For my birthday six weeks ago the fam all kicked in and bought me a new laptop. This one is missing some keys, and one of the letters basically either does not work at all, or when I am not looking it just suddenly begins to go into overdrive and I get a string of that letter that won’t stop until I hit the backspace button. It has other troubles too, but that’s the one I deal with on a daily basis.
The laptop arrived yesterday. I realized that I have relied too heavily on my auto-fill function and I do not actually know most of my passwords and sometimes I don’t even know my username. I thought i could fix this by signing in to everything on the old machine and then just changing all the passwords to something quick and easy to remember until I can sign in on the new machine and get the auto fill feature going there. Only most sites want me to answer a question before I can change my password. That question? “What’s your current password?” (note- a friend clued me into retrieving my passwords via google chrome, so that’s taken care of. And my son set up my new laptop for me, complete with a memory verse reminder page for my homepage and an awesome screen snap from Big Bang’s Fantastic, Baby for my background image. That Boy knows his mama).
Still, yesterday was a great day. The HM’s school took a field trip to an area farm/nursery, and he brought home some early Mother’s Day presents for me- four fruit trees. Early Harvest Apple, Red Haven peach, Wolf River apple, and contender peach. He’s already planted them, too.
The Moptop and Pip are moving along right well. It seems he took his time, but once his mind was made up, it was made. up. “Don’t you feel like you’re suddenly on a very fast train?” I asked Pip a couple days ago. She said yes, it was kind of like that, and then she shared the date they were talking about. “That’s not a train,” I said, “That’s the Concorde, and you’re breaking the sound barrier.” She did remind me that while I have only known him just barely two years, Her Daddy’s known him longer and better, and she’s known him for almost five years- they met at a large singing a couple hours south of us where my husband and the kids have been regular participants. So they’ve been friends since high school, basically.
There’s another curious twist- years ago, when Pip was between the ages of 2 and 7, we lived in a tiny Nebraska town, population 299. There were two other hsing families in town, one of them went to church with us, also had a large family, and our kids and theirs were very good friends. Pip and one of their boys were the same age and they played house and farm together all the time. That family moved away, and then so did we. Two or three moves later (for both of us), we ended up in the same state, although about 5 hours apart. However, The Moptop lived closer to them, and he’s been good friends with several of their children for a few years- which I only discovered when I friended him on FB and totally stalked his friends list like a good future M-i-L should.
He won big brownie points on Saturday when our son and three of his friends were listening to music while cleaning the kitchen, and The Moptop went into the kitchen and asked them to pause the music while he made certain which version of a particular song they were listening to- one version has some crude language. He won even more brownie points when he thought it was doable for them to live in The Rattery, assuming we can get it finished in time for them, instead of in the same town where he and Pip go to college. Strider thought it was too far for him- because he works late nights and he didn’t want to be driving half an hour or more on the highway at 3 a.m. which I do understand. But The Rattery is only fifteen minutes away, while the college town is 45 minutes away, so I am hoping we can do The Rattery up for them.
The Moptop hadn’t really known much about The Rattery or that it was even an option (and there’s still no guarantee that it will be done in time), but he liked the sound of it when he heard I offered it. “Does your mom really like me?” he said to Pip. Well, of course, I do. Silly boy. We don’t agree to let just anybody take one of our treasures, after all. But actually, “She likes you. But she’s really not ready to lose me,” said Pip.
Leaving and cleaving and all that, I get it. I support it. But I’d do that more comfortably if the leaving bit is only 15 minutes away.
There was another clue, btw. Back in March, the HG shared a link to this article on her FB wall. And The Moptop commented, asking a serious and thoughtful question about it. And the HG was given furiously to think, as was I. Hmmmmmm, we thought. And then we didn’t think of it again until last week.=) Both The Moptop and our Pip are still in college, you see.
From the article:
“Interestingly, in a 2009 report, sociologist Mark Regnerus found that much of the pressure to delay marriage comes from parents who encourage their children to finish their education before marrying… But such advice reflects an outdated reality, one in which a college degree was almost a guarantee of a good job that would be held for a lifetime. This is no longer the case. Furthermore, with so many students graduating from college with knee-buckling debt, they have worse than nothing to bring into a marriage. Indeed, prolonged singledom has become a rolling stone, gathering up debt and offspring that, we can be imagine, will manifest themselves in years to come in more broken, or never-realized, marriages…”
“It was not the days of ease that made our marriage stronger and happier: it was working through the difficult parts. We learned to luxuriate in the quotidian, to take wonder in the mundane, skills that have become even more valuable in our prosperous years. We invested the vigor of our youth not in things to bring into the marriage, but in each other and our marriage.”
Marriage actually works best as a formative institution, not an institution you enter once you think you’re fully formed. We learn marriage, just as we learn language, and to the teachable, some lessons just come easier earlier in life.
The Moptop and the HM both have two more years of college before they graduate, and The Moptop is not interested in waiting until he graduates to marry. Pip will be done with her AA sometime next year, assuming she goes back in the fall, and I am not sure if she will or not. So as their current plans stand, one or both of them will still be in college when they marry.
My husband and I were 20 when we got married, and I don’t regret that at all. Both of us have combined college with marriage at different stages of our lives. Shasta is 31, a married father of 3 and he is combining college and a job with his role as husband and father and provider. The Moptop and Pip will have just turned 21 and 23 if their current plans don’t change. As I told Pip, there are some things that will be harder for them than they were for their married siblings, because their married siblings were 25 and 26 when they got married. But there are other things that will be easier for The Moptop and Pip because they are younger than their married siblings and in-laws were. It’s not like one set of challenges is worse than the other, it’s just that marriage always includes challenges one way or the other.
CNN had a less friendly article on marrying while still in college back in 2011. I found this amusing:
…a small number of students are doing something really counter-cultural — they’re getting married before they graduate.
“In the 19th century, to commit adultery or premarital sex was sort of a big deal, whereas in college circles today, getting married is kind of the ultimate rebellion,” he said.
Counter-cultural. You know I love that.
It’s not that everybody should get married young, but we should definitely lose the assumption that it’s always second best.
Updates: The new laptop was returned, since it turned out the keyboard was wonky, often scrolling down for no good reason while I was in the midst of typing, and required more pressure on the keys than my hands could handle.
If things go as *currently* planned- and this may change- The Moptop and Pip will both be in college for one semester after they marry. That’s when she finishes her AA and she hasn’t decided if she wants to do more than that or not. It’s not really a financial decision for her- she goes to college for free as the child of a disabled Vet and this is true whether she is married or not. Sure, it’s a blessing, but not exactly an unmixed blessing- those of you feeling envious should think about the HM’s 20 years of service, the time away from his family, the emergencies I dealt with on my own while he was in Saudi, and his knees, back, and the metal plate and six screws in his arm which make him a disabled vet. Just sayin’