I swear I break new parenting ground every week, and most of the time I feel like I’m floundering!
It wasn’t easy raising my knucklehead on my own, we had ample drama- as does any parent.
Sometimes my little boy made me wish he was older so he could bath-dress-feed-clean up after himself. Sometimes my little boy threw tantrums. My little boy often hugged me for no reason. Sometimes my little boy could be clingy and got into trouble at school. My little boy often drew pictures just for me. Sometimes my little boy made me wish I had more time for myself. Sometimes my little boy fought with his cousins and broke things. Sometimes my little boy picked flowers and wrote love letters for me with dreadful spelling and no punctuation. Sometimes my little boy got on my nerves and didn’t always want to eat his vegetables. My little boy always loved bedtime stories. Sometimes my little boy cried when he couldn’t have his own way and he didn’t always want to go to school. My little boy always loved his mommy.
When he was a little boy, I knew where he was pretty much all the time. I organised play dates and replied to invitations. I drove him around and I fetched him. I knew when he would be home. If I wasn’t driving him to wherever he was going or collecting him from somewhere, I knew who would be. I knew exactly who his friends were, and I had their parents’ phone numbers.
Now my little boy is a grown up.
I don’t know most of his friends and I have very few contact details. Often times he arrives home from work, showers and leaves again. Whole weekends go by that I don’t know where he is or who is driving or is he walking and is he being careful. Does he know who is driving him around? Are these people drunk or stoned? He usually tells me where he is on his way to- but where he goes from there I don’t always know. He knows he can call me to fetch him if his ride is too drunk for him to be safe, and he has done so once or twice. But he is a grown up. Telling me where he is going and when he will be home is mostly a courtesy because he lives in my house. If he lived on his own I would never know where he was or who he was with!
Tonight when he set out, every fibre of my being wanted to beg him to stay home where he was safe and where I could keep him safe. When he is out, I have to force myself not to phone him and ask where he is and is he safe and how is he getting home.
Would I worry less if he was driving himself around? If he had his own car? Probably not.
How am I going to cope when he moves out of my house one day?