Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I got to have an excellent talk with the boy about how the transition from guy living at home to guy living on his own will work, and the various options he's got.  Some kids leave home ASAP and head out into the world w/o a backward glance, for whatever reasons.  Some continue to live at home for a while (sometimes a really long while) and go to school or work somewhere for pitiful wages until they can make enough/save up enough to get into a situation where they can support themselves.  I told him he wouldn't be staying forever, but we weren't booting him out on graduation day, either.  I think he ought to have one more summer vacation at home, if he wants.  From there ... school, military, job, or any combination thereof, is fine with me.  I think he's eager to test his wings, though.

Which probably means military.  It's the fastest way he wants to travel, and he wants in for more than one reason.  Do I worry?  Heck yeah.  But really, it's time for me to stop bossing him around.  Parental advice is all I can offer from here on out.  And I'm not really the No type when it comes to this stuff, even if it is mine to say, which in this case it isn't.  Yeah yeah I've been the doom and gloom veto artist before.  I can't shake that past.  I've decided to leave that behind (as much as I can--it's a WIP.)  I'm getting better at it.  If I wasn't, my DH wouldn't be overseas right now.  And my DH wouldn't have even blamed me if I said no.  In his case, it wasn't just his life that would be affected in profound ways.

I didn't say no to my DH, though.  And I'm not about to say no now, when my wonderful son needs to make the biggest call of his young life.  This has to be his call.  He's about to become a man.  Even if he allowed me to interfere (which I doubt he would) I'd be chaining him, tying his hands behind his back, trying to keep him safe from a life that's his to choose now.  

We raised him the best we knew how.  His grades, appalling for years, have risen a great deal and I'm deeply impressed by the progress he's made on them, pushing and sweating through bad habits accumulated from years of trying to find the 'easy' way.  (Believe me, we didn't make it easy.)  If he can defeat his own attitudes, his own self-sabotage, his own inertia and his own fear of success, he can tackle just about anything.  Just about.  The world is bigger and harsher than any one human being.  Of course I'd have to be pretty deluded if I thought I could protect him from that.  Trying would not only prove futile, but it would spit in the face of all those years and lessons and hurdles we climbed over together as a family in order to prepare him for his life.  

He won't ever really be alone, or on his own.  He'll have us, his family, in one form or another behind him.  But we won't be here to 'come back to.'  That's an illusion.  You can never go back home, not really.  But you can meet again, and again, and tell tales of where you've been, and where you plan to go to next.

Good luck, O-bean.  I'm cheering you on!


Molly said...

I do admire you Kami. I'm not sure how I would handle my child deciding on military. Knowing my brother, I understand how you handled his decision; but then again, it can't be easy, and they are both very fortunate to have you behind them.

The Moody Minstrel said...

I already put my own parents through something largely similar, so it's interesting hearing about it from the other end of the gun, so to speak. If he wants to grow and go, don't stand in his way. You understand that perfectly.