I would kick you out, but I don’t think you could make it on your own.
– My father to the 19 year old me
I moved out the next day. My father was both right and wrong. I wasn’t ready to be on my own. But, I’m not sure we ever are. I went to live with a friend of mine, Mark Whitaker. He’s my oldest friend in the world. We’ve known each other since we were in the 5th grade. We are now well into our fifth decade. My buddy only lived a few blocks from my girlfriend.
I rode busses a lot. I walked. I had a couple of jobs. I was supposed to be saving money for a mission. The good friend/girlfriend living situation didn’t last long. Eventually, a church leader stepped in and found me a place to live with church members, much to my parent’s consternation. I did managed to go off to the Missionary Training Center and serve a two year mission working with deaf people.
My girlfriend didn’t last through my mission. She might have waited if I’d asked her. Instead, I broke it off after a few weeks.
Was I ready?
Did I go anyway?
Did it work out?
My son is 18 and plans to attend a local college. He has a job at an auto parts store. No girlfriend. But also no drivers license. He has a bike, but I haven’t seen him even take a test ride. He has a few weeks of high school left.
Is he ready to be on his own?
Is he going anyway?
Yes. (Our decision, not his.)
Will it work out?
Our children grow up and get to the point where they need to move out into the world. It’s change, and change is hard. I’m not sure who it’s hardest on, him or me.
The kids will be alright.
Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.
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