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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Soon To Be Almost Empty Nest

Dear Glynis and Jennifer, my apologies for the disappearing posts. Professionally and personally, I've been a wreck the past several days. Having a meltdown in a public place is the last thing I should be doing. My only excuse is that my emotions have been very close to the surface. Mags, if you're out there, please come back. I promise to behave myself.

The last thing I'm going to say about the RWA vs. the digital age issue is that I'm not offering any more opinions on the matter because my viewpoint changes depending on my mood. So that's that.

Taking a breath now and getting to the title topic of this post.

Yesterday was a huge turning point in my personal life, as well as my son's, who is pictured here. He finally got his driver's license. He's owned a car for nearly a year, paid for with his own money he earned from working, but he's never been able to get out on his own and drive it. Until yesterday. He took the test early yesterday morning and finally got his license. Immediately after, we went to the insurance company to get him on our policy, then came home. Within the hour of our arrival, he took off in his car and drove to Richmond to stay with friends until the weekend.

Eeeeek!!! That's me screaming at the top of my lungs. I've never really decided how one should spell a scream, but that's what the eek is supposed to be.

My baby boy pulled out of the driveway and left. On his own. For the first time ever, he was on the highway--the freeway, even--without me sitting in the passenger seat guiding his every move. Needless to say, I spent an evening I never want to repeat--I actually got physically ill and was up until 4:00 this morning, even though he called as soon as he got to Richmond and told me he'd made it okay. I know this scenario is going to be repeated over and over until I get past the fear of him killing himself on the highway.

Even though I'm scared to death, I'm really happy for him. Not having a license had put his life in a holding pattern. He couldn't come and go as he pleased and he even had to quit his job--at my request--because I was running back and forth to town twice a day to take him to work and then pick him up again, most of the time with my handicapped daughter in tow. So something had to give and, unfortunately, that something was his job.

Okay, so he's on the road. Now the next big thing is him moving out. I know it's coming. He's been talking about it and making plans for months. The friends he's visiting have an apartment and they're anxious to make him a roomie and split even more expenses. Even though I'll be heartbroken when it happens, I know this too must come to pass. He's 20 years old. It's time he experienced the world outside the sheltering wings of me and his father. I have a feeling this may happen when he returns from his little trip up north.

I know that many of you have already dealt with a child leaving home and striking out on his or her own. But this is all new to me and I'm a total mess.



  1. Ahhh, Devon. I can't imagine my kids being that old, although I know it will be here in no time. Heck, just the other day my 8 yo son mowed the lawn for the first time by himself. That had me choked up. And my daughter. God. Can't imagine being without her sweet little face. It's sad, but I actually miss changing diapers. I have no advice really, because I know I'm going to go off my rocker when they leave.
    One thing I've been trying to do recently is print out hard copies of pictures. I've realized as I've been packing that I have boatloads of physical pictures of my son, but very few of my daughter, because we got a digital camera in that time between. All my pictures of her are on the camera or the computer. I've promised myself that I'm going to do a collage piece for her like I did my son.
    Good luck, if he does move out, and remind him to call as much as possible. And don't redo his room yet, because he may be back.

  2. Devon, I've been missing you. It's been--what?--a day? Two days? Seems like forever...

    Working on a galley, and I'm itching to get back to the wip...and I'm working a temporary part-time job, which means none of it is happening very quickly.

    My son left for college last fall. The first weekend was weird, but after that I really was okay with it. Me, the obsessive parent. Many people expected me to fall apart.

    But I knew my kid is good. I knew he makes friends with good people. And I knew he was happy at college, and pursuing his dream. He called, he emailed, he answered when I called, and it was okay. Different, absolutely! But okay.

    He's here this summer, and that's good too. It's different from last summer, because it's so obviously temporary. From the moment of a child's birth, it's a step by step process of letting go. It's painful--to me it was more painful when my kid was little like Jennifer's. But here we all are, trying to get our kids ready, as best we can, to go out into the world and make it a better place.

    Sheesh. Is that overboard or what!?!

  3. Jennifer, they do grow up in a flash. I'm calmer today, but I'm not counting on it lasting.

    My grandmother had a saying: "When they're little, they step on your toes. When they grow up, they step on your heart." It's so true.

    I intend to keep his room just as he leaves it. There's one thing about my son that makes me think he will be back. He's exceptionally good with money. Meaning, he doesn't like to spend it. He gets upset if we spend money on him. He even shops around for the best prices when he goes to the grocery with me. It's kinda funny. He's the youngest tightwad I've ever known, but it's great that he can save money. So I figure once he gets out of the house and finds out how much it costs to survive, he'll be back with good ole mom and dad. :o)

  4. Mags! There you are. I was worried when you said you were going into the cave. Self-centered me didn't even consider that you might actually be BUSY.

    I can tell how proud you are of your son by the way you talk about him on your blog. :o)

    My son has a pretty good head on his shoulders, too. He was always open with me during his teenage years about what was going on with him, and he didn't run around and behave like a typically wild teenager. And I doubt he's going to start now (I hope).

    All three of us are probably over-protective, but I think that's okay. At least we're trying to raise our kids right. In these crazy times, it's not always easy to make the right choices. All we can do is try to give them a solid foundation and hope it sinks in.

  5. Devon, it is hard but will get easier. Mine are adults, and in 4wks and 10 weeks , 2 walk down the aisle.
    Take pride in the fact, that you have been brave enough to allow him his wings.
    When mine went to Uni, I felt as if they had died, their rooms were empty. I cried, but the new world they brought into my life was wonderful. The new people they had become, were fun to find out about.

  6. Glynis, I'm hoping getting out on his own will give him the maturity and self-reliance he couldn't get here. I admit to being a bit smothersome and jumping in to do things for him when I should have let him do them for himself.

    Wow, two weddings this summer! Best of luck and happiness to both your children!


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