Thursday, August 25, 2011
Two Weddings and... uh...
Presto change-o! Within a couple of months, two of my sons became engaged. As in, they're planning to be married! Woo hoo! Do you know what this means? All those stories I've heard about kids growing up -- those were definitely true. But all those stories I've heard about kids leaving the nest to build their own lives? It appears that those stories may be true, also! Amazing! This may be proof -- one of the boys acquired an apartment last week, and he has been living there for three days! It's empty, he's alone, but he's got a bed and utilities and maybe some food in the cupboards, and he's loving it.
Economic circumstances being what they are, this has been a difficult time for my guys to strike out in independence. The desire has been there for a long time, but the boys just couldn't afford to get their own places. A few years ago, I had an interesting conversation with a hairdresser about this. We were making small talk -- do you have kids? how many? how old? When I admitted that all my sons still lived at home, she was totally supportive. In her cultural mindset, it's expected that the kids should stay home until they are really ready to be on their own. A solid career is a must, and a solid relationship is preferred, before there's any talk of leaving the parental home. On top of that, she saw it as a positive thing that my sons were willing to stay at home after high school. That's a marker of a decent family life, she said.
I was kind of taken aback. Not that I didn't agree, but I'd never heard these things spoken with such directness. She made me ponder my own expectations. In my family of origin, finances dictated that my brothers had to live at home through all four years of college. One moved across the country to attend graduate school, but the other stuck around a couple more years while he searched for a decent career. When I came of age, I took my cousin's advice and went away to college. After a year, I got married and never looked back. For me (and perhaps my brothers), it was most comfortable to move away to learn independence; distance gave me strength.
Anyway, back to the present. I'm thrilled, ecstatic, joyful, grateful, and happy that these two wonderful gals will be entering our family! I'm beginning to see myself in a new role, a new season of life. I'm not sure, but I think that becoming a mother-in-law means I'm grown up... as much as I'll ever be.
Oh, and the son who's not preparing to tie the knot? He says he's too smart to leave home for a while. He'll have three bedrooms to himself, and his mother in the basement.
P.S. The flower pictured above is from one of my future daughters-in-law. So nice!