A new parenting milestone: my oldest turns 21 this week.
In the scheme of things, nothing really changes. I’m still his mom; he’s still my child. But somehow 21 seems the magical number of true adulthood. Not 18; but 21. There is nothing more that my son, in theory, can’t do. Like voting or buying lottery tickets or… drinking.
Some parents would be envisioning their now-adult child heading to a bar or liquor store. Not me; not mine. He tried a beer once. That was enough for him.
So does this birthday hold any meaning at all? My son, the adult. Does it mean he doesn’t need me anymore? Is my job over?
I’m torn. Do I want him to be independent? Yes? Do I want to think that I have done a great job raising him to stand on his own two feet? Yes. Do I want to be superfluous in his life? NO!
When my son was deciding where to go to college he would say, “I want to be far enough away that mom can’t call and expect me home for dinner.” It was sort of a running joke. Well, at over 1800 miles away, he accomplished that. And I have told anyone who would listen that his going so far away has been a good thing for both of us. He has grown up and matured faster and in many ways; I have learned to mostly let go. But it is a gradual process for us both. A slow evolution. Me in my role as a mom. He in his foray into adulthood.
Text message from son: “So I should get a flu shot? Yes?”
Text response from mom: “Yes!”
Text message from mom: “Did u get your flu shot yet!”
Text message from mom: “Get your flu shot already!”
Text message from mom: “Please tell me when you get your flu shot so I can stop asking.”
Email from son: “I may come home for a few days over break.”
Email from mom: “Airfares are going up; book your flight home soon.”
Text message from son: “Are you free later to look at flights with me?”
Skype conversation: Mom – “What day do you want to plan to fly home?” Son – “I don’t know all my plans yet.” Mom – “Well then maybe you need to figure that out and book the tickets another day.” Son – “I guess so.”
Text message from son: “Luv ya:)”
To read more about my son, check out the birthday post from last year.
P.S. Flu shot – done. Spring break airplane tickets – still waiting but not nagging:)