“You good, bro?” I hear this question a lot. My son is in 6th grade and full of YouTube wit and wisdom. I guess I should be glad he’s asking. But no. No bro. I’m not good.
I’m suffering from separation anxiety.
P’s been my co-pilot on field trips since he was a colicky newborn robbing me of sleep and sanity with his tear-choked screams. On many of those long and lonely days of maternity leave, I loaded him in the backseat of my car to drive around town listening to audiobooks and hit fast food drive-throughs. He got much-needed rest and I escaped the confines of the house and grasped at a few moments of sanity. And so our adventures began. I was the pilot, he was the co-pilot, subtly (or not) showing me the way.
Since then we’ve been exploring the world, always up for new experiences, going stir crazy when we have to stay home. Until now. Lately he’s been choosing to go on his own adventures.
This summer I realized I’d come down with a severe case of Separation Anxiety when he chose to go on his own adventure rather than come with me on a road trip to visit friends up north. He passed up pontoon boat rides, swimming, fishing, kayaks, a cottage, and the promise of endless delicious food and drink. He chose to stay in town for a birthday party at a trampoline park. I was baffled.
I dropped him off at school before heading up north. “Make good choices!” I called after him, wishing I could take him home and keep making his choices for him. He ran back to me and gave me a kiss on the cheek. “I love you, Mom.” And he headed back to his friends. “Yeah, make good choices, P!” His friends teased him in sing-song voices.
I hit the road and looked at the positives. I could do me, stop for a selfie with the ginormous cow statue on the side of the road, listen to 90s music for hours, and eat chocolate-covered rice crispy bars for breakfast. I could get used to this. And it’s time to get used to being on my own. He’s always been independent. It isn’t going to get better from here on out. Now, to see if I can convince my homebody hubby to be my new co-pilot…