On Boomerangs and Pipe Dreams

They call them ‘boomerang kids,’ the kids who go away to college and afterwards move back in with their parents until they get launched in life. I’m not sure I quite like the term boomerang, because I’m not sure it really describes the situation.

When you launch a boomerang, it comes back to you quickly and looking just the same as when you threw it. But, with boomerang kids, you send off these young, kind of gawky teenagers who are not so sure of themselves and what they want to do in life. What you get back is vastly different – mature young adults with a clear idea of the life they want to lead. At least, that’s what has happened in our case. My daughter and her young man are moving in with us today, bringing a big pile of boxes and a lot of dreams for the future.

Not pipe dreams, though. These kids have solid career plans and a good idea of what they want their future to look like. I think they are both smart and hard working enough that they’ll achieve it. It’s a bit of an uphill climb in today’s economy, but I still believe in the American dream and I definitely believe in these kids and their ability to do what they set out to do. While it may take them longer than it otherwise would, they’ll be successful, I just know it.

Parenting is full of all kinds of advice, much of it from well-meaning strangers. I can’t even say how much advice I’ve had over the years, from good to bad, not to mention downright quirky. One piece of advice that’s always stuck with me was a quote from Jonas Salk:

Good parents give their children roots and wings. Roots to know where home is, wings to fly away and exercise what’s been taught them.

— Jonas Salk

As parents, did we achieve this? I think that we did, because both my daughter and her young man are exceptionally well-grounded. That said, I think a lot of the credit has to go to them. In the end, all a parent can really do is teach what they know and pray a lot. The success or failure of any person’s life really depends not just on what they learn but also on what they do with it.

How will they do? I can’t predict the future but I will say that I believe for them, it will be very bright. I hope the same for all of you and your children.

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2 thoughts on “On Boomerangs and Pipe Dreams

  1. Lisa H Ross says:

    What were the graduation speeches like? I graduated in a good (bubble!) economy and found the transition hard.

    • mardeeknits says:

      Sadly, they got the head of the Iowa Farm Bureau as their commencement speaker and he was pretty boring. The senior class president was only given about 30 seconds to speak. I think everyone was trying to keep it pretty upbeat because it was graduation day but I’m sure both grads and parents are a bit worried.

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