jeudi, juillet 18, 2013

Waiting it out

How do you manage this?

How do you ever let them go?

Parents of teenage sons (o.k., let's be honest, mothers of teenage sons) I need help. Advice.  Encouragement. Perspective.

The first week, it wasn't quite so bad. After all he and his friends were only away for a week. Actually, five days, but who is counting?

Then his dad and I drove him to Boy Scout camp.  I didn't really need to go with the two of them, but, ya know, leaving me behind wasn't really an option, either.

I missed you, Mr. C., I said to him as we sped towards Maryland.

"I missed you too, Mom" he said (if you have a teenager at home, you know how rare these words are, and how treasured).  Then, with the resilience and optimism of the young, who see nothing but blue sky before them, he commented: "But you have me here for an hour."

After Boy Scout camp, another week flew by. Now he's about to return from the youth group teaching camp in the city.

He and his dad leave on vacation for another week Saturday.

When my son is gone for this long,  I start to feel disoriented.  I miss him inviting me to see some college humor YouTube video, or watching an old movie together, talking at dinner or discussing current events in the car on the way to Wegmans or church.

A perfectly normal size when he is here practicing his drums in the basement or reading "Les Mis" on the safe across from mine, the house seems way too big without him.

Don't get me wrong. I miss my daughter, too -- but it's different.

With her, my job is still convincing her that she isn't old enough to move into an apartment with the boy she thinks she wants to marry and set up shop.

She's closing the doors faster than I can reach them to swing them open.  They are opening naturally for her brother.

With him, to be candid, my big job over the next three years will be learning to let him go to his own life.

The time to develop my own isn't looming down the pike somewhere.

It is here.

The job seems harder for single parents who don't have the buffer or comfort of a spouse. As an introvert, I also find that it takes some emotional capital to make new friends and seek new companionship.

But it's part of what is going to make his journey towards adulthood successful. I know that.

I'll be really pleased when I see him blossom into the wonderful young adult he's going to be.

But for now, I'm ready for the summer to be over. Even though it isn't.

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