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