I am in between one son practicing his cello and one son writing his college essays. After ten years of homeschooling while being the breadwinner, my parent intuition tells me one kid is only going through the motions.
On a good day I could say, “What are you doing?”
Rather than answer, “Wasting my life in a state of inattentiveness and fooling no one,” the checked-out boy would visibly check back in.
Today is not a good day. The older son thinks nothing in his whole life has transformed him so he cannot write an essay about personal transformation.
Maybe I should prepare him for the sink-or-swim terror of adult life and tell him, “Ok, then don’t apply to college.” I don’t say that. I’m a helicopter parent or a tiger parent or a Jewish mother. Whatever I am, I’ll throw him a life vest til the day I die.
So I throw one now.