Parenting, Personal Life, Self-Expression

The Child Leaves Home – part 1

I started writing this on Friday afternoon. The intention was to make it quite a long post about my feelings/experiences around my eldest son leaving home to attend New York University. I got quite emotional and decided to continue it later. But reading it back, I’ve realized This is probably better suited as a series of small emotions/thoughts than a long drawn out novel about how wonderful an opportunity NYC is for him. So, I’ll give you what I had – then add some.

Lunch in the Window


Around lunchtime, I received a text from the eldest telling me how happy he is over there in the big city. He also seems to have met a friend, which made things even better. Super glad to hear his news of how much he is enjoying the city, the school, the events, the ‘scene’ and now, also, a friend.

I still don’t know if he knows where the laundry room is, if he’s got clean clothes on, if his check arrived from his previous employer, or if he has to buy his own toilet paper.

— Actually, i do now, since I asked him while writing this – sort of. I posted the fact that I did not know on Facebook. —

But these are things I should be giving up on knowing anyway. He has left to start his own life, and really shouldn’t have his mother micro-managing those things. I didn’t actually manage those things for the last few years. I was good at giving space. I think. But I used to know. Like a mother knows. If the laundry machine hasn’t gone except to wash mine and John’s clothes in the last week, his clothes are getting near the ‘only in an emergency’ section of the closet. And I buy the groceries. I know how many Mountain Dews I buy. And how many apples. So it’s strange not knowing these things.

This whole experience seems like such a wonderful opportunity for him.


And what do I have to add? This:

I have always been grateful for the internet/technology/etc for making it possible for me to have friendships with people I am not necessarily in the same area as. But now? Now I am beyond happy to be living in a time when I can get a picture from my son in NYC taken from his phone, of something he’s been excited to see. Or just a quick text message telling me something significant or something just funny. 

When I left home (across the Atlantic, from Scotland to Wyoming – long story), I had to schedule weekly hour-long telephone calls to my family. I used to hate the obligation and the length of the call that was required every week. Instant messaging has made staying in touch so much less of an ordeal. I’m trying not to message him everytime I think of him. He already uses over 4000 texts a month!! Luckily, we have I-message and unlimited texts. 

I miss him. But it doesn’t hurt as much as I have heard others describe the experience. It’s more like a part of me is now walking around in NYC. And that’s OK.


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