Well, Man Son went out on his own so to speak about two weeks ago. My brother, his uncle, had something happen which requires personal attention. It was recommended that a family member take care of him. My son, Man Son (18 yrs old, HS graduate and thinks he knows all now that he is 18) decided he needed to be away from his over loving mother (me). After two hours of screaming and crying I stop and think how wonderful this opportunity is for him and how proud I am of him to take on this family task. I was just being selfish wanting him to stay at home and go to college. He can still go to college when he returns home. Many take off a year before going to college. He can venture out on his own so to speak. He wont have to pay rent or other things, he will be in his uncle's house.
He has been gone for three weeks now and boy do I miss him. I want to call him five times a day but I limit myself to once every other day. Part of me wants him to miss Mom and all the wonderful things I do. Does he miss me? Well not for the first few weeks. He did finally call me!! Yeah! It wasn’t Mommy calling him to make sure he was ok, he actually called me! [Great big grin on my face!]. He wanted to come home for the weekend!! Yeah, he misses me!! Oh, what was that? You want to drive 12 hours to come home? What if something happens to you or your car or some crazy person attacks you when you stop to get gas? Two hours of convincing him he could die or end up in the hospital if he drove. I talked him into a flight home instead. I gleefully purchased his last minute round trip tickets. My pocket book screamed for mercy but I was going to see my boy! I was blissfully happy.
The next morning he called to get the directions to the airport which is four hours away from his uncle‘s house. It was at this time he informed me a friend was picking him up at the airport. [Loud bubble burst] Trying not to sound extremely disappointed but my squeaky voice came out and said “What about seeing your Mom? What time will you be here? What time will I get to spend with you?” In retrospect it really sounded pathetic. He did say he would be home around midnight and after all there was the fall back (turning the clock back an hour) and that hour would be mine. Grrr not liking that he is already a Man. I want my little boy that use to come up and hug me for no reason. Now I have to wait in line behind his friends? When did that happen? Ok that happened a few years ago and I was ok with that when I saw him every single day. Now he only has one day and I have to get at the very end of the line? Ok he and his friends want to hang out at our house after recounting all that happened in the last three weeks. Moms are not ment to hear all the latest gosip amongst his friends.
Ok his first venture out alone and his first real challenge at planning an event so to speak. He called several times “Should I have passed this city? What was the number of the exit off that last highway? I don’t think I brought enough money with me for gas. Do you remember my pin number? Where is the nearest gas station for this gas card? I have to make this call short since I did not pack my phone charger.” I was stressing out to the max while my loving Sister was telling me we should have planned all of this better. She meant well and was trying to convince both my son and me to put off the trip until next weekend. We wanted to move this forward this weekend so we poo-pooed her ideas.
Man Son did eventually run off course by taking a wrong fork in the road. This put him one hour south of where he should have been heading. He had to turn around and get back on track which lost him two hours. I called reservations and had the flight changed to the next available. He calls again to tell me his speedometer is evidently broken. He was clocked at 85 mph in a 70 mph zone. This is when he discovers the speedometer needle wont go past 75 mph. The dial goes up to 90 or 95 but the needle apparently gets stuck at 75. That was an expensive lesson. I tell him we will worry about the pricy ticket and fixing the speedometer when he returns. He still had to reach the airport and to keep his speed under 70 mph depending on the speed limit (55 mph, 25 mph, whatever the sign says but not more than 70 even if it says 80). Mommy’s pocket book couldn’t stand to make this trip any more expensive than it just became.
An hour before his flight was to take off he calls to tell me he still has 80 miles to go. [huge bottom lip pouting on my end] I was not going to see him this weekend and I was soooo disappointed. I asked if he wanted me to book the flight for next weekend. He was also upset he told me he was just going to drive all the way home and never go back to Tennessee. I looked up the flight reservation number on line and cancelled the flight. [so upset I forget about the internet and leave it on all weekend]
Half an hour later my son calls. He has no cash on him, the banks are closed and no gas stations with the name of the gas card he has. He is almost out of gas and not enough gas to get back to his uncle’s house. I tell him to go to the nearest gas station and have someone working there call me from his cell phone since it is long distance. The person calls me and tells me there is no way to input my credit card number in their register, they are not set up that way. The card must be read by the computer strip and cannot be entered in manually. I start to panic and want to yell at this man “That is my baby standing in front of you ! You better let him put gas in his car! I will mail you cash! I will mail you gold bars! I will do anything if you just let him fill up his car!!” Ok I didn’t say any of that but I wanted to. I explained he did not remember his pin number for his bank card and has not received his local bank card yet. I asked the man if there was a gas station near by that would accept his gas card. The man said “We are the only gas station for miles around that accept that gas card.” God must have guided him to that gas station! I was sooooo happy!!! I thanked God over and over again for watching over my son!
The next day my son calls to ask if I made the arrangements for his flights this weekend. He will not give up on the promise he made to his uncle to stand by him until he was able to stand on his feet again. I asked him if he had his pin number, cell phone charger, etc. He says yes to all and told me he was going to print out the directions to the airport tomorrow so he will have them with him.
It was a tough lesson, he didn’t get to see his friends but he did learn Mom cannot always help him and plan everything for him. As much as I want to always be there to do everything for him he needs to be prepared to do this on his own. He has never been reliant on me these past few years but I do try to emphisize on planning to the point I make all the calls. It is time that I let him do as he thinks best so he can make his own way, his own plans even if they are not successful. After all isn't this the time for him to learn Mommy did things for a reason? Teenagers think they know everything. After the teen years comes the legal adult age where they think they really know everything. I cannot remember a time past 16 years old when I did not think I knew everything there was to know or do in any situation. It was only when I was faced with an obstical that I really thought it out and over came it. My mistakes were only matched by my sucesses and the ever so horrid thoughts of "My parents were right in the first place" but I had to figure some of those out on my own because "I knew better." ha, ha, ha. We also learned that Auntie, my Sister, was right all along. Last minute plans do not always work out. We should have rescheduled the flight for the next weekend instead of trying to make the last minute arrangements, minute by minute.