OT... my youngest boy moved into his own place

remodelflaApril 19, 2009

I went through this with my older boy... first college, then an apartment, then a move back to NY and again his own place. My younger boy stayed home till not quite 22 and just moved into a townhome with a friend. My house is an absolute diaster. I gave him all the furniture for the apartment since we'll be EVENTUALLY moving to the much smaller house we're remodeling. Couch, large chair, my old bedroom set, kitchen table and chairs, outdoor table and chairs, all my dishes, silverware (I bought all new stuff on sale for us!)EVERYTHING! I don't know what they would have done otherwise.

What a weird combination of feelings. I'm so very close to the boys... maybe cause I raised them by myself. My youngest is "my sweet one". And I know he loves me more then anyone in this world (tells me that without hesitation). I'm so excited for him.... he's been looking so forward to this. I know he feels like he's on top of the world. I know whenever it is he wakes up this morning he's going to experience a feeling of freedom he only dreamed about. But... my mind is playing games with me. I can touch the memory of giving him tubbies, hear the silly songs we'd make up and sing, and kick myself for times I remember I was unduly harse or acted out of frustration/exhaustion. I find myself driving or writing (like now) and even though I'm not actively "crying" tears are streaming down my face. And yet... I have this comforting feeling that he's safe. The last year or so, he'd get home from work and half the time run out. I'd worry sick cause in the past he gave me reason to. And now I know he'll stay home cause he has his own space. He told me I'll probably see him more then I did before. And in the end I told him "No one will ever love you like your Momma "Ti" (childhood nickname)and it's been a great ride." And he told me, "I may have made the road a little bumpy, but you're the only who really matters Momma". and then he kissed me up like I did him when he was little (and not so little).

So I'll to HomeGoods and the like today and look for the perfect rug for his place to match the chair, couch, etc I gave him. To go with the new comforter, towels, floor mats I bought him yesterday. I've already "food shopped" in my pantry and filled an extra laundry basket with staples. And then I'll clean all the dust bunnies which now roam freely since half my furniture is out, rearrange what I have, run my new dishes and silverware through the DW, and smile like a fool when he walks in later today to gather another load of "stuff" and eat Sunday dinner with us.

I'm ready for this. I look so forward to this next stage of my life, fixing our "retirement" home, my dream kitchen, watching my puppies run in the huge backyard I love at the other house that we'll get maybe by the end of this year. I dream about how some day my boys will settle down with a lovely girl and give me chubby little babies to adore. And that's when I know he'll look at me and understand the absolute all encompassing over whelmeming totally consuming love I feel when I'd say to him, "I love you bigger then the moon Ti".

OH man... I got alot of cleaning to do...

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remodelfla - that was an absolutely beautiful thing to read this morning! I know how it is to feel happy and sad at the same time. My "baby" will soon be turning 16 and he has been out and gone with his group of friends, being the happy, social butterfly we have raised him to be :)

I was telling my DH that this is just the beginning of his independence of us, wanting to be with his friends instead of hanging out with Mom & Dad. As we cleaned and cleaned and cleaned yesterday attempting to restore normalcy back to our home as we come to the end of our remodel, we dusted off the pictures of his youth, placing them back on the entertainment center and re-living each phase of life, all the wonderful memories and how quickly it all seems to pass.

I know our parents lived through these phases with us, but I am not too sure I am ready for this next passage in time.

Good Luck cleaning today and setting your home and life up for the next phase. It is a bittersweet moment, isn't it??

All the Best to you.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 9:10AM
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Elyse, A beautiful expression of your love and hopes for 'Ti'. Thanks for sharing with us. My DS will be 22 in a few weeks. He is making significant changes in his life that will impact us too. I understand the joy, love and tears.

You have done a wonderful job of raising your boys. The good times you all celebrate, and those times patience was short, you remember more vividly than he does.

Enjoy shopping and helping set up his apartment! No doubt he is enjoying your assistance, too :-) Those gifts from home (dishes, furniture) will remind him how much love you share.

You have good times to look forward to with family and your new house. Just imagine all those Sunday dinners, scrumptious breads and such you will share.

I am enjoying your planning and work (Bakers Table is beautiful!).

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 9:15AM
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i am crying right now!!!!!!! just like the tears you explained....my boys are soooooo young, but reading this just goes right to the heart.

you should feel good in knowing you have raised your boys to be independent, caring and thoughtful. you did your job well! everytime i lose my patience and yell about the same things over and over again, i only hope that my boys will grow up to be like your "ti".

it's ok to feel sad. but this too shall pass and you will have new things to celebrate with your sons.

i have to go get a kleenex now!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 9:24AM
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i'm about to cry too. my baby boy just went to his junior prom friday night. i love him so much-the thought of him leaving in about a year to go to college makes me proud of him and at the same time very sad to see another stage of our lives with him end to start a new one. when he got home friday night,he told me "mom, i had a good time". we stayed up and talked while i fixed him some snack pizza bagel bites. he is a 'mama's boy', but doesn't want anyone to know it. Although, last year during football season he forgot something before the game and had to call me to bring it to him. He actually gave me a hug and a kiss in front of all of his team mates. one of his coaches got to see Blake in a new light and commented on how awesome he thought that was.

thanks for sharing your story. those boys, big and small are a mothers heart!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 10:04AM
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As a mother of boys, I can't even imagine what it feels to have to give them a kiss and wish them well. I can't even think about that day. I don't even have words, but I think I understand.
This year I watched as a couple of gals said goodbye to their babies. I can't even think about it, because if I do, the lump in my throat leads to those bittersweet tears. God bless you and yours.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 10:12AM
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OK... three loads of his dirty laundry that he never did down and two to go. He told me the w/d in his apartment isn't working and Sears is coming on Monday. One more gift of many from me to him... told him I'd do it for him. My first apartment didn't have a w/d in it! One room vaccumed, furniture re-arranged, and a mind boggling amount left to do.

And he is a proud and never was/is embarrassed to show it Momma's Boy. He's big, broad, tough, a leader, and yet has this unbelieveable tender side. A walking talking dichotomy! Maybe there's something to this astrology thing since he's a Gemini! Off to Publix... I'll be searching out the buy one get one free specials for sure!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 10:19AM
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Thanks for sharing your story about your baby boy!
My youngest son is my "sweet one" too. He never hesitates to tell me he loves and isn't shy about it a bit. I don't want that day to come where my boys leave me, I'm not ready yet! (They are 16, 14 & 12)

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 10:41AM
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One bright silver lining... the bathroom he used... my beautifully remodeled 2nd bathroom that houses my air jet tub is going to get cleaned and stay that way! No more water spots not wiped down, no more socks under the vanity, no more tooth paste marks all over the vanity top and sink.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 11:09AM
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Oh my I can relate. Mine is 22 this August and has been on his own for about a year now. I confess I go and clean up for him about once a month. I still pantry shop for him, and hopefully someday a nice girl will come along to take over.
What a very touching thing to read! And, yes, you won't miss those toothbrush marks. Not for long anyway

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 11:18AM
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Your sweet story made me cry too! I can sooo relate. I only have one son so he is my baby and eldest wrapped into one. His father and I divorced when he was two so it was him and me against the world for a long time. When I look back on those years I wish I could have them back. I remember those nights I would come home from work so tired and maybe not as patient as I should have been. I was soccer coach and T-Ball coach even though I had never played either. I always felt jealous of the stay at home moms that could chaparone field trips when I could not because of work. I raised him to be independent at a very young age. Now he is sixteen and I wish he wasn't so independent! I am now remarried to a wonderful man who has been a big part of my son's life. But there will always be a special bond between my son and I that no one will share and no one but a mother of a son would understand. I will sign off now because I now have mascara running down my face. Big hug to you Elsye you've down your job right and your baby bird is leaving the nest only to return with more memories for you to share in this new chapter in both your lives.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 12:28PM
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I knew you all would relate. Really, I didn't think about what I was writing... it was very cathartic cause I wrote whatever I was feeling. I just got back from a massive grocery shopping and that boy is hooked up! Everything that was on sale or buy one get one free I bought 2 of. ($114 in savings!) Yes... cleaning supplies are included along with meats, breakfast foods, lunch foods, condiments (I always called him the condiment king cause he loves them), and paper goods. I did the same for his brother when he moved out.

Speaking of my bigger boy... off to NY on Friday for a weekend visit with him. He's excited I'm coming and is busy making plans for the 2 of us. So we all keep moving forward excitedly anticipating many future adventures that await!

Big Hugs back to all of you.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 1:00PM
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Well I sit here with tears streaming down my face. I just finished cleaning my house for an Open House today at 2:00 . I needed to spend the most time in my 3 sons rooms. The 2 oldest are back from college living with us while they save for a place of their own. I just asked my husband how much longer they would be here as I picked up drty underwear, used kleenex, stinky socks and assorted stray hairs all over the bathroom! I know the years fly by so fast when they're little and it will be a bittersweet feeling when they are out of the house. Thanks for your post.......

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 1:31PM
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RFla, what a sweet, sweet post!! I remember all those feelings when my baby -- the only boy after two girls -- left for college. I though I'd never recover! He's now 37, with a sweet wife, a 6-year old and 2-year old twins of his own, so he's experiencing the overwhelming love I felt for him.

It sounds as if you're doing it exactly right -- you've raised him to have both roots and wings, and that's not an easy balance to achieve. You're making it "easy" for him to leave home -- which is healthy and appropriate -- yet making it clear that he's still a huge part of your heart and your home. You're helping and supporting, and I'm sure you'll find it possible to gradually back away as he achieves more and more independence.

My daughters both moved away from us after marriage . . . and now, after 15 and 19 years, we'll all be building homes next door to one another on a Tennessee ridge. Having established their independence by living away from us, they're now able to reconnect without feeling stifled. We're enormously excited about having them and half of our grandchildren next door!!

Treasure the past, enjoy the bittersweet moment, and look forward to an exciting future.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 3:11PM
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Wow hosatagrams... how eloquently put... "both roots and wings". I love that...

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 4:04PM
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I know this was an excessively sappy post... sorry 'bout that. But my handsome boy came by today... "just came to hang out with you a little Mom before I get more of my stuff. Come in the pool with me". So we hung outside and talked. And he thanked me... repeatedly... for everything. Told me he couldnt' have done it without me, that he couldn't have done anything without me. There were many many declarations of how much he loved and appreciated me. So I end my day incredibly exhausted from mass amount of cleaning, shopping, and laundry. Exhausted but filled to the brim with warm fuzzies. Thanks for listening even though this was totally OT from regular kitchen posts. I'm taking my tired fuzzy self to bed!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 9:37PM
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What a lovely way to capture the feeling that all of us seem to feel when our "baby boys" walk out the door. I wish that new moms could be made to realize how fast it will all go. As I think back on all the memories - first works, steps, kindergarten, skateboard and on and on, I wonder, like I am sure you do where the time went. I wish I could recapture it all again.

Certainly, if I knew then what I know now, I would have altered things. I do believe that I was the best mom I could be at the time. What saddens me the most is that I wished so much of the time away. I couldn't wait for the first words instead of enjoying the coos and oohs. I couldn't wait until he walked and somehow missed the joy of watching him crawl. Learning his ABC's was an important goal for him and me, but in the meantime I missed the joy of the picture books of baby animals.

And those are my biggest regrets. To keep myself from being too maudlin, I assure myself that some day I am going to be one fine Gramma!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 10:56PM
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Remodelfla, I so understand your feelings and it sounds like you have a great relationship with him. He will always keep coming back. We had to go through the same thing with our two sons and now they are 31 and 36, both married and they gave us two beautiful grandsons in the past 6 months. It's all part of that "circle of life". The best is yet to come--wait and see.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 11:49PM
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What a very sweet story. It brings tears to my eyes for a different reason. I have a 16 y/o boy, my first born, and he has not turned out to be the sweet boy I always hoped he'd be. I've tried very hard to instill the right values in him, and love him unconditionally, support him, etc. He is just the opposite of your sweet boy- so bitter, nasty, and hateful. I often wonder where I went wrong- what I did wrong. We're having a difficult time right now. He's not into drugs or anything of that nature (thank God) so I'm lucky there. You ladies are so lucky to have such sweet boys who love you so. Hold them tight.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 12:48AM
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Remodelfla, thanks for the sweet, generous, tear-jerking post. And for the reminder of how fast it goes, and the hope that our sons can grow up to be men we are proud of...it sounds like yours already have.
Ttenis, hang in there. Being the mother of a 16 year old boy is really, really hard. I think harder in some ways w/ our firstborns. It sounds like you've given him all the right things: support, values and unconditional love. Give him a little time and trust...he'll come around, you'll see.
Hostagrams, thanks for the beautiful image of boys with roots and wings.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 1:38AM
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ttennis... I wish I could give you a hug. My older boy was never the sweet one. Nasty, hateful words, angered easily... at that very same age. But we perservere. We go toe to toe even though their twice our size and 100 lbs bigger. And I was the one who moved him 4 times when he was at college (and 300 miles away), I was the one he called when he didn't know what to do about a job, I was the one he called when he got his dream job, I was the one who financed his move to NY, I am the one he now calls when he gets a new client or has any success. And... even though he lives 20 minutes from his Dad and I'm 1800 miles away; I am the one who goes to visit him at his apartment... for the third time in a year (and he's been home twice). His Dad has been there only one time to help him move his bed in. I leave Friday for this 3rd visit and he's been making plans for me to watch his ballgames, take me to a belated birthday dinner, and have a BBQ at his friends home. We talk 3-4 times a week. And when he starts acting like an ass... I say, "Bye my Matty love... don't want to hear it... talk later".

Hang tough, don't give up. I PROMISE you ... it will get better, much better.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 7:08AM
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Thanks guys. I'm glad there is hope and light at the end. I know it is just his age, but wow, it's hard to deal with. My husband is in the military, so he's gone a lot, which is some of my son's bitterness. I thought teenage girls were supposed to be the hard ones! My 10 y/o daughter is sweet as can be- I hope she stays that way. Thanks for your words of encouragement..

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 2:57AM
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UPDATE:.... the economy, poor spending habits, biting off more then he can chew, career "morphing"... and my boy moves back in this weekend. I'm disappointed he had to suffer hardships; but encouraged that it's the best thing for him right now. He looks forward to being able to "get out from under" and make a fresh, wiser, and more intelligent start.

Who says you can't come home again!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2009 at 8:03PM
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