Friday, October 25, 2013

Leaving the Nest

Monster, my youngest, has marched to the sound of his own drummer for a long time.  Sometimes, doing so has gotten him into trouble (and not the "you're grounded" kind of trouble, I wish it was that) and, being a firm believer in natural consequences, I've tried not to fix things for him.  If he was smart (or dumb) enough to get himself in the predicament, he should get himself out.  He's realized that maybe some choices he made years ago are still having some repercussions and that maybe those choices weren't the best.

He has also realized that if he continues on the path he's on, nothing good is going to happen for him.  Being an impulsive soul, he came to my office the other day and told me he wanted to start fresh.  He wanted to leave Colorado and start over some place where not everyone knows his past mistakes.  At first I was upset and accused him of running away from his problems (ok, I still feel that way a little bit), but then as we were talking, he came up with a plan that I could get on board with.  Not that he needed my permission, seeing as how he's eighteen.

I thought back to what I did at eighteen and realized that moving away from home wasn't nearly as bad as getting married, which is what I did.  And then at twenty, twenty-one, and twenty-three I popped out three kids in a row.  Looking back on that, I realized moving away to start fresh wasn't so horrible after all.

I hope he can truly make a fresh start out in Kentucky.  He has moved in with a friend's parents, who were kind enough to tell him he could live there for two months while he looked for a job and a place to live.  I don't know these people, have never met them, and kind of get the feeling they think they're "saving" Monster by offering him a place to stay.  At one point that would have bothered me, people thinking that they could "save" my son when I couldn't, but it doesn't any more.  If they think they can control him and get him on the straight and narrow when I couldn't, more power to them.

Tuesday was moving day.  Monster packed his suitcase and backpack and Jay and I took him to the airport.

I don't care that he's eighteen and old enough to do this by himself, it was still hard to let him go through security by himself.  As I was standing there, watching him wind through the line, I worried about all of the things I should have told him or taught him about navigating the airport.  I worried about if he'd find his gate and board on time.  I worried about all sorts of things that were out of my control once he stepped into that line at the airport.

But mostly, what I saw as I was watching him go through security was my little boy.  The one with the big heart who could make us all laugh and warm the hardest heart.  The one whose favorite Jimmy Buffett song in the whole world is Jolly Mon.


Unknown said...

I understand exactly how you feel. The hardest thing for me to do is to let my 19 year old make his own mistakes and accept his own consequences. When we moved from WY to AZ, I left him behind. He had gotten his own apartment, and is working, so it isn't like I just abandoned him, but I will admit that it was so hard to say good bye, knowing that he wasn't just down the road anymore.

Daddy Hawk said...

At least he feels he can still come to you to discuss his plans. That's a plus.

Rachel said...

Such a milestone as a parent (and one I am wholeheartedly dreading). Admire your strength in the letting go part.

He's got a great momma.

GunDiva said...

All - thanks for your support. Monster is doing well in Kentucky (at least he's reporting he's doing well). I've talked to him a couple of times and he seems happy with his decision, though he's seeing it as a temporary thing, six months to a year before he moves back.