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.