Tuesday, September 8, 2009
I know you've probably been wondering...
...where I've been since last week. All I can say is I've been working at fast-forward speed this summer and last week cinched it. My attention was split in so many directions, the blog had to take a backseat. Blogging can't be allowed to get in the way of things that require your attention in real life.
So, I'll be telling you of many of the things that went on in the Nagle5 household last week, catching you up with our doings, but first things first.
Charming headed back to the dorms yesterday...we were eager to see him leave and sad to see him go, if that makes any sense. This part of the journey, the recognition that you've done what you set out to do and raised an independent, capable adult, is a difficult one for everyone. The temptation is always to keep the adorable boy in your mind when you're dealing with the young man. You think you know him and what he wants and what would be good for him and, in some cases, you do. It is not, however, my life. I've already been 18 and made the mistakes that come with that territory. Charming is chomping at the bit to live an adult life and sometimes found himself resentful when he found himself living the life as one of the kids. After a year of living the college life and then coming home for the summer, it is clear to all of us that he is done being one of the kids. He's ready to take his changes and make his own mistakes and he needs our support to do that.
So, we spent this past summer redefining our relationship. We consigned that baby boy to our memories and acquainted ourselves with the man he's becoming. We were teaching ourselves and him to manage expectations for his behavior, his contributions to the maintenance of the household as well as the maintenance of his own life, and his level of interaction with the family. Lessons were learned by us all: You can't tell everyone that certain things aren't up for discussion and then be frustrated when no one will jump in and fix those things when they go awry. It is unreasonable to want the family dinner if you won't be home at mealtimes. We couldn't tell him to handle a situation himself and then second guess how he handled it. All of it was hard...seriously hard. There were tears and recriminations, yelling and sulking, stewing and pouting. This was uncharted territory for all of us. We've never seen it done well in our own families and so we found ourselves reinventing the wheel. If you look back to my Friday Photo Flashbacks, you can see me working through the entire thing in the form of those photos.
In the end, Superman and I feel happy at the progress Charming has made, confident that he's truly on his way and confident in his abilities to manage his own life, without our interference. It is clear to all of us that he won't be calling our house "home" after college. It isn't right for him and we're okay with that. He knows we love him, he knows we support him, and he knows he doesn't have to live here to have that love and support. We're truly his biggest fans. Oh, he'll always have a place to sleep when he comes home to visit, but it won't be "his" room.
There you have it, the biggest thing I wrapped up at the "end of the year". Bittersweet, isn't it?
Oh, the picture? May 1991. Don't blink because time flies...and yes, Charming, you were naked!