The Launch.

Confession: while I am not wallowing in the slop called self-pity, I have dipped a toe or two in the last number of weeks.  I admit to some intermittent navel gazing and heavy sighing.  You see, I have just joined the legion of parents whose offspring has done flown the nest.  Number Young Son just moved out.

It’s been coming for a while now, so it’s no surprise, but it’s been hard for me to let go (also no surprise).  He’s smart and capable and has a direction he wants to go; it’s time to let him take the reins.  But still, as many, perhaps most or all, mothers can attest — it is nice to be needed.  Necessary, even.  So although I’m proud of him and happy for him, I’m also feeling sorry for myself that it came so soon.  Even though it didn’t.  My sister says I’m experiencing the early stages of the ‘launch’ syndrome.  I suppose that would be the opposite of the ‘failure to launch’ syndrome, right?

He and his best friend went out and applied for work together.  They snagged a couple of jobs at the same place.  They scouted around for a place to live near where they want to attend college; once they found it, they worked while waiting for it.  Now they’re moved in, living the life.

I’ve been remembering how it was when I moved out (ahem – thirty years ago); first I lived with my boyfriend’s sister, whose cat loathed me, and then I moved out alone.  For awhile I had a roommate and a view of the water, but mostly I liked having my own place.  I loved being the mistress of my domain.  I wanted to prove that I was capable of making good decisions and showing maturity.  I had a good job, and I had a good time; I stayed up too late and I spent too much money.  I hope NYS has the same great experiences.

Okay, enough of the reverie.

So, as any mother would, I shopped for things that I thought the apartment would need, that maybe the guys wouldn’t think of.  I’m sure they would have done fine; they had been given a great deal already.  Yes, I went a little crazy, but I was at the thrift store and the outlet store, so I got good deals.  I think I did it more for me than for them; it seemed therapeutic at the time.

Besides, while I was at the outlet store, I saw a large selection of orange cookware.  My niece is gaga over orange.  So I let her know, and she’s headed there this weekend.  I should get a commission!

Mr. Stuck is all for this change.  He’s more pragmatic than I.  He has been coaching me for years to relax and let go, and I’m just not very good at it.  Life with teenagers is all ups and downs and very confusing.  You don’t know from one day to the next whether your kid loves you or hates you; you realize you no longer speak the same language as the kid does; and you realize that the only thing that will help is opening the door, standing back and letting it happen.  The cycle of life continues.

Boy, is it tough.



photo credit mikebaird

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Aging like a fine wine. ;-)

6 thoughts on “The Launch.”

  1. I understand completely, Becky. Well said. They do come back regularly and need you for refuge and love…which is very satisfying. But no doubt about it, things change. Thinking of you… 🙂

  2. I think the confidence in knowing that you and Bill did an amazing job raising your kids is enough to know they will always love and appreciate you both. Every time I call Mitchell, he sounds like I am interrupting his freedom but we know he loves us. Mitchell rode the bus to work today and that went well; just another stepping stone in his journey. Just think, in a couple of years we will be watching them graduate from college. I remember letting go of him on his bike and watching him pedal off for the first time like he was a free bird. Letting go is tough, I did not know it would make me feel as helpless as it has.

    1. Yeah, it does feel pretty helpless. I am happy for the great strides they are taking toward the rest of their lives. Good for Mitch navigating the bus situation! I think just working and living a daily life on their own is teaching them plenty. Thank you for the compliment. I don’t know about doing an amazing job as a parent, but we do have some pretty terrific kids. 😉

  3. You only have to go through all this twice; well, three times if you count DJ, but she was not with you full time. My first one was the very hardest, although each one affected me in a different way. It is therapeutic to ‘help’ with the furnishings of that first pad. And they will be back for stuff, food, advice, and hugs. I am kinda watching this from a distance, remembering what you were like and comparing your experience to mine, and then your kids’ experiences with my kids’. It is life-changing. It is eye-opening. It is unnerving. But strangely, it is also freeing and validating, that is, if you have done your job well and the bird has learned to fly. Only time will tell, but he looks pretty steady on the wind.

    1. Thank you. I appreciate the voices of experience here. I’m sure he’ll be back when he’s hankering for homemade food, and it is gratifying to see him settling into his new routine. I do hope that all the years of teaching and talking and guidance have left their mark; the struggles are all part of it. But you’re right, thank you — he does look pretty steady.
      Look out, world.

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