No surprise there.
But this time it's different. I'm having a hard time letting my boys graduate from high school. I'm having a harder time letting them go. The hell of it is I didn't even know I was having a hard time until this week. I mean, I knew it was hard and that I was dreading it at the same time I was looking forward to it but I didn't realize that I was letting any of those feelings leak out of my head (and my heart).
Exhibit 1. The Girlfriend
Matt has a girlfriend that, as long time readers know, I adore. I loved his first girlfriend also but I knew that relationship wasn't right and wouldn't stick. This one is different. This girl is strong and an excellent match for my sometimes too big for his britches youngest son. She is also me at that age. Pretty much all on her own. No support from her own family - either financially or emotionally. Able to fend for herself in almost any situation.
So I was very proud when she called (called...not text...that means it's a big deal) to tell me that she had won a contest and would receive a fully paid trip to New York to be a seat filler for the Tony Awards! Wait...what? OMG!!! That is fantastic! What a wonderful opportunity for a theatre major! Then she asked if Matt could go with her.
I started asking questions. Where would they stay? When were the awards? How would they get around? I needed answers before I could decide. Really? Dad has already said an enthusiastic yes. I mean, what kind of parent denies their child an opportunity like this? At his age I was planning a wedding and had been supporting myself for three years. But I waited, I stalled, I said I had to talk about this face to face. Of course, eventually I did say yes and I'm very excited but I was left wondering...what the fuck is wrong with me.
And then God sent one of His patented bricks upside my head and it came to me...
This girlfriend I love so much is taking my son away from me and I don't like it...not one little bit. In fact, she's been pissing me off a lot in the last couple of weeks. I feel like she's been competing with me for his affections. Like I tell him to do something and she's whispering in his ear and telling him to do something else. And he listens to her.
I can really be an ass sometimes. It's not her you moron...it's you! I'm the jealous one who's been competing (in my head...not out loud...or so I thought) with her for his affections. It's like I've got to stake my claim to what I believe is already mine.
Most of the time.
Right now it sucks.
Exhibit 2 - Grumpy Mom
I started to bitch at the boys yesterday about one thing or another when Brian spoke up.
Brian: "Mom, why are you so angry with us lately? It feels like we can't do anything right."
Brian: Waits patiently while I process the bomb he just dropped.
Me: "I guess I'm just having a hard time with the fact that you're graduating and I'm grumpy. I'm sorry. I really am. You know how much I adore you."
Brian: "Is it okay if we call you on it when you're doing it?"
Me: "Of course, isn't it always?"
And that's when I realized that yes, I really am having a much harder time than I thought I was having. I was so proud of myself for not crying every two seconds and not worrying about them because they'd be living at home while they went to college. But what I failed to recognize consciously (but my subconscious was smart enough to see) is that it is a very big fat hairy deal. That I have some deep seated feelings about this that need to be acknowledged and processed. That no matter how much I try to ignore it, the fact remains that they are becoming men and have begun what we have been preparing them to do their whole lives...grow up and grow away.
So I cried. And I will again. And I wrote them a letter that I will give them on graduation day. And I processed. And I thanked God that I quit drinking when I did.