A chunk of change

You know what they say…the more things change, the more we wish they didn’t.

Or maybe that’s just me.

I’ve never been a super-fan of change. In fact, I’m more than fine with same-old, same-old. There’s something comfortable in the predictable. Even the mundane. I once spent the better part of a decade having the EXACT same thing for lunch every day. Did I mind it? Not in the least. Did it put me at risk for scurvy? Probably.

But change is no shrinking violet. It comes barging in, whether we invited it or not.

This year has been a change overachiever for me. The latest chapter:

This guy is graduating and going off to college.

I’m not sure how this is possible.

How will he survive? Who will cut his grapes in half? Who will read him to sleep? Who will tell him to brush his teeth? Okay, yes, it’s been a good long time since I’ve done all but the last, but it’s hard for me to imagine the person who used to call coats “come-ons” (because I’d cheerly say “come on, sweetheart!” as I pushed his pudgy arms into the sleeves) roaming the campus and discussing philosophy. (That’s what college kids do, right?)

It calls to mind the beginning of pretty much any good story.

The protagonist receives the call to adventure, which is at its very heart an invitation to change. Many times, this change is not welcome and the protagonist does everything to say, “No thanks, I gave at the office.”

Change invariably happens, however. The protagonist says goodbye to the familiar, takes a detour into new territories and, if things go right, spirals as everything goes wrong. Soon, the protag is over their head. They have to shift and adapt. They must give into the power of growth and possibility.

External change ignites an internal one. Which I guess is a good thing.

Oh, and the grad?

He made it by the skin of his halfheartedly brushed teeth since he decided to wait until the 11.5th hour to finish the final 65% of his one online class.

I’m pretty sure the experience shortened my life. I’d like to say I’m no longer a mom worrywart. But I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

Do you embrace change, dear friends, or try to avoid it? Do you have a favorite book that showcases a big change? For those who have chicks that have flown the nest, how did you cope (or celebrate)?

35 thoughts on “A chunk of change

  1. Oh, dear Kath- I promise this will be a learning experience for you both! Some good, others not so much. I wasn’t happy with everything my daughter did at Temple, but we did get through it together. Do guide, but don’t preach. It makes them tune you out.

    He’ll be just fine. He has a lot of learning to do away from the nest. He now has to learn to adult! Mine will be 29 in September. She’ll call during work hours “just to hear your voice.” She tells me. 💕 That’s when you know you’re a successful mother. I still worry. Now I worry about her and her husband. They know I’m right here 24/7. Just send him off to his freshman year of college knowing that you’re there 24/7, and that you may be unhappy with a choice he made, but you love him no matter what. Xo

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks for this post, Kathleen. I’ll be 70 in a couple of months, and I’ve got a 17-year old who’s a rising senior (yes, I do everything late!). We’ll be starting the college applications this summer. My other son is 25. He lives two hours away. He has his B.S., is working in grocery store, and thinking about a career as a pro disc golfer if the death metal thing doesn’t work out.
    I like to think I embrace change. I worked as a scientist and a tech writer and editor for 40 years. Now I’m a full-time fiction writer, with a crime series starring a twentysomething bisexual woman, an HP Lovecraft pastiche and about a dozen published traditional Sherlock Holmes stories to my credit. But y’know what? Some days I just wish everything would slow down…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh Kathleen, I hear you. I have one who has flown the nest, did well in college and is now living with her boyfriend and has a job as a paralegal. The other one? Well, he also graduated by the “skin of his halfheartedly brushed teeth,” went off to college and, well, things didn’t go so great so he’s back home coming up with Plan B.

    The Hubby is also pushing me to buy a new house – I’m not sure if he wants a weekend place or a new place, but it’s stressing me out. It’s worse than new car shopping!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. These kiddos definitely forge their own paths, don’t they? I’ve said that my daughter could have run a business at age eight because she’s so driven and organized. They all have their gifts!

      A new house sounds exciting! My first question is always how easy it will be to clean and do yardwork–haha!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Whole-hearted congrats to you and your son, Kathy. Yes, indeed, it is a time of both joy and tears. I have no doubt whichever path he chooses for his next adventure, it will be one filled with adventure and good memories. Sláinte!

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Kathy, this is so exciting!! Congratulations! Frankly, I hate change. But in terms of your second question, the first week after Eliza went off to college, Jer and I wandered the house like depressed, lost souls. Then a dawning realization: we had our life back! Now, as we ponder her return home after a summer break working as an arts instructor at a sleepaway camp – despite a finance degree??? – we’re going to have to reverse engineer our emotions and go back to having her living with us. Should be… interesting???

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I think a finance background is perfect for artists, El! Wish I had one, ha. And who knows what opportunities Eliza’s summer may bring? Ya never know…

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I had to laugh, Kathy, because after my son had been in the Navy for five years, backpacked around Europe for two months, and was well into his mid-20s, I told him to do something obvious one morning. He said, and I quote, “I’ve left the house before, Mom. I’m not Boo Radley.” Still makes me laugh. He’d been living with us after the Navy while he went to college. I never got tired of calling after him, “Be a good friend! Make good choices!” as he left. Highly recommended.

    As for pushing my chicks out of the nest, that was never too hard for me. I always knew my job as their mother was to create self-sufficient little birdies who didn’t need me anymore. As soon as they were off on their various adventures, I was happy for them, glad they found their place in this world.

    But like you, I’m a creature of habit too. We can exchange tips on keeping scurvy at bay.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. GUFFAW! Boo Radley! Your kids inherited your funny bone.

      I also do the call-after reminding the kids about making good choices! It elicits an eye roll, but hopefully something registers behind that spinning oculus.

      I’m looking forward to sharing anti-scurvy tips. Maybe we’ll corner the market on blogs about such?

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I still eat the same thing for lunch that I did in junior high school, so I guess I’m not big on change. I love a routine, which must be why I bond so well with dogs.

    I don’t have kids (and my dogs never leave home for college), but I do know that my own parents were pretty darn happy once all their kids had finally flown the coop. Congrats! And yes, he’ll be fine–better than fine. The fact that he managed to complete 65% of his class in the 11 1/2th hour (no small feat) proves he can do it when he wants to.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. We’re in good company with our eating routines, Leslie!

      And you’re right about the 11.5th hour miracle. He claims it was intentional and that he’s mastered the art of efficiency. Why work all school year when you can cram it into a couple of weeks? (SIGH)

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Love this, Kathy! And no worries, All Will be Well. Another adventure…I’m sensing a theme in the comments here. I used to worry about my kids growing up, but I love the adult humans they’ve become as much as their younger selves. I don’t know whether I’m fond of change or not–when I was younger a college friend told me, “Every time I see you (once a month or two), you’ve got a new hair style or a new job.” It was sort of true, I’m afraid. And I loved, loved, loved to change apartments, too (take heart, Liz!). But I am also overly nostalgic and I’ve noticed that I immediately set up comfortable, daily “routines” whenever I go anywhere new. So I guess I have totally failed to answer your question, sigh. Offhand, I don’t have a change-book to offer (there are so many), but embarrassingly I have a movie: Desperately Seeking Susan. An old fave, lol (I mentioned I was nostalgic, right?) Good luck, Number One Son!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I want something different, but I don’t want to change. Maybe it’s why I’m in a job where I have a predictable cycle of things I do every month.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Oh my gosh! Great movie! And one I haven’t thought of in yearsssssssss. (I can see Baby Madonna in my head right now!)

    Definitely seeing a theme in those comments, as well. It’s so funny that I’m feeling this way since I never think of myself as sentimental!

    I love that you embrace change, from your hair to your abode, while still loving routine. I’m taking lessons from you!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Your grad will do great, Kathy. His mom will need a bit of time to adjust, but she’ll be fine, too!
    Like you I can settle into a routine for lunches. And once I find something I like at a restaurant, I order the same thing every time I eat there!

    Liked by 1 person

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