Update on the home front
Last evening my wife and I had a heart-to-heart with our daughter. Shall I dare to hope? Getting through to her is like trying to get to the chocolate in a tootsy roll pop made of granite. We got a few words, though. That was something.
The sad thing is that my daughter, like so many in this world, live with fear. A life dictated, guided, and directed by fear isn’t much of a life. Fear is insidious. It’s mean and cruel. If not overcome it will inflate and infiltrate every part of the mind. Fear gives tyrants and the Bush/Cheney’s of the world power. And fear continues to maintain a wall between my beloved daughter and us. Maybe we chipped away at that wall a little last night. I hope so.
On a practical side, we decided to give her a “glimpse” of life in the real world. She has only a couple of years before she’ll have to face the world as an adult. We’ve cajoled, nudged, talked, done all we could do to get her to do a little growing up. Having failed, we’re now going to try the direct approach.
Here’s the experiment: for one month she will be “employed” by us as housekeeper. She’ll work regular hours, have assigned tasks, and be free when she’s not on the clock. We’ll pay her real wages based upon the current minimum wage. From that wage we’ll deduct all the expenses she would have to pay out if she were living alone. She’ll pay “rent” based upon the cheapest rooms in town. She’ll “pay” for meals, for entertainment, and everything else one has to pay for when one lives alone. At the end of the month, hopefully, she’ll have an idea of how difficult life is and how important it is that she knuckle down, improve her education, and make herself able to find and keep a job that pays better than the minimum.
We’ll see how this goes. When I turned sixteen and went to work I was pretty much on my own. I lived with my parents but I was very independent. Even though we’ve tried to talk, to explain, and to educate our daughter she’s stayed extremely dependent upon us. Our goal with this experiment is not only to show how life is “out there” but to show her she can learn to be self-sufficient and, maybe, we’ll shake loose some of that fear she has. I’ll update as things progress.
As to the betrayal and deception my wife has restricted her to her room for a few days with writing and thinking assignments. I do not know how things will go in the next few days and weeks in the trustworthiness department. Only time will tell. Till then I’ll just have to keep a closer watch on phones and stuff. Sad.
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