Momhood

Motherhood, insanity and everyday life.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Hold On Loosely

I have reached somewhat of a crossroads in my parenting career. Our nest is practically empty. And, as you may know, I get pretty excited when the college boy returns home, as he did this past weekend. This is year two for our adjustment to having a child in college. We’re better at it. I no longer carry my cell phone around constantly in case he needs to call at any moment. I still worry when he travels the 6 hours to and from school, but I’m letting go…a little.

I’m also not so old that I don’t remember what it was like to be in college. That fierce tug of independence fighting against the nagging obligation of paying due diligence with the parents. One seemed so cool and a bit scary and the other was mildly annoying and sometimes a little rewarding (food, laundry, nice bed.)

Let me add that our son is really good about checking in with us so we don’t worry needlessly. He calls a fair amount and he doesn’t spend too much money. In the child lottery, we did very well.

What stumps me is that I suddenly feel awkward around him because I can tell that he’s much more interested in being almost anywhere else than with us. In fact, it feels, for me, a little like high school when I would make feeble attempts at talking to boys all the while knowing that there was really nothing I could say that would captivate them. It’s as if I’ve completely lost the ability to converse and find myself taking desperate shots at saying something, anything, interesting. In the process, I feel him drifting away and I worry just a little bit that it might be the beginning of the end, so to speak.

And yes, there is a longtime girlfriend of three years that figures into this equation. She probably seems more like family than we do on most days, which is why we try our best to include her in family outings. I want both of them to feel really comfortable around us and perhaps therein lies the problem. I think I’m trying too hard. It’s as if I’m running around saying: “Look at us – we’re FUN!” It’s pathetic, I know. And probably about as appealing as a trip to the dentist.

I need to just relax and let him live a little. I can’t make him want to be around us any more than I can make him clean his dorm room. I just have to trust that it will work out and we’ll get our time with him. And, in the meantime, I do have a high schooler here every day that I can still cling to. Let’s see, what can I do to annoy her today?

6 Comments:

At 6:25 PM , Blogger Star said...

I have three daughters, all of whom went away to college, one through a masters degree. They pull away and assert their indepenence, But they come back. I think if you don't force them, the relationship is even stonger when they are older. Hang in there.

 
At 6:25 PM , Blogger Star said...

I have three daughters, all of whom went away to college, one through a masters degree. They pull away and assert their indepenence, But they come back. I think if you don't force them, the relationship is even stonger when they are older. Hang in there.

 
At 11:14 AM , Blogger srp said...

The hardest part of letting go is learning to live life on your own again. This is particularly hard when you've gone straight from parents house to college to marriage (day after graduation) to career to motherhood to divorce to single mom. When she went to college, it was the first time I had a life again. No, even now, since we moved back and in with my folks due to job situation, I am still not with an empty nest. Now, I am still mother to my daughter and mother to parents as well. Perhaps we never get a life back! Now I have depressed myself.

Anyway, my daughter is a junior. We have gone a couple of weeks without talking. I can however always count on her being on IM when a paper is due, asking for a proofread. Usually this is at 3AM......

 
At 12:49 AM , Blogger owlhaven said...

Hi Karen, I haven't stopped by for awhile, but I could really relate to this post... My first comes home every weekend, and even though we talk via email most evenings, when she is home I still feel myself straining to ask the right questions, the ones that don't seem terribly nosey but do seem caring...it is a tough balance..

Nice to visit here again...

Mary, mom to many

 
At 10:35 PM , Blogger Swishy said...

I'm sure you're doing great. We have a way of being much too hard on ourselves sometimes.

 
At 6:27 PM , Blogger kenju said...

I agree with Star. My kids are ages 35,37 and soon to be 41. I am proud to say that one calls everyday, one calls 3x per week and 1 calls and emails at least 1x per week. We see all of them at least every 6 weeks.

Don't force it, and I can predict (from what I have read over the last 18-20 months here) that your kids will always want to be around you. I am a very lucky mom and you will be too.

 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home