If you see a whole thing - it seems that it's always beautiful. Planets, lives... But up close a world's all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life's a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern. - Ursula K. LeGuin

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Letting Go

Boy is away visiting his father for 3 weeks. When he comes back we'll have 6 weeks before he goes away to college. So this trip away is kind of a "test run" for b and I. He's certainly been away for 3 weeks before. Last year he went to Vancouver for 3 weeks. He often goes to visit his father for 2 or 3 week at a time. But this feels different....because it's a test run.

Boy has been doing his best to get on my last nerve for the past 2 months. I know this is normal and healthy but it is amazingly annoying. We're doing our best to handle it with humor. I told him it was my job to make him want to leave home and it was his job to make me want him to leave. My job is done, his job is probably impossible.

But he's taken it to heart and is giving it his best shot. Boy has always liked long drawn out discussions. Usually we see eye-to-eye. Occasionally we disagree and get into debates that contain humor, teasing, and some deep thought. I love talking to Boy. He's got my family's conversation style down pat. Lately however, he's been needling me. He'll sucker me into one of these conversations and start being contrary--saying anything to get my goat. This is how his father argues. I divorced his father.

It is usually pretty difficult to get under my skin. I can stay annoyingly unruffled but Boy can get to me every time. And yet I miss him. I'd rather have him here--generating dirty dishes in the middle of the night; leaving puddles on the bathroom floor; attacking me on environmental stances he doesn't even hold--than anywhere else in the world.

Worse yet, he alternates needling with being needy. I know he's nervous because he requires a lot of hugs lately. He shows this by standing next to me and throwing his arms wide open until I come in for a hug. He comes in and lies on my bed when I'm reading to talk and snuggle. He's been bringing up random memories from when he was little.

A few months ago, before all this behavior started, he was working two jobs and we barely saw him. When we did see him he was tired but friendly. It was kind of like having a roommate you really like but rarely see. b and I began to get used to alone time and I, foolishly, thought this letting him go away to college wouldn't be so hard. But then he quit one job and the other job got quiet. He was around a lot and I'm around a lot (because it's summer and I don't have to go into the office). We started going to the gym together. He came back to the dojo with me. We took Pupzilla on long walks together (him needling me all the while).

I got used to him being around all over again. Now he's not here but I know he'll be back and then he won't be here. I know this will play out for the next few years, each time him needing me to be there less and less. "A mother has to be there to be left." I've heard it before and I know it's true but man does it suck being the mother.


Deb said...

Oh girl. There is nothing worse then when they LEAVE. You can try to prepare yourself and you think it might not be too bad, but it is. It is truly the hardest thing. The "empty nest syndrome". I will tell you this though. As with everything else to do with raising kids, It gets better.
For me now, I love life on the other side. It was excrutiating (the quiet what with the lack of kids around all the time) when it happened, but it really is nice to have the time now to focus on all the other things in life. And nice to have the "visits" now like real grown ups - kinda cool, ya know. Like Stress 2 and his fiance had us over to their house for dinner - it was a little surreal, but awesome to sit back and watch him play the host. Ok - I'm crying now, so I'm done.
It will be ok - I'm here to chat if you need it. As soon as I get some tissue.

post-doc said...

It's hard to leave too. There are still days where I miss my mom terribly and I tend to have visits where I sit and cuddle as much as possible. It's a tough transition - I'm getting weepy for you too. :) It must suck to be the mom sometimes, but you have a boy who sounds quite wonderful. Many good wishes for both of you as you practice letting go a little.

Deb said...

On the one hand I am impressed that you got my memoir, on the other, I'm sorry- cause I know you know EXACTLY what it means.

Julie said...

Hi! I love your site. I've been meaning to comment on this one for a long time. I know how you feel!! It does get easier, though. Your son sounds like an awesome guy. Yeah, I think parents and kids get on each other's nerves to make the leaving easier. But when they come back, it gets sweeter and sweeter. Take care and let us know how it goes. Great site (and really cool name).