The Adult Child Is Leaving Home

I woke up this morning and my son told me that he is moving out again. I am going to be completely honest, I am not upset about this news. Actually, I could do a little jig.

I know, I sound like a terrible mother, person and human.

Here is the thing. My son is 21 years old, soon to be 22. He is an only child. He is also the only grandchild on one side. He is a very intellectual person, mostly on matters that he is interested in, but not like a Stephen Hawking kind of intelligent. He is talented, and attractive. His biggest flaws are that he is not driven and he is argumentative, at least with us.

He did not seek out higher education. He went into the workforce slowly, very slowly. He always said that he was applying to tons of jobs, but I never saw him go out and “look” for a job. I know that things are different from when I was around his age, which he reminded me of on numerous occasions. More and more companies want you to complete applications online. There is still something to be said about making a first impression. Walking into a potential place of employment, asking for an application, filling it out, then asking if there is a manager to speak to. First impressions cannot be done online. This is  a concept that I could not get through to him.

Since he was not working and not going to school, we let him know that he was expected him to pick up more chores around the house. I was not going to have him just lying around playing video games all day while his dad and myself worked our butts off. Well, that didn’t work too well. I constantly had to remind him of what to do. I know, that is part of parenting. At some point, telling a 20-year-old to do the dishes everyday just gets old.

I will confess, part of who he is today, why he aggravates me so much, is partially our fault. We were young when we had him. I was 22. I did not really know what I was doing. I was taking it day by day, learning as I went. It was the late 90’s. I couldn’t google everything that I needed to know. ( It is crazy that my kid is older than Google!!) I asked my mom. If I knew what I know now, I would have done some stuff differently. I try not to dwell on that kind of stuff. He was a victim of the television babysitter every so often.

As he grew up, he did not have a chore chart. He was to clean up after himself. He sometimes did it. I was a bad example because I do not have to have everything in its place, unless I am at work. Then when he started going to school, we did not have time for chores because homework took up all of our free time. It was a nightmare. I am talking 3 – 4 HOURS of homework for a first grade child!!! We would both end up in tears. He got diagnosed with ADHD later that year. Again, if I knew then what I know now, I would have been able to do things differently.

My son always struggled through school, but he had a strong support system. He had a strong support system for everything. I am not sure if that helped him, or hindered him. No one would ever let him suffer or go without. That does not mean that he was never corrected, punished or reprimanded, however looking back, I think that it was not done enough. He could have used a little more discipline in his life.

I tended to walk on eggshells with him after a very dark incident while he was in High School. We had moved 45 minutes away from where he grew up, he started a new school and his grandfather passed away. All within a year. He was not in a good place. My son has a very sensitive soul, just like me. A person’s soul can only take so much at one time.

We healed.

When he was around 20, I actually kicked him out of the house. I surprised myself. We had some kind of argument and I told him to get out. He packed most of his stuff and went to live with his grandma. I was sad because I did not really mean to say that to him, it just came out.

It was really weird not having him in the house. It was quiet at times. I had to adjust how I cooked and shopped. I also knew that when I finished the dishes, I would not wake up to a sink full of dirty ones. Once the house was clean, it would stay that way.

He finally moved out of grandma’s into a friend’s place. He had a job, he was happy, I was happy for him. Yay!!

Then he came back.

I remember moving out of my parent’s house. I was 20. I moved in with a bunch of people. I learned a ton of life lessons! I may tell you some of my many lessons at another time, but I paid rent, worked, cooked for myself, and cohabited. I was a functioning citizen of society. There were times that I ate ramen noodles for a week, but I learned that I had to budget my money better. I failed. I got back up on my feet. I fell back down and got back up. That is a lesson that everyone should learn.

I read an article today to see if I was a complete monster. I did not feel so bad after reading it. It validated most of how I feel and have felt over the past few years. The article is from a few years ago, but I feel this quote is spot on :

“In 2011, a generation of young adults struggles to find their way, emotionally and financially. They’ve entered adulthood ill–equipped to cope with things such as persistence in the face of being turned down for a job; the day–to–day responsibilities and potential conflicts of a marriage; doing without cable TV or cigarettes until basic needs have been met. Many young adults in this generation tends to have high expectations for employers, little tolerance for the needs of others when they conflict with their own and often believes they deserve material items even if they can’t afford them.”

Here is the rest of the article if you would like to check it out.

I am happy that my son is moving back out. He needs to be with his peers. He needs to make some mistakes. He needs to fall and pick himself up again. He needs to have some fun. He needs to learn some life lessons. Selfishly, I am happy to get my house back in order.

If you love someone, set them free. …. Richard Bach


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