Friday, June 15, 2007

Because I was there once too

Over the course of the last few months, whenever we are in the car, Nolan will listen to his iPod.

I don't blame him, tuning out the rest of the din in the car, I'd listen to headphones too would it not incur the squinty-browed disapproval of my husband. (He is concerned about my safety, so I can hardly argue with that.)

I've not said much to Nolan about it, even when it gets on my nerves...I just yank out one of his ear buds and say what I have to say.

Lately, he's taken to his room.  He's reading, usually, and again, I can hardly fault him shutting out the din of the house for a moment alone.  At thirteen, I'm surprised it's taken him this long to get to that maneuver.  However, I vacillate between respecting his time to himself and wanting to force him out amongst us. 

I found myself remembering today how I used to do the same thing.  One of the reasons I am such a voracious reader is that there wasn't much else to do in my town, especially in the summer; my family was certainly not rich, and the only entertainment, the only escape I had came from the pages of my books.  

It's a dilemma.  For now, I just leave him be, and once in a while I ask him to come out and hang with his boring Mom. 

Tonight,  I talked to him about not being in such a hurry to grow up.  I told him that I remember reading, and wondering about the world, and being impatient to be out there in it.  I told him not to be in such a rush to leave us, because adulthood is not as glamorous as he might think it is--to enjoy this time he has where someone else looks out for him, someone else pays his bills, because once it's over, it's not as fun as he thinks.

And something else came to mind, and I shared it with him.

"I remember,"  I said, "once, I was SO pissed off at your Nana, I counted down exactly how many days I had until high school graduation, until I could get OUT.  Out of her house, and that one-horse town.  Out into MY life.  Irealize, son, that some day you might be that mad at me. And I'm not saying that it's a bad thing.  But you have to realize that this time we have now is really not all that bad, and I would appreciate it if you would stop trying to run from all of us, and start trying to enjoy it more."

I know he's gonna go, they are all gonna go at some point.  I realize that my tendency to hold them close is not always a good thing.  Luckily, I have a husband who is a little more loose on the reins, and friends who are both quick and gentle in pointing out my insanity. 

As I held Nolan's hand for a moment this evening, I noticed how much bigger it is--it's about the same size as mine.

He's perfectly capable of doing all the things I can do.  He can hold on to things all on his own.

I just have to let him.


candlejmr said...

I know exactly what you mean about wanting them "among us."  Its SO hard!  I have never allowed my kids to have TV's or computers in their rooms for that exact gives them too much of an excuse to hide alone in their rooms.  However, books and IPODS...well, that's a little harder!!! (lol)  I think just the fact that you are AWARE of'll find creative ways to get him out now and then!!!


womandriver2 said...

As a mom of three and step mom of 2 I have thus far "lived" through three of ours flying the coop.   It's hard.  When my step kids left it hit me hard.  I had raised Shannon from her being 15...what a tough year to get a step mom and ryan was 11.  I love them like my own, been through the birth of Shannon's two wonderful children with her, was there when her third child was still born and my heart ached so bad I wanted to shut the world out, watched Ryan graduate high school after struggling so hard to make it and was so proud of him...but when my daughter left last summer after her high school graduation... now that really hit me.  Not because I love her more or anything like that but she is actually MINE... I gave birth to her...I put her on the bus to kindergarten because she wanted to be little miss independent then I hopped in my car and followed the bus to school and followed her into her classroom...her leaving home...seems like I just left home when she moved out on her own into this great big could only mean one thing.... I'm OLD.... I'm MY mother... when did that happen???

fogspinner said...

I borrowed a quote from you today to use with my son, I hope you don't mind. You were able to put into words what I have been struggling to say to my 11 year old for weeks. We've had a very bad month and I needed a way to reach him without an eye roll. Thanks.

robinngabster said...

Oh gosh...I did the same thing to my folks.  I hated being around everyone, would escape to my room.  Family vacations were a nightmare.  I can recall being at the beach and everyone down having fun while I sat in the beach house...teenage years can be so hard.  I look back now with regret, you said all the right things to him....kudos to you Mom.  

jckfrstross said...

you did the right thing by talking with him:) letting go is very hard. but you will do fine and so will he:) enjoy your weekend


pixiedustnme said...

That's Grace's thing lately too - into her room to listen to music and bounce around.  Thank goodness this is an OLD house.  Solid plaster walls and real wood doors.  She could have that thing turned all the way up and I could barely hear her!  Of course once she's a teenager the rules will change - LOL

jevanslink said...

I don't look at it as losing their last vestiges of childhood, I think of it as gaining someone who can mow the lawn, take out the garbage, get something off the top shelf, and run errands for me.  

Mrs. L