Thursday night, it’s midnight and I have just returned from a lovely day traipsing around Manhattan with one of my fav Hunter girls and then an evening with the rest of my fav Hunter girls. My husband says, “we have no plans for the weekend. Let’s go visit one of the kids.” Say no more, twelve hours later, the duffel bags are packed and we are on our way to Buffalo to hang out with our son. Poor kid- he had a midnight text and eighteen hours to polish things up before we came charging in.
We arrived around eight in the evening Friday to the apartment he has been living in for a year that we had never seen. When we were raising these babies, they were never out of our sight or out of touch. When the evening news asked, “It’s ten p.m. Do you know where your children are?” we would laugh in a self-congratulatory way and say, “of course!” That all changed as they moved into adulthood. We had the birds’ philosophy of rearing children: keep them warm, safe and fed until they could learn to fly. Throw them out of the nest a couple of times for practice (ie: send them to the city on the train by themselves or allow them to drive a mini-van load of kids on small road trips), and then off they go! So easy to say and plan, not so easy to follow through on. Small kids, small worries; big kids, big worries. Are they eating, are they drinking, are they safe, how are they doing in school, are they happy, who are their friends, are they working enough, are they working too much, does someone love them they way they deserve and need, are they being kind and helpful to others, are they having fun, are they having too much fun?? And so we unloaded our weekend gear into our son’s life for a couple of days of togetherness.
The apartment appeared to be in a safe neighborhood; pretty nice for a college student’s place. Certainly an improvement over any place we had lived during the hungry years. We took him out to dinner at a restaurant he could not afford to go to on his own (meaning the meals were in the ten-dollar range, oh those lean days) and shared some drinks and laughs. You know your kids are grown up when you can all order a beer with dinner; it’s a rather nice feeling. A friend of his came to spend the night as well, and we stayed up until around two, solving the world’s problems. I can safely say we all learned a lot from each other- another sign our baby is grown up.
The next day we took both (boys) young men out to a nice breakfast, and then we went to explore the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. A very sunny, hot, crowded and enjoyable afternoon! In the evening we picked up the college-aged daughter of one of our college friends who is in the area for summer work and went out to a nice place for dinner. A lovely day overall. The plan for this morning is to go play frisbee golf and then enjoy some Buffalo wings (duh!) before heading home.
This weekend has been nothing but reassuring. Our son is a good, kind, caring, well-liked, healthy young man heading in a nice direction. We must have done something right; and now it’s up to him. Fly!