Cutting the Apron Strings

My 21-year-old “baby” is moving out of our house at the end of this month.  Against my wishes, he chose not to return to college in September and has been working for a restaurant since then.  I have pushed, pulled, begged, cajoled, cried, pleaded, screamed and stomped for him to return to college, but he still hasn’t.  He is very smart and school always came so easy for him but he insists that he doesn’t want to return.

He told me what he wants to do with his life – something with high performance cars – but I am not going to think about that now.  I’m giving him one year to stay the hell out of trouble while sowing his wild oats or spreading his damn wings or whatever the hell 21-year-old boys/men do. {{{shudder}}}

Two weeks ago, I wouldn’t have been able to write about this impending move, but once again, the magic efFexor beans have proven to be worth every co-pay penny I spend.  They help me to keep calm long enough to think things through.  I still have my initial semi-hysterical reaction but it only lasts a few days as opposed to the weeks of depression I used to hurl myself into.

He knows that I’m terrified that he will follow in his older brother’s footsteps and fall into the same “bad habits” that Popeye has, but he insists that he is smarter than Popeye and that he has goals that he wants to reach.

I’m going to take his word for that…


About JJ

“"Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy.'” William Butler Yeats
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6 Responses to Cutting the Apron Strings

  1. Sometimes the younger ones *do* learn from bad examples. Here’s hoping, for everybody’s sake.

  2. Poolie says:

    My heart breaks for you. He most definitely is marching to his own drummer. Love him and hope for the best. Hugs, my friend.

  3. Bex says:

    Having goals at 21 is an excellent start to an adult life. If I try very hard and think back to when I was 21, my biggest goal at that age was going out to the bars in Washington, D.C. where I lived then and seeing if my drivers license would get me served as I had just turned 21. It did and I had a ball that night. Luckily, less than 20 years after that date, I stopped drinking that poison alcohol completely and heve never touched it again. But for 15 years I did my share of naughtiness!

  4. Jeanette says:

    That’s all you can do. They learn their own way.

  5. LA says:

    Ye gods, at 21 I was married with a baby on the way. We lived in a converted garden shed, horribly broke and occasionally resorted to eating out of the dumpsters behind the cafe where Mike bussed tables. Hard scrabble? Made some big goofs? Yeah. Yet, here I am safe and sound and doing okay.

    You’ve loved and nurtured your son. Taught him everything he’d take from you and shown by example a lot more than you think. I understand your fear that he’ll choose to follow Popeye down the road to hell, but what’s the alternative? Grounding him? Locking him in the basement? It’s a credit to you and your love that he wants to try on the world. That he has faith in himself and wants to make his own path. Be worse if he was afraid of life or was content to live at home forever. Besides, a degree doesn’t guarantee anything. Mike got his from a good school in a usable field of study and he ended up as a plumber. Alex has a Master’s degree and manages a Friendly’s because he can’t find a job as a teacher.

    It’s very hard to let go. We all want the very best for our kids and for them to have every opportunity. Your son’s wanting to get out there and be his own person IS a good thing. Truly. ~LA

    • JJ says:

      Ladies, I was also married with a child already at 21 and it was hard for us. I guess I just want my kid to live an easier life that we did…but maybe that hard start has made us the people we are today. I’ll just keep my fingers crossed and send him out into the world with my love!

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