In a tale of stark contrasts, the Original Poster (OP) grapples with the divergent paths her adult children, Leah and Kevin, have taken in life. While Kevin flourishes in academics and sports, Leah stumbles from one unfulfilled goal to the next. The family’s simmering tensions reach a boiling point during Kevin’s 21st birthday celebration when Leah confronts her mother about never being told that she’s a source of pride.
The Tale of Two Siblings
Leah and Kevin, OP’s adult children, are like night and day in their personalities and approaches to life. Kevin is ambitious, excels in academics, and is a great athlete. Leah also starts off with big dreams but gives up when faced with challenges.
The Equal Opportunity Household
Growing up, both Leah and Kevin were given the same opportunities by their parents. There was no imbalance in the resources or attention devoted to either of them. Neither child was expected to help more or work more than the other.
Leah’s Quest for Instant Mastery
Throughout her life, Leah tried her hand at numerous activities. She becomes frustrated and abandons the activity if she doesn’t excel immediately. This pattern has persisted into her adult years.
Kevin, the Sports Enthusiast
Kevin played football through school and participated in other athletic activities like baseball, basketball, and soccer. Kevin ensures his academic grades stay high to remain on the school team.
Leah’s Academic Struggles
Leah places a low emphasis on academics. While she has never failed a class, her grades are consistently lower than Kevin’s. The absence of a driving force for academic excellence sets her apart from her brother.
The College Drop-Out
Upon graduation, Leah tries to pursue higher education to make her parents happy but quits during her second semester. She didn’t enjoy the experience and saw no reason to continue. She is not academically inclined and does not thrive in that setting.
Leah’s Engagement and Motherhood Ambition
Leah gets engaged to her high school sweetheart and expresses her desire to become a mother. She gets pregnant but eventually breaks up with her fiancé. The responsibility of raising her child falls on her parents.
Kevin’s College Journey
Kevin earns an athletic scholarship to a prestigious university where he continues to excel in sports while maintaining good grades, aligning his actions with his goals and ambitions. He seems to excel at everything he does.
A Birthday Party for Kevin
OP and her husband throw a small birthday party for Kevin’s 21st birthday. The atmosphere is celebratory, and Kevin shares news of his recent academic achievements. OP and her husband lavish their son with praise.
Leah’s Unvoiced Concerns
During Kevin’s birthday party, Leah reveals that OP has never once told her that she’s proud of her. OP diverts the conversation, stating that it’s neither the time nor the place for such a discussion. If she has a complaint, she should bring it up in private, not in the middle of a party.
Leah Confronts OP
The next day, Leah again confronts OP about never being told that she’s a source of pride. She questions why her accomplishments haven’t garnered the same level of parental recognition as her brother’s.
OP’s Unfiltered Response
OP tells Leah that she’s a nice and respectful person and she’s glad to have her as her daughter. OP also says she hasn’t made any effort toward pursuing her dreams or accomplished something to make her parents proud.
Leah’s Explosive Reaction
Leah accuses OP of labeling her a failure despite OP’s insistence that she did no such thing. Feeling misunderstood and criticized, Leah leaves the house angrily and retreats to her home, deciding to cut contact with her parents for a while.
OP’s husband agrees with her viewpoint on Leah’s lack of accomplishments to be proud of. They share the same concerns about their daughter’s unfocused approach to life. The confrontation leaves unresolved issues between Leah and her parents.
Leah’s Current Status
At the age of 26, Leah finds herself without a career, without a stable relationship, and without fulfilling her dream of being a mother. OP and her husband are left to raise Leah’s child. Meanwhile, Kevin continues to prosper at university and in sports.
The Unspoken Divide
The family dynamic remains strained, marked by the contrast between Leah’s lack of direction and Kevin’s unwavering focus. OP’s conflicted emotions about her children add another layer of complexity to the family narrative.
Was The Woman’s Behavior Appropriate?
OP posts her story online for feedback and perspective from the internet community. The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter.
One reader said, “I can hear the subtext coming through the screen. You didn’t say your daughter was lazy and had wasted her potential, but you didn’t have to.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote, “Undiagnosed neurodivergence can often lead to a lack of self-awareness and a fear of moving forward due to crippling decision paralysis. I know its conjecture based on my own life experiences, but it’s possible that OP’s daughter may have no clue how to move forward.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person stated, “Did you ever stop to think that one of the reasons Leah may give up so easily is that you’ve spent her whole life making her feel like it doesn’t matter if she does well anyway because, in your mind, she’ll never be as good as her brother?”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another reader commented, “This girl has done NOTHING to be proud of. She abandoned her kid and quit when things got hard. The words I want to say about this girl would get me banned.”
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on their actions?
What would you have done in this situation?
This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.