Letting the Boy Be a Man Featured


I work real hard not to be one of those helicopter mamas. With a front row seat to the victories and pitfalls of adolescence (and the parents who thrash against its angsty cage) for the past two decades, I was absolutely determined not to let my own selfish heart be a handicap. Don’t worry, this is not going to be a preachy post about current politically correct psycho-babble on enabling our children to be the BEST at everything and have ALL the advantages so that they can “get ahead”. This is a post about a mama’s need to know.

The boy’s a man now, by any definition. He serves our country. He has an undergraduate degree. He’s paying his own way through graduate school. He’s living the bachelor life three hours away from home, sharing an apartment with a frat brother who’s in the same “holding pattern” as they prepare to make the jump to the ranks of the gainfully employed.

I was invited to see the place this weekend. Okay, I pulled the Mom card to get the invitation, but I needed absolute proof he wasn’t living out of the hatchback of his car or in some seedy, rat-infested hole in a back alley. Coming back to our house after graduation was NOT an option as 1. We expected the boy to launch his own life wherever he wished and 2. His kid sister moved into his room the very day he left for college. Heck, she was all settled before he had time to make the drive!

As I got the grand tour of my firstborn’s apartment, I got to thinking about those days as a young adult…those glorious pre-mortgage days where my biggest concerns generally centered around having enough pizza money to last through the end of the month. Their walls were bare, the better to get back the security deposit at the end of the lease. Their furniture was comfortable and minimalist. By minimalist, I mean the absolute bare minimum. My son’s room could easily double as a monastic cell from the 17th century. Any disposable income they have is clearly disposed of on their state-of-the-art TV and gaming system. Yep, they’re living it up.

These boy-men have it made, and I breathed a big sigh of Mama relief at the freedom they have in their roaring twenties. Of course, they can’t see it. But that’s the way it always goes, isn’t it?

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