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Posts Tagged ‘Growing up’


My older son is a bona fide adult. He lives on the opposite coast, pays his own bills, has held a job for two years. My younger son is still dependent on us for food and shelter, college tuition, a phone and a car. Yet he legally becomes an adult in a few weeks, when he turns twenty-one. When he reminded me he was about to become a “legal adult,” I challenged him to define what it means to be an adult. He quickly agreed he was not ready.

Yet, to me, the fact that we can have these “adult” conversations does seem convincing. Both my sons think deeply about life, people, situations. They don’t act rashly, have good common sense, are respectful, helpful and responsible. These are the hallmarks of adulthood, so they are well on their way.

I was lucky enough to have quality time with them individually this past week. Piggy-backing on a business trip to CA, I spent a day and a half with my older son. I can only hope he relished our time together as much as I did. I felt particularly moved when he told me of a friend’s recent loss of his mother and said, “I can’t imagine not having a mother at this point in my life.” My sunglasses hid the tears that filled my eyes. Whether he realized it or not, that meant so much to me.

Upon arriving home from the trip, feeling so good, yet now missing him more than ever, I busied myself with work and catching up on jet lag and lack of sleep. A day later, I left with my younger son for Pittsburgh, for a fun tour of the highlights. We drove, so there was plenty of time for bonding. We spent day and night together for 4 consecutive days, with nary a cross word or bit of unhappiness. In fact, I was incredibly happy and he had a good time.

I know these days are numbered. Whether time, work, or eventual families complicate their lives, I know this may be the last or one of the last times I get to have with them alone. I will cherish the memories of this week. I also know I will make new ones in the future that will include others. That too will bring its own joys.

 

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This Thanksgiving was the first I have spent without my older son, since he was born. We all missed him so much, and were envious of those with whom he spent it, in LA, at his new home, as an adult. “What?” I said. “You are not coming home for Thanksgiving?” We offered to pay for the flight. He even (at his own expense), came to Boston to visit his friends only 2 weeks before. I couldn’t understand how he would not be home for Thanksgiving.

Thanks to the grace of Skyype, we at least had a face-to-face from my cousins’ house, where we were on Thanksgiving. He was making one of his killer desserts, Mine, a feeble looking version of something similar, tasted good but had to be aesthetically doctored with a dollop of whipped cream and raspberries, to pass for gourmet.

My son’s friends gathered, all transplants from home and freshly minted graduates, at their new home in LA. I know this time is important for him to separate and become the man he needs to be. I KNOW this, but why does my heart feel so empty anyway?  I tried to maintain my cool and tried to turn intellectual understanding into happiness, but it still felt so profoundly sad to think he doesn’t need me anymore.

But wait! He called me on Sunday to ask for advice about a food processor, then again to tell me he found a great holiday deal on the one I recommended. He called again yesterday to get my take on a health related question. I guess you never really stop needing your mother. The way you need her may change, but she will always have some wisdom to impart.

I feel so much better now.

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