Peter Pan Didn’t Live in His Mother’s Basement

Peter Pan may be the boy who never grew up, but he sure didn’t live in his parents’ basement.  He moved out and led a life of adventure.  I don’t think he’d appreciate being associated with men who act like boys.

I’d like to nominate a different character for the Non-Adult Syndrome, but I cannot think of one.  Can you?  It seems like most hero types aren’t the sort to live in a basement and play video games.

My eldest turned 22 this week.  I love him; he’s a great kid.  I was hoping he’d be more of an adult by now, though.

Twice he has enrolled and then failed out of state universities.  (His money, not mine.)  I think he didn’t actually attend classes and/or turn in assignments.  I’m not sure why he kept enrolling.  His dad and I had assumed he’d go to college, but we’d be just as happy if he wanted to become a plumber.  (I would like to be related to a plumber.  Or a pastry chef.)  In fact, he himself chose to start college classes when he was fifteen.  A couple years later, he lost interest.  (He’s also not interested in being a plumber or a pastry chef.)

Not sure what he wants to do, he puts in his hours at Walmart, eats fast food, buys himself legos, writes (fiction, he is more clever than I am), and plays video games.

Living with him is not difficult.  He’s very low maintenance, plus he remembers to buy milk when we run out.  He is good company, always willing to discuss my latest tv and reading obsessions, and sometimes allowing himself to be drawn into them.  That works in reverse, too.  He introduced me to Doctor Who.  He’s a great housemate.

The problem is, I’m not his roommate, I’m his mom, which means I want so much MORE for him.  I want him to be meeting interesting people, doing things he loves, growing his mind, expanding his world, and figuring out his place in it.  Moving forward, even when that hurts and is hard and makes you want to lay around your mom’s house for a weekend to recover.  I want to hear about his progress, even if it is just in texts or on his blog or on FB.  I don’t want to watch him stagnate.

I realize it’s not about what I want for him.  I’d be happy if he wanted something for himself.

For myself, I want to be patient and gracious, but I fear those may be fancy words for enabling.

People tell me stories of their late blooming brothers, all assuring me that they did eventually grow up.  However, the last person who told me about a slow to leave brother mentioned the move-out age of 40.  I did not find that encouraging.

He does not seem depressed, if you were wondering, but neither does he seem happy.  I have suggested counseling.  He politely declined.

On my worst days (you know the ones) I feel like every one of his faults, shortcomings, fears, etc are Totally My Fault.  What I didn’t pass along in the way of bad genes, I think I passed to him through poor parenting/teaching.

On my best days, I think he just needs a little more time.  But not until he is 40, please.

Most days, I’m somewhere in between, slightly worried, but still enjoying his company.


6 thoughts on “Peter Pan Didn’t Live in His Mother’s Basement

  1. Hi, my only is still here and seems to be on the same wave length as yours!! I know only too well what you are going through!! So, I am glad to meet you x1000. There is a new movie coming out entitled Jeff, Who Lives at Home – perhaps he will be our hero figure-LOL Have a great rest of the day.

    • So good to hear from you, Sue! Sometimes just knowing you are not the only one makes a difference. I’m going to put “Jeff” in my netflix queue. (I know, but I never get to the movies, and I’ll forget about it if I wait to do it.)

  2. Oh I so recognize and empathise. My next brother down was very similar – why move when he was comfortable? Took my parents moving and leaving him behind for him to make him leave. I’m hoping that Ewok doesn’t take too much after his uncle. Your comment about plumbers made me laugh we’ve suggested that Ewok gets some training and Wookie often talks about how much plumbers make!

  3. Pingback: Peter Pan Didn't Live in His Mother's Basement - Generation Fabulous

  4. I think you could be talking about my middle son. The oldest has left the nest (although I babysit the grandbaby 5 days a week), The youngest can’t wait until he can move out, but our middle son, God love him, I think he would be happy staying here forever. A good kid, but like you, I want so much more for him. He has a degree in art, but unable to find a job. So right now it’s kinda hard to push him out of the nest.

    • This being a mom thing is hard, isn’t it? Thank you for commenting. Surrounded by bumper sticker brags, it is not often I connect with other parents who are struggling with this issue. I feel like we need a secret handshake or eyeroll, so we know we aren’t alone.

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