 thoughts on “Oy.

  1. You are aboslutely correct. We are saving knowing that 16-18 years down the road Adam and Kate will be out of the house. I will no longer have to listen to Adam telling me “Don’t like that banana, I want cereal” to “Don’t like my cereal, I want pancakes” to “Don’t like pancakes, I want yogurt” and so on and so forth.
    He can get his own breakfast and since I won’t be there, he can have all the M&M’s he wants for breakfast.

  2. “screaming and diaper changing and wrestling crabby toddlers and wiping bottoms and force feeding infants Mylecon drops and dancing and patting and hushing and picking dog hair off pacifiers and coloring Pooh Bear and doling out jelly beans three at a time and explaining that you don’t need another bun because you already have a bun on your plate and don’t step on your sister and holy crap the baby’s crying again please God make it stop”

    So now you’re not content with throwing rocks at Shaler, but have taken to peering into our house to see what’s going on, and then writing it down verbatim on your blog? Shame on you.

  3. Enjoy children while they are little..they grow up much too quickly. :) I think letting a child find their own way through college, with a saftey-net called parents, is not a bad thing. Learning that you can handle adult life before you truly have to do it on your own is a good experience. If you don’t give your children wings, they’ll never learn to fly.

  4. Sarah! It’s great to have met you last week at our little shindig. You need to submit your blog! ;)

    -Mike from pghbloggers.org

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