Well, I guess some parents are. The ones that always declare their kids are gonna be out of the house and off to college on the dot of 18. They drive Junior to the dorm, shed an obligatory tear, then head home to gleefully turn his room into a yoga studio.
I am not one of those parents. I never have been.
The Hair left today, and I am not ready. I AM grateful – instead of 18 he’s leaving at the ripe old age of 22, having spent the last few years accumulating credit at the local junior college. And he’s not going far – the school where he will wrap up his degree is only an hour and a half away. But it’s not right HERE. I’ve always had him under the same roof (and then right around the corner for the last nine months) and I’m not ready for him to go away.
See, I don’t just love him; I LIKE him. He’s cool and smart and funny. He watches sci-fi with me. I can have an intelligent and interesting conversation with him. He’s kind to his little sisters and doesn’t let The Drama get away with crap. He’s awesome. He’s been adulting for a while now, what with the job and the car and the being a responsible grown-up, and he’s a grown-up that I LIKE. He’s not just my baby, he’s one of my best friends*. It’s gonna suck not having him around.
I used to fantasize about a machine I could put him in to temporarily transform him back into a little boy – so I could have Baby Hair to cuddle or Toddler Hair to play with (soooooo cute when he was three), just for a little bit. I don’t think I want that anymore. I wouldn’t know which age I’d want most. He was just the sweetest little boy ….and an awesome teenager……and now he’s a young man I couldn’t be prouder of. I’d probably just keep popping him in and out of the machine and switching ages back and forth until his molecular cohesion became unstable and disaster and/or hilarity ensued. There’s a wacky sci-fi movie in there somewhere.
The kind of movie The Hair would watch with me**
But I digress – and I’m not being very funny. But I’m a mommy, and my first baby just moved away, and it’s a big freaking deal. I’ll miss him.
So I’m not ready. I probably never would have been. But he is – so Leonard will drink, but I’ll be happy and cheer him on. The Hair, that is. Leonard clearly has problems***
*yes, it’s ok to be friends with your adult children. It means you did your damn job. Yes, you’ll always be their parent (call mommy when you get there so I know you didn’t die in a fiery accident on the freeway), but it should look different once they grow up (it’s no longer your business to tell them to eat their vegetables and when to go to bed), and if you’re lucky, it will look a lot like friendship.
**we had a little farewell shin-dig and The Hair requested that we wrap up the night with a screening of “The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra”. Go watch it. You will either love it or hate it, but it will give you significant insight into The Hair and his sense of humor.
***yes. LEONARD has problems. It’s not like I’m enabling him with this blog or anything…….