Blog,  Parenting

Coming of Age

His clothes were laid neatly in the back of the SUV, along with two large packages of toilet paper, several boxes of macaroni and cheese, the pillows from his bed, and several large plastic bins containing as much of his life as he dared to take with him. The rest he left in his room at home. He was beginning a new life with bits and pieces from the old. He’d been waiting for this moment for an eternity, but it’d help if he could push forever off just one more day. Balancing precariously on the line between the past and the future, he takes a deep breath and crosses over into the next act in the story of his life.

Today began Big Son’s transition from living with parents and siblings and being treated with care and concern to being on his own in college to discover who he wants to be and to begin becoming that man. Tonight he will be on his own for the first time ever. No one to tell him when to go to bed, when to do his laundry, when to wake up, how to find information on his own, and all of the little things that goes along with being an adult alone for the first time in your life. Not that he’s really alone. He’s sharing a dorm room with his step-brother, whom is also the same age and starting out on his own as well. Plus, Big Son’s cousin, who is a junior at the college, isn’t too far away and is excited to have him there. (He’s basically another little brother to her and they both love that-truth be told, she very nearly became his big sister a very long time ago-shoulda woulda coulda/water under the bridge.) So it isn’t as if he’ll really be alone. But he is having to figure out where to go and what to do and how to get there, etcetera. Along with thousands of other kids who are coming of age this weekend.

I didn’t cry. I’m not THAT mom. In fact, we kept joking about me finding the brownies (the scene from Transformers 2) because yes, that would be me accidentally but me nevertheless. Sadly, I never did find them. Free bottled coconut water, but no brownies. Sigh.

I am excited for him. To be doing something I wanted to do but didn’t get to…it’s nostalgia and fulfillment at the same time. My son is in college. My SON is IN college. I love the sound of those words. He’s not the first in my family but as I didn’t go to a four-year college this is a pretty big deal.

Despite the fact that he’s lived with his dad and stepfamily for the last two years (something that actually did prepare me for this day), I keep thinking about what he might be doing now or what he’s thinking/feeling. I’m his mom, and I’m worried about him a little. Yet I know he’s just fine. And he’s not really all that far away. He’s now about 30-45 minutes away instead of twenty. Still, when the homesickness hits, and it will, how will he handle it? Hopefully, he’ll give his dad or I a call and say he wants to come home for the weekend. But I hope he’ll learn to talk to other people and be social because I think that will help more than coming home will, along with getting care packages every so often. (I think my ex and his wife will be visiting more than I will-not too sure what that says about them or me other than I think my son will be too busy with classes and studying and will need to focus on that.)

In a way, I feel as if today was a coming of age for all of us. Change is in the air. I felt it today. The temperature, while still hot, wasn’t as sweltering as it has been of late. In my backyard, I actually have leaves on the ground from a tree beginning to shed its dead weight. A family of cardinals dart back and forth feeding their three little ones in the bush outside my kitchen window, and this is the last week of marching band camp. School starts a week from tomorrow. Fall is coming and winter will be here before you know it. Another year is about to pass into history and a new one begins. What will next year bring?

I have no idea. Because right now, all I can picture is this white headed little two-year-old boy holding a granite rock and telling me all about it while I hold his infant brother in my arms, a baby who begins high school in a week.

Jesi Scott is an aspiring writer of novels, a poet, and blogger. She has guest-blogged over at The Well-Tempered Bards, and has a post featured at For Love Of…. Jesi has two poems published in Memories of Mist, a literary anthology, and one published story in a newsletter. She is currently working on releasing her first poetry collection as well as writing her first novel. When not writing, Jesi can be found getting lost in bookstores, singing and dancing around the house, experiencing culture with friends, and generally having fun with her four sons when they aren’t driving her weeping into her closet, which she calls her Padded Cell. She loves to rescue stray bookmarks, as well as books, and has opened her heart to any and all stories needing a home. Archery is her current favorite thing ever but you might want to stand back a little as she still has a tendency to drop the bow occasionally.


  • Dawn D

    Third time’s the charm they say, right?
    I have already tried twice to comment on this post, it’s getting frustrating! Once, my phone didn’t want to post, the second, my computer crashed…
    Can you tell this is an important post for me? πŸ˜‰
    I too am soon going to say goodbye to my eldest. It’s going to take a little getting used to being one less at the dinner table. We’ve actually started to talk about it about a year ago, and everyone was quite sad that night… until someone figured out that it meant a bedroom was becoming free, and the discussion veered towards who would get it πŸ˜‰

    I agree, I think for me the fact that we have shared custody is going to make it easier too.
    Good luck with adjusting!

    • Jesi

      I did read this comment but for the life of me I don’t know what kept me from responding.
      It was easier I think because of him already having left to live with his dad. And it has brought us closer actually. So there’s that. I’m excited for him and glad he’s making some good decisions. It means that I did a decent job of raising him while I had him and that means a lot to me. To see that I did make a difference though I didn’t see it at the time. You will, too.
      Also, I promised you a link a while back to a post with a video…here’s that link:
      I hope it helps as you were one of the people that helped me be able to be open about this subject.

      • Dawn D

        Oh, wow! I actually started to view the post. I read it, started to view the video, but my kids were about to go, and I knew it would be easier to view it after they were gone. Now of course their dad upset me, yet again, so I’ll wait until I calm down a bit more before I listen to your beautiful accent πŸ˜‰

        I totally understand the ‘see I made a difference’. I have the same feeling. He has taken sides with his dad for now. I’m hopeful that, one day, he can see it a different way. But I cannot know that for sure. Which makes me a bit sad.
        But I have hopes that, with time, he’ll see value in what I did do, in his education and so on, that I gave him.
        I want to hug you after reading your post. I am sorry you went through this.
        I’ll leave a comment on the actual post.
        Sending you lots of love in the mean time.

        • Jesi

          I went through the siding with dad, too. It’s something I think all boys do at this age since so far I’ve known several who seem to turn against mom and side with dad. But, mine is just now beginning to see that I was right about his dad all along and that I only ever told him the truth, even if it hurt my position in his eyes. And, as I said, we’ve become closer this last year because of it.
          Thank you so much for watching the post. I hope it helped you, too. And thank you for the compliment to my voice. πŸ™‚

            • Jesi

              He won’t. He will be influenced by him but at some point he will grow to be himself. I think going away to college is a huge plus in some cases. It is in mine even though mine is only about 45 minutes away. He’s still far enough away that neither his dad or I are as easily acceptable as we have been. And, with my son, he and his dad began to butt heads the closer it got to his actually leaving. I’m not sure why but its between my son and his dad. But he knows I’m here if and when he needs me. Your’s may come to that realization, too. He might not, but you know you did the right thing even when it was hard. And someday, he will know.

              • Dawn D

                I believe he does begin to realise. I too am glad that he is away so that he can study without the influence of his parents’ messy divorce hanging over him.
                Thank you for the encouraging words. πŸ™‚

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