This is an older photo of Logan but good lord it is one of my absolute favorites of him. I think this was about two years ago. He still looks like a little boy here. Cannot believe he just turned 14. Blows my mind and makes my heart ache. As Logan begins eighth grade, there is no hiding from the fact that high school is right around the corner and college perhaps soon to follow. What Logan wants to be when he grows up has obviously changed a million times over the years as it should. Kids interest change, grow deeper or sometimes just fall off. It's all a part of the experience of figuring yourself out, discovering your strengths, passions, weaknesses and the person you truly want to be. Logan is doing this but at this point in his life, he is starting to think about all of these things more and more. Somehow, 4 years from now, he will be 18.
The other day, out of the blue, he told me he thinks he would really like to be a mechanic. He wants to work on old cars and restore them. This surprised me and there was this tinge inside of me that felt so weird that part of me thought, what the hell? Why were those feelings even felt. Logan has always LOVED cars ever since he could hold a toy one in his hand. He's always had hot wheels, played with cars, had posters up of cars and been a builder, a puzzle solver and looking for ways to create something. Then I realized that those feelings were brief and shook off but they were feelings like, perhaps that wouldn't be good for him because it's not "college", it's not a respected career by the majority and sadly I thought, what does that say about me as a parent? It made me angry and furious that I ever let these thoughts cross my mind even though they happened quickly and were immediately washed away as absurd. It made me realize what an impact society has had on me for what is viewed as a successful career and what being a successful parent is seen as without me ever really knowing it.
The funny thing is, I don't think anyone should go to college right after high school. I don't know why I was expecting my son to. I think so few people have any idea of who they are and what they truly want to be at that point in their life. I think working and traveling can gain you invaluable experience and knowledge. I believe that you should do what you are passionate about, what you enjoy doing, what makes you feel productive and positive about your day. I'm for sure not in my dream job. My dream job consists of living on a huge ranch running a rescue for horses and pit bulls and also a home for pregnant teens. But, I do truly enjoy my job. It makes me feel accomplished, productive and important and that's all I could really ever ask for. That's exactly what I want for Logan. But I cannot deny that those feelings happened even though it truly makes me happy that he has a well more developed idea of what he loves to do and how to make that a career for himself than I ever have. He is so much farther ahead than I was at his age and I am beyond thankful for that. It sickens me that society puts so much ridiculous pressure on parents, on kids to fit into this perfect mold or that means you are not successful or that that as a parent you have failed if your kid doesn't go to college and become a doctor or some of other career that makes ass loads of money.
I also know that part of it is my own guilt for not going to college. Which when I think about it now is absolutely silly. I make just as much money as I would for anything I would have gone to school for. The good news is I don't have the debt from a degree. The experience I gained working for the companies I have over the past 12 years have taught me so much and I am extremely thankful for all that I have gained from them. I want to clarify though that I am not saying you shouldn't go to college. I think it is for some people and in some cases extremely necessary. Obviously you can't just work 5 years in a hospital and magically become a nurse. You need schooling for many avenues in life.
After Logan told me what he wants to do when he graduates, I took him to the local hobby shop and bought him a model car to put together. It's not an engine but it is lots of little pieces that have to be put together in a certain order, in a specific way. He loved it and had it built that week. For his birthday we got him the gas powered RC car he had been asking for. A step up from the model car. More intricate, more pieces, more engine, more maintenance. Gray has to replace the starter in the Jeep this weekend and Logan will be assisting him to start learning, gaining experience. I want my son to do what he loves. I want him to work hard and do what makes him happy. That will be the biggest success for him and for me as a parent. Fuck what society thinks.