One down, one to go

Geeky Boy in line–3rd from the back

Last night, Geeky Boy graduated. Shew.  We literally were not sure he would. High school was rocky for us, to say the least.  We think, but don’t know for sure, it was rocky for him.  At some Thanksgiving dinner years from now, we may find out.  My sense was that he didn’t like school, starting in middle school, either because he was bored or because the social structures bothered him.  We’ve hung out with many of his friends over the last week at various senior and birthday events.  They’re good kids.  Not perfect, but good.  I wish I’d spent more time with them, but like typical teenagers, they preferred to be away from adults.  Geeky Boy had only 10 or so kids at his graduation party.  One commented, “This is nice. We can actually talk to each other.”  His friends are few, but loyal.

The next chapter of his life begins.  We are all looking forward to it.  Though it’s going to be hard to let him go, I feel that he needs his time away from us.  I would never accuse myself of being a helicopter parent.  If anything, there have been times when I’ve felt I didn’t do enough, especially when I myself was going through some mental health issues myself. But it is true that we’ve not always let him make his own mistakes.  We’ve been his alarm clock. We’ve helped him keep up with deadlines.  We’ve shut off the internet so that he’d go to bed on time.  This morning was the first time he’s gotten up on his own, and he got up late, was late to his first job. So it begins, and it probably should have begun long ago.

Unlike his friends, Geeky Boy is going off to school on his own.  Three of his close friends are rooming together at school. His roommate is a stranger.  He knows a few people attending the same school, but I think he’s prepared to make new friends while still keeping up with the old ones. He says he’s excited.  It’s hard to really know.  I think he’s going to fine.  But that’s one of the things that’s hard for me.  I have no idea.  I thought things were fine when the depression hit.  Now, I’m filled with constant worry.  And that’s really what I, as a parent, have to let go of over the summer.  We will be here for him, of course, but he mostly has to make his own way now. He will have to come to us if he needs something. It’s not us seeing things that make us worry.  At his core, I think there are many things that will carry him through.  He makes good friends. He is a good friend. He’s smart, compassionate, and a little stubborn.  Put to good use, those things can take him far.  Now it’s time to see how far.

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5 Replies to “One down, one to go”

  1. Congratulations, Geeky Boy! (And congratulations to you, too, Laura.) I really appreciate what you’ve written about how this has gone, for specific reasons I can’t discuss in public, but really: it’s a great comfort to know that other people have walked this road, and done their best, and seen their child through to this very big milestone. Kudos to all of you!

  2. Thanks, Jody! I have to say that people around me don’t always talk about the difficulties of raising a teenager, especially a teenage boy. Just in the last few months have I heard from many others about struggling through some of the same stuff. Most of them do come out okay in the end, but you really don’t know if they will. And that’s what keeps you up at night. 🙂

  3. Congratulations to Geeky Boy. Eldest’s grad was last week, although she still has another week and a bit of school.

    She, too, is heading away from home for university. We’re really proud of her but also worried as both my husband and I attended hometown universities (albeit he lived at home in his city and I lived at a dorm in my university town). It will be more work than she imagines – good luck to these kids as they move forward.

  4. Janice,

    So exciting! Geeky Boy will only be about 45 minutes away, far enough that he’ll feel away for college and close enough that he can come home if need be. Ditto on the work. Geeky Boy has no idea.

  5. Jody – I sent nearly the same exact sentiment in an email to Laura a few months ago. Good luck to the Geeky family as you start your next chapter. (And thanks, again, for sharing it with all of us.) It gives me hope….

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