Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A milestone for Son

Son turned eighteen on Saturday. I still can't get over that. In a year, he'll be in college. College?! When did that happen?

I talked to him about this milestone the other day. "I know you are about to be a legal adult," I said. "And you think that means you automatically get a lot of responsibilities and freedoms. But you need to remember something. You are still accountable to me. You still rely on me to make a lot of things possible. There's things you have to take care of for that to continue."

"Yeah, I know," he said. "I can't act like a kid anymore."

"Like, I feel like you are more than ready to keep your room in decent shape."

He grinned sheepishly. "Yeah, I know that. If I expect to drive around town on my own, I should be able to handle that."

Well, knock me over with a feather.

He's doing well lately. This new girlfriend has been good for him. She's low-maintenance. Her parents don't let them go unsupervised. I've had a brief run-in with them at my house. They heard me coming close, and I saw her leap from his lap into another chair. I called him aside.

"Certainly, you don't think I didn't see that," I said.

"Yeah," he said.

"You know what's appropriate and what's not. Don't push it. I won't tolerate what I went through with Drama Queen."

"Okay, I'll handle it."

Later, I came upon them again, making out in my living room. This time, I said something. "When you come in my house and behave like that, I feel disrespected," I said. "Disrespect me again, and you won't like what happens."

They stopped, but she didn't move away from him. I took note. However, nothing else has happened.

Ranger has a $50 gift certificate to a local Mexican food restaurant. It's a use-it-or-lose-it kind of deal, so he wants to take me, Son, and the new girlfriend (I need to come up with a name for her) to dinner for Son's birthday. I think that might help us get to know her better.

Son has had trouble finding anyone to talk to him about a job before he's 18. So, he's been doing little jobs. He's refereeing soccer games on the weekends. It's decent money, for a teenager. He'll train to be a baseball umpire in December. He's really looking forward to that.

He decided to take his car to professionals to get some basic things fixed. He looked at some of the problems himself, but found that someone else had tried to fix the wiring and made a mess of it. So, he shelled out some dough and got the heater and turn signals fixed.

See, it dawned on him the other day that having a working heater isn't a big deal when you have to keep rolling down the windows to do arm signals!

On Saturday, I watched this 6'2" man-child roaming around my house and thought about him so many years ago. Is it possible that so many years have gone by? I remember turning on morning PBS cartoons while he played with his beloved trains. He had a train track playset that would end up meandering all over the living room by the time lunch came around.

We also marveled at how fast his feet grew. I could never say, "Act your age, not your shoe size," because his shoe size was way ahead of his age. He stopped at size 15. His dad had a puppy who liked to make a bed out of the top of Son's feet.

We adopted Son when he was 18 months old. For those who don't know the story, his birth mother is my sister. She was quite young when she had him. She met a man and married him when Son was about a year old. He was horrible and abusive, so the marriage lasted about 5 months. After that, she decided single parenthood wasn't for her. She asked me and my now-ex to adopt him.

Immediately, he ate like there was no tomorrow. Breakfast was waffles, fruit cocktail, cereal or oatmeal, eggs, toast, milk, and juice. And he loved cottage cheese. After breakfast, I'd send him off to his trains while I cleaned the kitchen.

One day, he hollered, "Mommy! Come see what I did!"

He had his Tinker-toys out and had been building away. He proudly showed me his handiwork and demonstrated it for me.

The child had built a catapult.

"Oh, sweetie," I said. "Mommy has to go back to school now, to keep up with you!" He beamed.

I love him so much. At times, he's been my greatest love, and my greatest heartache. I hope life is good to him, and he's good to life. And that he makes the most of what God's given him.


Anonymous said...

I adore reading about Son, in large part because I see a lot of what my future with Cooper is going to be like in your stories and recollections. I am so happy to hear that he is doing well and that he is well on his way to becoming a responsible adult - way to go, Mom!

Blogget Jones said...

Thank you! I just hope it holds. I suspect that the first year of college will be a challenge!

:o) BJ

Walker said...

MY daughter is turning 18 in October and she thinks that she can do what she wants then but i have already told her its still my house and the rules don't get any older.
They just stay the same.

Blogget Jones said...

That's a very good way to put it, Walker!

e jerry said...

"Low-maintenance Princess?"

Just throwing things out there...