The Empress and I talked yesterday about my upcoming schedule, and it is all good news. I’ll go back to two days a week at the store, we have an exciting publishing project coming up, I’m back to the workshop and conference round, and the future looks reasonably bright. I will now be able to begin seeking out a little supplemental work, since my schedule is settled.

I actually made it to my scheduled walk with Partygirl last night. She and I were able to commiserate with one another about our kids and finances. Not that I have much to complain about with my kids, but there is one big issue, and the overall level of teen angst is too high chez fibermom.

Here’s something about teenagers: you cannot expect them to be appreciative.

For one thing, we have kids for our own reasons. They do not apply to be our kids. When they are small, we never think about why we are caring for them and doing things for them, or what sacrifices we make for them. They need our care. It’s a basic human relationship. We love them. We don’t consider that they might be more trouble than they are worth. As they get older, we still love them, but it begins to feel as though we are doing things for another big person, and on some level we expect them to notice that and appreciate it. But they usually haven’t noticed the change. We are their parents, and we always have taken care of them, so what’s different? Except that now they would like us to continue taking care of them without interfering in their lives at all, because they feel like they are big people in completely different ways.

For another, they are thinking only of themselves. This is developmentally appropriate. Adolescents are hardly even aware that other people exist at all, except as potential audience members.

So #1 son has yet to do the things he is supposed to do for his scholarships. With our currently parlous financial situation, we really need him to take the five minutes involved, face the conceivably embarrassing moment of walking into an office to sign papers, and just get it done for heaven’s sake. I compare that effort with my having to take a second job and not buy anything till he graduates, and it seems ludicrous that he is hesitating.

But of course #1 son is busy with freshman angst. He is having his new college student identity crisis, and doesn’t want to bothered with paperwork while he is deciding whether he really wants to be in college, or considers changing his major, or suffers over having to live at home where people feed him and clothe him and nag him about his paperwork all the time, or worries about whether he will have friends and why he still feels like a high school student and whatever else freshmen suffer over the first few days.

#1 daughter is very sympathetic. She remembers being 18 and feeling as though every word your parents say is intolerable. She can laugh about it.

I think that if he would just go sign the blasted papers, I would happily leave him strictly alone till he is through with his teen angst.

After all, I have some angst of my own to pay attention to. I don’t need his.

Partygirl is 32 days away from her daughter’s wedding. She is counting down the days. There has been eye-rolling and suggestions that the parents are being stingy as they shell out more money for the wedding than they spent on their first house.

She thinks that maybe her daughter should be appreciative.

But I told her, it’s not going to happen. Not for several more years.