Less is seldom more.

My son will move out of our house and into his college dorm next week. He drives me nuts.  He’s been what they call a “challenge.”  Loud, self-absorbed, and crazy moody. He still eats in his room, still tries to sidestep chores or responsibility, still runs at full speed and scares the crap out of me.  He’s arrogant and selfish and so eighteen year old male that I should be poised, with a smile on my face, to kick him out of the nest.

It’s just over a week away and I’m done.  I will no longer have to listen to his music blaring throughout the house with complete disregard for anyone else.  His laptop, or water bottle, or socks, or peanut butter spoons, are no longer my responsibility. If he doesn’t take out the trash, flush the toilet, shut his phone ringer off, or put away his laundry . . . not my problem.

The house will be quieter, calm, cleaner and less . . .

Less everything.

Less energy, less joking, less talking, less debate, less late nights, just less.

I have no idea why, it makes absolutely no sense, but I will miss him terribly.

He’s my guy, my son, the one person that tests me past where I think I’m capable of going.  He has taught me patience, deep breathing, debate, and how to see things, and myself, another way.

I carried him, cared for him, watched him discover. When he fell down, it was my job to pick him up, set him straight. When the school called, or the cops called, I answered. We fight, he makes me laugh, and sometimes I want to strangle him.

It’s what we do.

But now he’s done.  He’s moving out and on to his own life.  I will see him, probably still want to strangle him, but it will never be the same.  This time is over.

I would definitely not want to go back, do it all again.  I probably wouldn’t survive, but here’s what I would like to do.

I would like to hold his little hand on the first day of school, give him a tub, watch him eat cereal in the morning, tickle him, kiss his sleeping face.  I would just want a minute, a blink, with him then, now that I know we made it.

My thoughts from the laundry room.  Go To Bed!




children family kids laughter life love Motherhood Parenting sons thoughts

34 Comments Leave a comment

  1. You made me relive my experience many, many years ago when I drove my oldest son to college, about 60 miles away. The car was so loaded down it almost hit the pavement. I helped him unload all his stuff into his room, then left. I cried all the way home.

  2. Been there twice and poised to watch the last fledgling leave the nest next fall. I’m convinced that the last six-eight months they set out to test your last nerve so you are ready for them to leave. Then the reality hits and boom, you are a blob of emotion. I’m with you in spirit!

  3. He’ll be back. And there will be a return of the dirty laundry and peanut butter spoons. And yes, you will want to strangle him, but it’s nice. Now you have time to learn who you are again.

  4. Wonderful post. My 20 year old son has a lot of the same tendencies as your son and I have often wanted to strangle him but once in a while he does something so truly grownup and thoughtful and amazing that I can see that all the craziness was so worth it! Know what I mean?

  5. there’s nothing good to say about being a parent. well, not exclusively. there’s this tiny edge we live on where on either side is absolutely unbelievable-truly unbelievable for non-parents-joy and, on the other side, quite dark stuff. difficult stuff. if i may dichotomize the extrordinarily complex thing that is parenthood.

    my daughter has been living on her own for over five years now. parenting for sure goes on for me. and i miss her every day. thats the dark stuff. watching her grow into herself is the very bright stuff. on the Edge, i can simultaneously feel both. enjoy your last week with your son!!

  6. You made me cry, Tracey…but then I have two (grown) sons, and both have given me fits (for different reasons) so I understand what you are saying. It is hard to rear them, and even harder to let them go. Hugs, Nan

  7. As a new mom, this was a great read. I try to relish in how much my daughter needs me now, even though I’m exhausted all of the time, because I know someday she won’t want to have anything to do with me. A great reminder to enjoy her, all of her while I still can, before she starts crawling, walking, running, driving away. Thanks for sharing!

  8. It was so good to read this tonight. You are exactly 10 years ahead of me on this parenting adventure with a challenge of a child. I’m newer to WordPress, & one of the first things I wrote about was being the parent of “that kid.” It has tried me in ways I wouldn’t have imagined, but like you said, it has also grown me tremendously.
    My husband always says that his strong willed tendencies will serve him well in adulthood, if he survives. 🙂 thanks for the encouragement to stay the course & to treasure the precious windows of time along the way.
    I just recently discovered your blog, and I have thoroughly enjoyed your writing so far. Thanks! 🙂

    • I have to agree. I laughed for a good long time over your blog name. Fantastic! The goal, I always said, was getting him to an adult without squashing what makes him so magical. It’s not easy. It is much easier to break a child that is strong willed, but the extra effort is worth it. Your husband is right, it serves them very well. Thank you for reading and your comments. Wishing you lots of patience and cleansing breaths over the next ten years. 🙂

  9. You will definitely miss your son and that’s as it should be–but you’ve taught him and trained him and now, it’s up to him to see if his “lessons” were absorbed. And you know what? They are. . .Life is always amazing when the bird leaves the nest. You did good Tracy!

  10. I feel exactly the same. My son is still yet to be an adult, at 15, but it feels like his leaving is moments away. And though I still have one left in the nest and he’s a mere 3.5yrs, I know that time will fly with him, as well. My oldest has always been a major challenge, but like you say here, he has also been a beautiful teacher. Patience, stubbornness, and remembering to keep trying, despite his many attempts to push me and his dad away are things I have learned, thanks to my son. And though I love him dearly, I also find myself growing eager to see him out in the world on his own, discovering how to handle all of the things I have handled until now. Love to you. It’s a difficult time! <3

  11. What a beautiful testament to your son and to motherhood! It was so honest and genuine and brimming with love. Wow, Mama, thanks for sharing. This was wonderful to read and I’m so happy you shared it. I am sending positive vibes to you and your son during this time in your life! What a fun and exciting chapter and I know it will make you two grow stronger in love and friendship.

  12. Ahhh! You almost made me cry. My son is only 2 years old but I think of the fact that he’s only “mine” for such a short amount of time often. You’ve just personified those emotions through your descriptions. My momma hearts send your momma heart a big hug! Best of luck to you and your son!

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