My son, Buddy, moved out August 1st. I am halfway to being an empty nester, in the official sense. This is the real thing. He’s not going away to university for a year and coming back. I am not making the temporary move to Fort McMurray and finding him at home when I return.
The minute he moved, in fact he wasn’t yet finished, his sister, Princess, moved down to his room. It is further away from our’s and allows for more privacy. When Buddy was away at school I went into his room just to look and feel close to him by standing amongst his things. Now there is no room.
When I’m wandering around upstairs, I still think he is downstairs, tucked in his bed. Watching a movie. Eating a Tim Horton’s doughnut. But he’s not. I have to remind myself, he doesn’t live here anymore.
When he lived under my roof, I was in touch with him about one thing or another; the mail, dinner, the dog. Now I don’t know the rules for parenting an adult son. What is the line between caring and overbearing?
For the first time, as a mother, I don’t know how to behave. I don’t want to be the mother that smothers but I want Buddy to know that I think about him everyday.
I am happy he has suggested he’d like a family dinner once a week. Yes, I can make that happen. But, is that the only contact now? I could call him everyday to say, “I miss you. I love you. I am thinking of you. Are you eating okay? How are you doing for money? Is the budget working out? How’s the job? How are your investments doing?”
Instead I asked him, “What should our relationship be now?”
Since I asked, we’ve have been for brunch, taken a drive, and spent the afternoon chatting. Each was unexpected and loved. Last week we went to a concert and afterward he gave me a longer-than-normal hug. He is letting me know it is going to be okay. We are co-creating our relationship now. This is the way it will be and it’s all good.