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Have You Ever Hated Doing Such A Good Job?

7 May

I knew that it would happen…someday…but I never really did prepare myself for it fully. It’s the night before Mother’s Day and I just realized that it’s the last Mother’s Day that we’ll wake up together in the same house and it’s making me sad. I worked so hard preparing my son to grow into a good citizen. A person who knew how to act, was responsible and hardworking. I taught him the value of a dollar and how to save for the future. I taught him to be kind, polite, and especially thoughtful to older folks. Apparently I did my job very well, because now, at twenty-four years old, he is leaving the nest for the first time to go off and start a new life…without me…or so it feels to me…and it is breaking my heart just a little.

Oh, I knew that someday he would go, I guess I always secretly wished deep down in my heart that he would never leave me. I never really and truly ever contemplated a life without him here by my side; we’ve always been a team. Funny, but somehow I tricked myself into thinking that he would never want to leave. Crazy sounding, I know, but as his only living parent my life has been completely wrapped up in him and what I could do to give him a good life…most every mother’s reason for being. I must confess that I feel like it’s the end of days.

When he was eight I made him promise that he would never live more that ten miles away from me. He gave me such an earnest, little boy look as he promised that he would never, ever leave me. Over the years I’ve reminded him many times of that and his response is always, “Mom! I was only eight when I made that promise!” and my response is always, “Well, a promise is a promise, son.” Oh he would get so angry when I said that, because I’ve taught him the importance of keeping a promise! I think I must have brainwashed him, because the house he has bought is only a block away from ours and I couldn’t be happier…but it still won’t be the same.

Poor kid. The other day I just started crying out of nowhere thinking about how we wouldn’t share all those special moments together that we do…like watching t.v. together at 2:00 in the morning. He, awake, because he works a swing third shift, and me, awake, because I just never can sleep at night. A time of the day when most all the world is snug in their beds sawing logs and here we sit talking and laughing and sharing special moments. It’s in those late night hours that we share so much of ourselves…alone, just the two of us…the way it was for most of his young life. He put his arms around me, gave me a big hug and said, “Don’t cry Ma..nothin’s gonna change..I’m only moving a block away. I’ll be over all the time for dinner and to visit you.” He said it so sweetly that it made me feel guilty for feeling the way I do…but I can’t help it…I do.

I was eighteen for about two seconds when I moved out of my mother’s house. I was gone for two weeks before anyone even noticed I wasn’t there. So, when my son turned eighteen and was more than content to stay at home I rejoiced! I know a lot of the reason for this is our closeness and the fact that I made a real effort to always be a part of his life and make him a priority in my life…something that wasn’t afforded me at his age. I couldn’t wait to get out on my own, because no one really noticed or even cared, I think, what I did with my life when I was a teen…they were too busy working and running a business. It was kind of like being on a deserted island. I made a conscious effort to NEVER let my son even have an idea of what that felt like…he has always been the #1 priority to me…and he knows it.

So here he is at twenty-four, fully employed with a great job and responsible enough to have saved enough money to comfortably buy his first home on his own. He has turned into the man I raised my boy to be…and I couldn’t be prouder. Don’t get me wrong, he’s no angel, but he is a good kid.  He’s done enough knucklehead, dumbass moves to be a considered an authentic teenager at times to be sure, but who among us hasn’t? It’s part of growing and learning…the key is, do you learn from your mistakes and grow from them or keep repeating the pattern? Thankfully, he inherited the smart gene and has learned from any misstep he’s ever taken.

It’s funny, but sometimes when I think about how I’ll be missing him, I wish I hadn’t done such a good job and he’d be at home for awhile longer…because he wouldn’t be able to afford to move out! Just as quickly I kick myself in the ass and remind myself of what a great kid he is and how I know I will never have to worry about that boy not having a place to live or food to eat. How lucky I am to know that my son enjoys going to work…he’s a worker…and a saver. I also know that when he starts a family of his own that he’ll be a good provider and a hands on dad…because that’s the example he’s been given.

I did my job so well that he’s ready to go…sometimes I wish I wasn’t so good at my job! 🙂

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