I already released two kids into the world. One is gone, and one is near with his spouse and kids. Now I am raising three grand kids. It doesn’t get any easier. The oldest has turned eighteen, he was dragged through high school kicking and screaming, but we pulled him through. He is done with all high school classes and all that is left is the graduation ceremony. He attends the local vocational school, specializing in Aviation and Aeronautics. He is a math and engineering whiz who thinks far beyond my capabilities. He will graduate from there in less than three weeks.

However, he is still young!  Even though he is eighteen and almost done with school, I could pull out the  “it’s a school night” excuse to enforce a curfew, but he was always home at least an hour before his curfew.  As a parent, I LOVED this! He was home and all was right with the world. Time after time I would give him permission to stay out late on a Friday or Saturday night, but he would be home by ten or eleven.

He works flight simulators like some of us breathe. His brain is a human calculator. He doesn’t drive, smoke or drink. He is home after school each day and is here until bed. He has friends over and they work on computers, listen to music and eat. He is a good kid with little world experience. I tried to push him out of the nest, urged him to join clubs, go to friends houses or get a job, but he was happiest at home. I know that I have to shove him into the world. He has to drive , get a job, a place to live, form relationships.

But, the mommy in me was pleased that he was home safe and I didn’t have to worry. Then today came! He left here at 7 pm with a friend and at midnight he still wasn’t home. I was thrilled and nervous at the same time. He is over eighteen and able to stay out as late as he wants, but you can’t turn off the worry or desire to have your chickens in the coop before bed. I had to. He is a hard-working man, with above average intelligence who was taught core values.

He came home, later than usual tonight, and I found out why. In the late 1970’s a “friend” stole a large portion of my vinyl record collection. I know they sold them for drugs but didn’t have valid proof, I let it go, but I have always mourned the loss of those albums. Many were gifts from friends, my mom, aunts and cousins. Turns out, my boy was out scouring second-hand shops and music outlets for these records. He purchased many for mother’s day! He only gave me three as a teaser, but he left my mouth-watering!

This encounter left me a greater gift. I know that his heart, and head are in the right place. He is ready to enter the world, meet women and pursue a career. He is green, but he is well armed. My conversations with him have shown me that he is an intelligent man. He is open-minded and tolerant. He has a strong work ethic. He embraces music and the written word. He has a soft spot for animals and children. He is a computer geek and math whiz who talks about aeronautics as easy as as I take a breath. He is good with people and adjusts to each circumstance. He will make mistakes,and ask for help and I will stand by and let him, it’s my job.

Once again, I have to release the hand of a boy and let the world have the man. I can still see him running over the yard, his golden curls bouncing in the sun.  He will do great things and I have to back away and let him do it.

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