Dear Eleanor and Wesley,
Let’s keep this short and sweet, shall we? I mean your stay in my house. Eighteen years seems like plenty of time to figure out how to exist on this planet with some degree of self-sufficiency. At such point, you ought to be equipped to sustain your own life and you can do it outside of my walls. Full disclosure, any intent to actively or passive aggressively force you from our home would be total hypocrisy. I lived with your Grammy and Papa until my Junior year of college, a couple years past eighteen, and never once felt pressured to go. It was an amazing gift. However, I also did not feel ill-equipped to venture out on my own.
The phenomenon of extended adolescence is what I would consider a cultural scourge of the current generation. The idea that 20 is the new teens, 30 is new 20 makes zero sense to me at all. I think it all stems from the way I went about things. I believe that Love is fundamental to meaning in life. Some will tell you that Love is primarily that “butterfly feeling” you get in your stomach. That is quite nice, but it is not the full grown thing. I find Love to be less glamorous, and more full of goodness. Love is inextricably tied into taking responsibility for someone else’s well-being.
In college, while others were focusing on weekend conquests, chasing experiential highs, or posturing for job position, I was completely caught up in pursuing your Mom. I married her before we graduated. Together we pursued experiences, postured for jobs, and filled up our weekends. But it wasn’t just about me anymore, and that right there is the key. I am not saying get married early. I am saying the best experiences I have ever had happened because I wasn’t worrying about myself. I was thinking of someone else. I suspect there is a contingent out there who will say that I haven’t really lived. I would tell them that when I look around, I am living just fine.
That brings me to you two. I get unbelievable joy from being the responsible party for you. Even though you maddeningly wake me up 5 minutes before my alarm no matter what time it goes off, I dig what we have going. I’m going to continue to go all out in love, support, and guidance for you as long as you give me the chance. I’ll work to steer you clear of unhealthy co-dependencies and naive ventures with those who would take advantage of you. I hope to teach you how to recognize those dangers a long way off. Trust is a carefully traded commodity. When it comes down to it, I hope you feel inspired to pursue the people in your life and pursue the world without having to be so completely wrapped up in yourself. As far as I’m concerned, you can stick around as long as you need to figure it all out.
P.S. It happens to be the ASU football season opener today. Go Devils!