All Grown Up


It’s May. When I think of May a few things come to mind: Mother’s Day, Matt’s birthday (my son), and graduations.

This May is a little different than all the others I’ve endured for the last 47 years of my life. My son will turn 18 two days before he graduates high school and enters the unchartered waters of adulthood. If I were on blood pressure medication, I’d probably have to increase the dosage….but, I’m not. So I guess I’ll be drinking more heavily than usual from here on out.

I know my son will be making some mistakes on his own, and this is where he will learn some of life’s valuable lessons:

1. If it’s sounds too good to be true, it’s bullshit.

2. If she says she’s on birth control, protect yourself anyway.

3. Have fun, but know there is a fine line between “fun” and being destructive.

4. Learn from your past so you don’t make the same mistake twice.

5. Learn the art of organization. Hopefully being around your mother who is the queen of organization will have had some sort of subconscious effect on you. If only I were there in the flesh to witness it….

6. The lesson to keeping money in your bank account is to not spend it on stupid shit like Twizzlers and animal shaped wrist bands.

7. Don’t drink and drive. In fact, don’t drink. At all. Until you’re 30……

8. Don’t do drugs that you aren’t sure about. Let’s not be naive about this one – drugs can be a recreational sport, or an addictive, life sucking, festering pile of shit and will ruin every facet of your life. See number 3 above.

9. Be choosey in the women you sleep with. Remember that you’ll not only be sleeping with her, but everyone else she’s slept with before you came barging into the party.

10. Remember why you’re at college. A mind is a terrible thing to waste. And so is your mother’s bank account, so make it worth every dime and graduate (IN FOUR YEARS), with decent grades.

I really love my son. Unconditionally. But to be quite honest, I can’t wait for him to leave. It’s time he gets a real life education about being on his own, being a true adult and doing things for himself rather than relying on good ‘ol mom to do it for him.  He’s been doing his own laundry since age 12, he can make a pizza and scramble eggs. He knows how to work a microwave. So, I have solace in knowing he won’t starve to death and will have clean underwear if he gets in a car accident.

I just want to invisibly hover over him and subconsciously tell him before he does something stupid to “make right choices, Matt,” like I always do. So, I’m hoping that all those times I’ve said that to him, he’ll think about it in the back of his head before he does something that he may or may not be sorry for later on.

As a parent, I guess it’s called, “Trust.” Have trust in knowing that you’ve taught your child right from wrong, good from evil, as well as when to stick up for your rights, and when to walk away.

Now is the time that I will truly come to realize how well I’ve raised my son. Matt’s done some stupid stuff, as most teenage boys have. We’re like, “The Odd Couple”.  I’m Felix and he’s Oscar. I’m a type A and he’s more laid back. I’m not a procrastinator, but he’ll wait until the very last second to do something. I’m an organized freak compared to the four walls of his room which can’t be located unless you sift thru all the piles of clothes he won’t put away in the drawers or closets because…..well, he’s lazy. Sound familiar?

So, here I am: A mother about to celebrate her son’s adulthood and embarking on a new chapter in his life. I’m excited and terrified at the same time. I feel like Fred Flintstone who had the good Kazoo and the evil Kazoo on both shoulders, prodding him on to make a decision.  On one shoulder the good Kazoo wants Matt to fly and spread his wings, like releasing birds from a cage or animals from the zoo…”BE FREE! BE FREE!” Yet, at the same time, the evil Kazoo is telling me that as soon as he leaves the cage, he’ll trip over a speed bump, crack his head open and end up in the ER needing brain surgery.

Trust I say…..trust him to make the right choices. Cut the apron strings. Don’t be a helicopter mom. Just let him make those mistakes and learn from them. Let him dump his cellphone in the toilet during a drunken stupor at a party and then call me from a pay phone to explain what happened.

And, when I drop my son off at college to say goodbye, I’ll have tears in my eyes, but they won’t be from sadness. It will be from the joy in knowing that I’ll have more room in the house, it will be quiet, a cheaper grocery bill…………

I’m gonna miss him.

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2 thoughts on “All Grown Up

  1. I love your Top 10. I may have to steal it for my son who is also 18 and leaving for Northern Arizona University in the fall. Where is Matt going?

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