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. https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/failure-to-launch-part-1-why-so-many-adult-kids-still-live-with-their-parents/

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

 

Learning To Live My Life Kinda Crunchy

I told my husband that I was going to start a blog. His reaction was positive. I am not working at the moment due to medical reasons, so the thought that this is something constructive that I can do with my time. I told him what the name of my blog was. He just looked at me, “Kinda crunchy??? I don’t get it” , so I had to explain it to him. I googled crunchy for him so he could see it in text, he is that kind of person at times.

The top definition on Urbandictionary.com is : Adjective. Used to describe persons who have adjusted or altered their lifestyle for environmental reasons. Crunchy persons tend to be politically strongly left-leaning and may be additionally but not exclusively categorized as vegetarians, vegans, eco-tarians, conservationists, environmentalists, neo-hippies, tree huggers, nature enthusiasts, etc. ( credit http://www.urbandictionary.com)

As I can relate to most of that statement, I am not neo-anything. I live my life kinda in the middle. Where I do have very strong feelings on particular subjects, I am not one to push them on others. I love the earth and nature. I personally try to lower my carbon footprint as much as I can. I am somewhat of a tree hugger and a hippie at heart.

I do not know how I grew to be this person. Most scholars say that a person is a product of their environment. Of my sisters, I am the odd one out in this respect. I am the oldest of 3. I am the daughter of a city cop and working mom. My parents did not have the “hippie” mindset. They were a little more on the conservative side. I was the tomboy. The one that climbed trees, played in the mud, ran barefoot in the rain and always had scrapes and bruises on my knees. I think it drove my mom nuts. There was a tree in out back yard that I was climbing all the time. I loved playing in the yard, coming in covered in dirt and mud. Looking back now, I think that she was afraid that I was going to get hurt. Then, I didn’t care.

Of course, as I grew up, I was not playing in the mud, but I was still the tomboy. It was the 90’s so as a teenager, the new environmental focus was at the forefront in the community. I was playing sports all the way through high school. I had a very small group of friends. I still do. Those I surrounded myself with were like-minded. We were not litter-bugs. I still liked to wander sometimes to be alone in the woods, just to think. It was always so peaceful and relaxing.

Life happened. I always had my beliefs and ideals. I did not have time to run to the woods or play in the dirt. I was raising a child, living in apartments, working, you know, adulting. Sometimes being environmentally friendly takes thought. When you are in your early 20’s, you have a toddler, you are on the brink of depression, recycling is not the first thing you think of. It was a time in my life that I learned many things from. Maybe I will tell you about them another time.

Even during the times where I was not “actively” trying to be green, I was still doing little things. I did not litter and my car was a mess because of it, this drove my husband crazy. If i saw something on the sidewalk, that was not gross, I would throw it in the trash. I started using reusable grocery bags. To be honest, the bags were kind of a pain in the ass to start using. I kept forgeting them, then I would feel bad. However, when I did remember them, I really did feel good about using them. They were little things, but something.

Today, is a little different. I am probably not doing as much as I should environmentally, but I am doing a bit more. I still use my reusable grocery bags. I swear that Wal-Mart alone is the cause of the plastic bag pollution problem. There is an island of plastic in our oceans. Plastic is killing off marine life. This is an easy fix. ( Sorry, mini rant over.) . Since we got the kitten, I did so much research. One of the things that I researched was litters. We have started using a walnut based litter. It is bio-degradable, so it is better for the environment than the traditional clay litter.

I also started organic gardening once we moved to our current home. Since my family is eating the food that I grow, I am eliminating toxins from the pesticides that commercial growers use. There is nothing better than going outside and picking a salad out of your backyard! You do not have to worry about if the lettuce has salmonella, if the tomatoes are going to be sweet or how expensive the peas are. So my husband thinks I am crazy, but I will not eat a tomato unless it comes out of someone’s garden. I hated tomatoes until I started growing them. Now I plant at least 10 – 15 plants a year. One of the biggest environmental boosts about having a garden is that I am also helping the bee population. One day I would actually love to get a couple of hives, but one step at a time.

We have well water and a septic system in our home, so I try to be conscious of what we are putting down our drain. So I have been making the switch to more natural products. I am trying to eliminate toxins from the house. It has been a slow progress. I just started a few moths ago. I have started making some of my own stuff too. ( I will do another post about this later.) One of the first things I did was get rid of dryer sheets! I got dryer balls. Best thing ever!! They are reusable, toxin-free and you pay for them once! That is the frugal gal in me doing the happy dance!!

So, I am getting there. I try to do my part. I take my plastic bags to get recycled and hope that they actually are. Yet, I have never chained myself to a tree. I will help a frog get away from my dog because I know that he is instrumental to our ecosystem. I still drive a regular car, it is not a hybrid or an electric, but it is a standard 4 cylinder that gets good gas mileage. I still like to play in the dirt, walk in the woods when I can and pay it forward to the earth. I am a kinda crunchy gal.