The Roller Coaster To Letting Go

“Seriously, do you have to ask me every day about my grades? I know what you expect, I have it under control” Isaac says to me in an exasperated voice. We were catching up on the weekend and I was trying to get a handle on the week coming up.  Isaac was on my bedroom floor with Gus our dog on top of him.  I start to reply, and stop.  I think of a million things I want to say, and  just remain quiet.  This is extremely difficult for me.

John, Jessie, Isaac and I are sitting down together for a meal for the first time in what feels like years, but is actually about a week.  Christian is at a basketball practice, the NBA play off’s are on and Isaac is mad that I am making him have dinner with us when he could be watching the game.  That is what DVR’s are for, I said.  “You seriously nag a lot” Isaac announces at the dinner table. He then goes on to ask John if he remembers that time over Spring Break when Jessie and I were gone and just the boys were in the house, and I had told them all they needed to get done, and they did it before I got home, and nobody was there to nag them about it.  Wasn’t that great?

Then out of the blue Jessie asks him if he is going to move out when he is 18.  Now my mother alerts are going off loudly.  What did she just say? Isaac turns 18 in October, he would never move out before he finished high school.  Where would he go?  I feel a slight panic in me, and my blood pressure is going up.  “You could move in with Troy” she says with a smile.  Now I am white as a sheet, now I am having flash backs from the day he was born, now I am sure I have lost my baby and first-born child as soon as October hits.

My defense of sarcasm kicks into gear.  There is no way you could make it on your own.  Too many bills, no car, what would you eat?  You could not live on your own your senior year in high school.  Isaac of course counters with he could do whatever he wants, he would be 18. He would be an adult and he could do it if he wanted to.  I am stunned, when did this happen? I am a nag, so now my son, my first-born child, wants to leave the nest?

The conversation moves on but I do not. I am back in the birthing process, praying for a healthy boy.  I am reading “Bam Bam Bam” for the one-hundredth time.  I am laughing as he learns to talk.  I am in awe of his Lego creation. This can not be happening.  I mean of course we are talking about colleges and we do have four teenagers but…

After dinner I play a few rounds of Family Feud with Isaac on his Ipod.  He has now moved back to the family room and is watching his beloved NBA playoffs and playing this game.  He has brought his dinner plate with him as he wanted more but did not want to stay at the table.  I get up to go, and bite my tongue to keep myself from “nagging” him about making sure it gets in the dishwasher. I am not a nag I think to myself.  What if that is all he remembers about being in our family is that his mom was a nag?

I go to sleep praying that he will stay until he graduates, maybe even longer.  I wake up after a good night of sleep.  I come down stairs to get going on the day.  The kitchen counter looks like crap, Isaac was supposed to clean it before bed.  I go to let Gus out, and in the family room I find his dirty plate, and cup.  Isaac’s shoes are on the floor and the couch looks like it has been hit with a bomb.  I try to find my happy place.  I try to remember how worried I was that he might leave.  I try to find those motherly feelings of compassion and love.  I fail.  When does he turn 18 again?  Not soon enough.


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I feel your pain. Is the phrase, “after all I’ve done for you…” running through your head?

Comment by Barb Stoefen

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