I always thought that growing up would be the best thing in the world . . . at least that is what my friends always told me . . . they lied. Growing is not as fun as I thought it would be. With growing up came responsibilities. I had to get a job. I had to pay bills. Income taxes to pay. Car payments. I had kids to raise. Yards to mow. Obligations to live up to. Had to act responsible. Houses to buy. And the list could go on and on and on! The wife—along with a whole bunch of others—are still waiting for that day.
I think that I took a step closer to that this past week.
This was not something that I had planned on doing. It was sort of forced on me . . . by the youngest child. Our youngest child graduated from college at the end of April. It was quite a milestone for him and for the family. The wife and I were quite proud of our youngest for having achieved this accomplishment. At the same time he proposed to his long-time girlfriend and she accepted the proposal. Then he packed up and moved to Salt Lake City to be with his future bride. On Tuesday he has a job interview and will hopefully get his first real adult job. He flew the coop . . . cut the apron string . . . abandoned me!
That is a part of growing up. You leave the home place and strike out on your own. That is what the youngest is doing. He is doing all of those psychological things that helps him become his own person . . . helps him become and individual with his own identity. Good for him, but I could have saved him the trouble and told him who he is. But he wanted to do it the hard way. Behind he leaves his father to fend for himself.
I have lost the following with the youngest move out of the house: I have lost my hiking companion (a year earlier it was his future wife who moved away) . . . now it just me and the bears and the moose . . . and my lousy sense of direction. Already the wife is warning me that I cannot go hiking by myself because of the bear. I told her I would take my Boxer—Maddie, but she can out-run me if we ever encountered a bear. I’d be bear meat. With the youngest I had a chance.
I lost my beer buddy in two realms. First, in the adventure of trying out all of the wonderful microbrews made in Montana. He and I experienced a lot of wonderful brews over the years and now I am on my own. I guess that is a sacrifice I will have to make and carry the tradition on by myself. Second, he was just starting to brew his own beer—and it was pretty good stuff, but more importantly it was free. My free beer source is gone. The financial burden just might break me.
I lost my music buddy who was constantly supplying me with new music and opening my near elderly ears up to new groups.
I lost my money drain. No longer will he be popping into my office asking for lunch or money for a pop. I just might be able to afford that beer after all.
I lost the lump that usually sat on the end of the couch . . . but now there is room to take a nap.
Yessiree . . . the youngest has flown the coup and left the old man behind. It is a natural part of growing up. His growing up has made me have to stop and consider the fact that now I have to grow up. It sucks . . . I was just getting used to living vicariously through my mid-twenties year old son. But I am proud of him as he sets out to begin his adult life . . . the future looks bright. He has a wonderful mate chosen who loves him as much (if not more) than his mother and I. His family is expanding. He has a job prospect. He has dreams and plans . . . and he still calls home to share them with the old man. He is a pretty good kid and I will miss him . . . but I don’t know if I can ever forgive him for making me grow up. Here’s to the kid!