When my son was young, maybe around 11 or 12 years of age, he would wake in the middle of the night with aches in his legs. The doctor called them growing pains and told us it was quite common and would pass as he got older. They sometimes bothered him at night, right before bed, so I would rub his calves and try to make them feel better so he could sleep.
Eventually he “out grew” his growing pains and now is a fine young man of 20, half way through his college education. The university he attends is only a few miles away so, for the past two years, he’s been living at home and commuting to campus. However, he informed us this week that he and some friends have been looking into renting a house near campus. They found one they like and he wants us to go look at it with him on Sunday.
I can’t say this comes as a big surprise. I knew, eventually, he would want to be on his own. If he had gone away to college, we would have packed him up two years ago, like many of his classmates and, let’s face it, you raise children with the idea that they will grow to be strong and independent enough to want to go out on their own. That the point, really.
I also can’t say that he hasn’t thought it through and done his homework. He’s worked part time since he was 17 and has a checking and savings account that he adds to regularly. The boy is not frivolous with his money! The four of them have figured out how much each of them would have to pay per month and what exactly is on their list of “must haves.” Mr D has enough in his saving account to cover most of the year’s expenses and he will be adding to it before the lease starts on June first.
Upon hearing the news, my Hubby, who is much more practical than sentimental, pointed out that at least no one will be coming in at 2am and banging around cooking food in the microwave (our bedroom is very close to the kitchen). It also means that the kitchen sink won’t be constantly filled with dirty dishes, or the bathroom filled with dirty clothes. I also know that, according to statistics, the chances are pretty good that he will be moving back here, at least for a while, after he finishes his degree.
Doesn’t make it any easier.
I guess it’s time for me to have my own growing pains. Even if his moving out isn’t permanent right now, it still feels like his tenure in this house is coming to an end. The parental umbilical cord is going to have to stretch to the next town over and I’ll have to resist the urge to text him each morning to make sure he’s still breathing. Just another in a long line of growing pains that are all part of being a mom. I’ve weathered them so far, and to be honest, it’s worth it just to see how great he and his sister have turned out.
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Aw, yeah, it’s bittersweet, isn’t it?
Our boy one was here last week for a few days. On Tuesday, everyone but us went to school and at 11:30 I said, “I’m going to go lie down. For 2-3 hours you cannot open the pantry, exit the house, or use any water, including flushing — do you need to do anything now? Potty, make a sammich, fetch something from your car?”
Hehehehe! I’m too used to my quiet times now 😉
So was he able to do it? I don’t think mine could last that long.
He did. He got some cookies and a drink 🙂 I had a good nap!
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We went and did our first college visit yesterday – and it warmed my heart to hear “is there a waiver for living on campus?” Mr. T wants to save money and stay at home, and just commute. He is working 2 jobs now, and thinks he’ll give one up if he can get a job on campus, but the school is close enough for the commute! I know that it’s still only temporary, but just when I’d gotten used to the idea of packing him up for the dorms, I’m very happy to have a wee bit more time!
I here you! That was my thinking also. Your son sounds like quite an industrious young man. Good for him.
Such a handsome man! It is so hard to let the baby birds stretch their wings and leave the nest. Nothing is quite ever the same after that happens. I’m a bit melancholy this morning, missing my baby birds and their baby birds!
I quite understand. When my younger one leaves I’m sure it will be worse since she’s the baby and my girl. I think I will put off thinking about that for now!
Definitely! Hang on to every moment!!
What a lovely picture! you have clearly done a wonderful job and he loves his mama!
It is hard when the kids move out, even if it does mean more food in the house, more sleep and less mess! It’s an end of an era, and I think a little bit of grieving is natural. The good thing is, as you pointed out, that it is also the beginning of a new era as you see what terrific adults your children have grown up to be. And I find that you do stay close, just in different ways.
Very true, Ann. Each new stage has positives and negatives.
You sound like such a great mom! He is lucky to have you! xo
Aww, thanks Jill! I’ve been told I’m a bit over protective but I told them they just have to deal! 😉
There are definitely mixed feelings when our children stretch their wings and move away – even temporarily – but it sounds like you will have the best of both worlds with your son only a few miles away.
Having been through this twice, I know it is an exciting time for both you and your son! Congratulations, proud mom!
Thanks! I am really proud of him. It’s a whole new adventure for both of us.
It’s not easy even when you know it’s the right thing and even when you know they’re ready for it…..but you know….it’s an even greater gift when he comes home for dinner or just to pop in…..then you know he’s there just because he wants to be because he wants to be with you and not because he’s depending on you. Trust me on this one….it’s a great feeling…somehow even better than what came before. 🙂
P.S. The little chefs on the wall visible in that last pic! Very exciting. I have 2 French chefs crafted in metal that are on my kitchen wall. Very similar!
You know I was thinking that he might actually be here for dinner more often once he moves out. He made a point of saying “I’ll be really close by. I can come by whenever you want me too.” I don’t know if that was for our benefit or his!
(Funny about those little chefs! They hung on the kitchens wall at my parents house the whole time I was growing up. When the house was sold, I claimed them! I didn’t want them to disappear. My kids make fun of them but I love them. Mine are just plastic though, probably a cheaper version of the ones you have!)
It’s never easy, it never goes away. You’ll cut the cord or he will but it always stays attached..:)
I think, maybe, that is the definition of parenthood, George.
Such a time of mixed emotions. We are so proud of them & all that they have accomplished. We raise them to be independent & yet miss them so much when they are gone.
Sounds like your son is a wonderful young man. Wishing him the very best as he begins this new journey.
Thanks. He turned out pretty good!
Really nice post and gosh – the two photos From birth to 20 really grab us and tug! And I have a teen and just rubbed his calves last night (basketball weary!) and left his room with an extra deep breath savoring t because I know college is two years away (less than) and with an older one already gone I am able to savor this time even more – anyhow – beautiful post!
I know what you mean. My son was sick recently, nothing serious, but it was nice in one respect because he was ok with me fussing over him a bit. Felt a little like when he was a kid. He played basketball in HS as well so I remember those achey legs, too.
Savor the moments! Thanks so much for stopping by.
Well posts like this help me savor the moments – so thx again 💚💛
I hear you Nancy – mine have gone to college, came back, one married, the other back home (for how long I’m not sure), but I am savoring every moment. I know it won’t be long. It is hard – but if we did our job well, it is the right thing. Doesn’t make it easier…..
And now I must ask – what is your son holding in his hand as he and you are embracing in the lovely photo?! 🙂
He is a great kid and I’m really proud of him, but your right, just because I know it’s the next logical step, it doesn’t make it any easier. You are at the place I will probably be in a few years. I would be embracing the moments too.
I had to go back and look at the photo to see what you meant and it took me a moment to figure it out because it does look odd. He is just holding on to his opposite hand! The way it’s bent and his wrist watch make it look like something else!
Oh of course it is! Now I see it and don’t know how i didn’t realize that. 😍
It took me a minute too and I was there!! 😊
My eldest started university last year and is also commuting from home. No parental umbilical cords to stretch just yet. The next one is two years away from tertiary study and I already suspect I’ll have to learn to let out the cord early with that one. Quite possibly one day it will have to stretch to Japan, the way things are looking.
He looks like a great young man. I bet you’re proud! 🙂
Thank you. My daughter is looking at out of state schools for next year but I have a feeling she will stay close to home too, at least for now. I don’t know if could handle Japan!! 😬
Sounds like a good guy. I had empty nest a day or two till I noticed how nice it was to have a clean house and food in the fridge.
Lol! I know that will be the case here too. Plus all the cabinet doors will be shut!