Changes

21 05 2013

Seems there’s another major milestone coming up, as my son gets ready to move into his first apartment. For people my age, the response is nearly always “How exciting!” And it is. It’s also really daunting. The things that we all do naturally now – getting utilities connected, paying the regular bills – are all new and unfamiliar the first time you get a place of your own.

I’m really proud of him, though. He found this place without my input – he’ll be moving this weekend and I haven’t even seen it yet. And he decided, after several years of feeling like he should live with roommates, that he’s going to do this one alone. I remember when I moved into my own place in graduate school, how my aunt told me I’d learn more from my first year of living alone than I would in any classes I took.

She was right. Alone equaled lonely for the first few months. Somewhere in there, though, I found the ability to be comfortably alone. Which certainly meant some adjustments in learning to live intimately with someone after marriage. But what I learned then made it possible for me to pull through when I was widowed. Heaven knows what kind of foolishness could have happened if I felt I could not survive alone.

So anyway. He’s collecting his things from the house and getting them packed up, and making the same discovery that most of us do: “Why do I have so many books? When did I get all of these?” Cleaning things out for donations to various charities – which will of course be left in my house, but okay, it’s a mom thing. Figuring out how to get the furniture he’s going to need – it helps to have a grandmother who works estate sales every week – and then how to get that furniture into his own living space.

I know that underneath it all there is the unsettling hum of “Am I ready for this?”

He is. He’s stronger and better-prepared than he knows. But he won’t realize that about himself until he’s out there and doing it and suddenly has that moment of “This is my place, and my life, and I’m making this happen.” It happens most clearly when you’re doing it yourself, living alone. He’ll have the rough utterly-and-desperately-alone times – but there will also come the day when he realizes that things feel pretty good, have felt pretty good for a while, and hey – I have a life of my own.

I have my similar disquieting “Am I ready for this?” hum.

I am. He’s been home with me for three years and I enjoy having him there. He’s good company and a good person to share a living space with. It is going to be odd, and for a while unhappy, to not have him there every day. But he’s ready for it, and he needs a life where his mother isn’t aware of all his comings and goings. He should be able to tell me the things he wants to – and conversely, NOT tell me the things he doesn’t want to.

This is a good thing. Changes like this can be hard. But this is a good thing.

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