On-the-job training and lifetime experience count for a great deal in most instances, I think. If you're filling out a resume and you put down that you have twenty plus years experience on the job, that would be considered a major asset to the company doing the hiring. After all, there's not too much that would stump you after twenty years on the job.
It seems, too, that no matter how many kids you add, experience doesn't count for a whole lot. They each present new challenges and experiences that you never encountered before. And just when you think you might finally make it through the wild jungle of child-rearing, you face that inexplicable new animal: the adult child.
Joyce, my blogging friend From This Side of the Pond, wrote extremely eloquently about the joys and complexities of trying to parent a child who has turned into an adult. One of the problems is that, when our adult children are not yet parents, they have no idea how difficult this job is for us. Perhaps we've made it look so easy, that they don't realize the struggle we have trying to figure out the right way to handle each situation that comes up. I've tried to explain this to our oldest son, who is twenty-two, but I'm not nearly as eloquent as Joyce is. Nor am I as refined. So my explanations follow something along the lines of this--
I've had the additional uniquely challenging role of parenting five boys. It's been interesting trying to mother and train them while at the same time letting them develop into their own man, so to speak. It's not always been easy for their dad either, even if he is the original Indiana Jones. Occasionally, as Matt has gotten older, he and Indiana have butted heads. When he struggled with their obstinate and contrary wills, I tried to explain things to Matt. But rather than being elegant in my speech, I put it in terms any male could understand.
"Dad's marking his territory. He's Top Dog, and you're peeing on his tree."
He sometimes chafed at the rules, but he got the analogy. One time he told me ruefully, "Dad doesn't have a tree. He has a whole forest." True. His turf. His rules.
In the meantime, I thought I should get him a housewarming gift. Something that would not only grace their first home together, but would commemorate his transition into a full-fledged man on his own. So I got them a plant.
Matt now has his own tree. Welcome to adulthood, Son.
Now when are you moving the rest of your things out of the house?