When Teenagers Start To Fledge The Nest

July 21, 2022

They leave you before they leave…

Having been in for the past 2 years we were worried that O was a little behind in the socialising department. We’d had no, ‘You treat this house like a hotel!’ no slamming doors, no, ‘You’ve ruined my life!’ and no wondering where on earth he was and with whom.

Our run-up to 18 has been quite a slow one thanks to the pandemic.

Then the country reopened, and we thought he’d be off, but he was quite settled in his routine until one day when he asked if he could go out and we said, ‘You’re an adult now, you don’t have to ask us if you want to go out.’

And he went out and did it again.

He stayed out later, and we had to have the, ‘It’s a college night and yes you’re an adult but when you get back late we’re in bed and the dog barks when you come in late,’ conversation. It felt very teenagery and real and suddenly how he was supposed to be.

He’s out most nights now and we have to ask if he’s home for tea even though we’ve never had too before. Luckily, we have 2 other sons who are ravenous at the moment (both growing) so food is never left on the shelf for longer than 20 minutes so whole meals certainly don’t go to waste.

They leave you before they actually leave you.

Little by little they break away. First up to their rooms, then out with their friends and then the ability to drive means they can literally drive away and the arrival of 18 lets them drive away whenever they want.

He’s slowly leaving.

This is the long goodbye.

It’s no longer that he listens to his friends more and us less or that he rolls his eyes but then does what we’ve asked. This is the time where his opinions are truly his own and connection has to be worked at rather than taken for granted. I’m arranging to spend time with him in a way that I never had to before. We have to find the common interest, the common ground and make so much more of an effort than we’ve ever needed to.

If his plans cone to fruition he will leave in the Autumn and yes, he will come back but I don’t think he’ll ever live full time with us again.

This is the long goodbye to childhood. It’s already in the distance turning round and silently waving me goodbye…

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