Growing Up

Our son, the youngest of our children, is visiting us in a few days. We plan on spending nearly a week in the mountains in Steamboat Springs. He has lived in Minnesota since 1998, raising his daughter, who is now twenty-two, graduated from college and on her way into life. He and his partner are currently raising a six-year-old and yes, that’s quite an age gap.

When he graduated from high school, my husband and I happily had the moving van in our driveway. We were headed to warmth in sunny Arizona. He moved with us, but missing his life and friends, moved back to Minnesota the next year. Our children grown and on their own, my husband and I slept soundly at night, with nothing to wake us but a hoot owl in a tree outside our bedroom window. We were unaware as to how our son was managing his world in another state, completely on his own. We found the not-knowing delightful. We’d spent years pulling him by his heels out of bed in the mornings to attend school. Once he graduated, we figured our job was done, no more wringing of hands. We ignored the fact his immaturity was as apparent as the small lizards exploring our patio.

It wasn’t until a few months later, while visiting him, we learned he overdrew his bank account (more than once) buying $3 meals at McDonald’s. Really? We wondered what he was living on, figuring his overdrafts probably exceeded his income. His apartment was smaller than a closet or pretty darn close. We were on the road to more gray hair.

Luckily, things changed. Over the years, it may have progressed slowly, but he matured—a relief to both my husband and me. When it comes to your kids, there are always surprises. This was a good one.

A couple years ago, during zooms and phone calls, he told us he no longer watched television in bed at night.  He was instead reading books. I was surprised, to say the least, considering he never read, buried himself in video games, and tackled maybe just a couple books and only because they were Stephen King’s. 

There were many events that helped our son reach maturity, and I can’t help but believe that to some degree, reading books helped. They expanded his world.  Out of our three children, it’s he and I that share book titles, the stories and our likes and dislikes. Somewhere and somehow, he grew up, raising two daughters, has a successful career and my favorite—is reading! I’m looking forward to seeing him and his family in a few days. Who knows? Maybe he and I will be reading the same book.   

4 thoughts on “Growing Up

  1. Yes, always surprises, and wonderful to get a good one. Have a great time and thanks for sharing your son with us.

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