one minute I’m mourning the loss of daily parenting
the next I’m mourning the loss of my freedom from it
swear to God, this adult kiddo gig is really very discouraging.
My son spent the majority of last summer in Florida with his dad. When he came home to finish his senior year of high school in Michigan, he proudly announced
and immediately began planning his return trip.
A one-way trip.
My son is infamous for his passionate but short-lived interests, so I didn’t panic when he shared his plans. I waited for him to remember how much he loved Michigan… and then the lake effect snow came to remind him how much he loathed it here. While his Florida tan faded under overcast Michigan skies, his determination to relocate grew. His girlfriend moved in with us, he got his license, took a job – nothing changed his mind, but still I waited.
He graduated. I spent the morning of his graduation bawling my eyes out because things were getting real. He told everyone at his open house that he was, in fact, moving to Florida. He bought a trailer and new tires for his car with his graduation money. He packed up his winter clothes for donation.
While all of this was happening, I’ve been quietly dealing with unexpected feelings of loss. WTF? I’ve waited years and years for my son to move out and start his own life… why the tears and sadness? Then it dawned on me: my role as an in-house, day-to-day mom is coming to its end. My only child is leaving the nest, and I don’t have a clue what happens next!
Once I realized what was causing the unwelcome emotional response, I was able to come to grips with the inevitability of my son’s departure, now 25 days away. I even added a milestone countdown to the blog (this is happening on this day and don’t you forget it). My son and I have daily conversations about the move: “Where in Michigan would you like to go before you… go *sniffle-sniffle*?” “Hey Mom, do you want this [bass guitar, couch, chair, pool table] or nah?” “Don’t forget to see the doctor before you leave and get a copy of your medical records.” “There’s no pilot light for the furnace Mom, or at least I couldn’t find it.” “What do you mean you want to get your own cellphone plan?”
So this is real. And if I needed further proof, yesterday afternoon my son brought me a box full of things that he’s leaving behind for me. He carefully set it down on the kitchen table and showed me the contents:
- MY screwdrivers (flathead and phillips, various sizes of each
- MY socket wrench set
- MY kitchen shears
- MY paring knives
All of these items disappeared from the house over the last 3 years or so. After insisting he didn’t have them and hinting that perhaps I was daft for imagining they were gone, he sheepishly returned them with a smile I’ll remember for a lifetime. I gave him a hug and thanked him, and now before I start crying again, I’ll go ahead and make a wishlist of other missing items I hope to see again before he goes:
- Tree trimmers
- Hedge trimmer
- Waffle iron
- Half of my clothes (probably packed in with this winter clothes donation)
- 50 or so spoons
- Cereal bowls
And perhaps most importantly:
- the courage and strength I need for whatever happens next
Hard Woman to Love | Angie Aparo
I was introduced to Angie Aparo’s music by MSU’s radio station Impact 89FM back in 2000 (thanks guys!). Considering the challenges versus benefits of single life, Hard Woman to Love describes me to a T. It’s not something I aspire to, it’s just the way I am.
Driving home home from church one summer Sunday in 1984, my dad passed our house and kept heading South without a word. My parents are creatures of strict habit so this was kind of extraordinary; my sisters and I paid close attention to what was happening. We stayed on our road until we reached a little house with a fenced yard. My dad turned in the driveway, he and my stepmom got out, and they came back with a…
The cutest puppy in the whole world.
It was small with short black and brown fur, and it cried as my dad drove us to the store to get “mutt” supplies. My stepmom explained the puppy was a Dachshund-German Shepherd – an odd but amiable mix. Her little face was all Doxie. She had a longish snout and cute floppy ears that turned inside out when she shook her head. Her body was stocky and she had the tail of a German Shepherd.
We named her Rascal.
We grew up together. We shared popsicles; she ate all the yucky salisbury steak I managed to slip under the table when my parents weren’t looking. She looked out for me, listened to me sing and talk and cry. Asked me to rub her belly even though I just finished giving her a 10 minute belly rub. She pooped on my floor, took up 7/8 of my tiny twin bed, and shared our family with other pets she probably would’ve liked to eat. She was sweet, loving, loyal, and clever – the best of both breeds. I hated to leave her when it was time to move out; sadly she didn’t last too long after that. My parents euthanized Rascal when she was 12 and suffering from multiple cancerous growths. I still miss her. loved that dog to pieces; she was really one of a kind!
This weekend I’m dogsitting two miniature Dachshunds. They remind me so much of my childhood dog! The little girl has a fierce bark and gives me a sideways, squirrely look whenever I come too close. The little boy is super friendly and loves food so, so much. They’re both super loving and cuddly. Time with them convinces me of two things: Rascal’s personality was heavily influenced by her Doxie genes and Dachshunds are Overwhelmingly Cute Dogs.
Just take a look: