Growing Up, Moving Away

Me, at 20: Thrilled! Finally!
My mom: Sobbing.

At 20, I had no sympathy for my mother’s tears.  I wasn’t even leaving the state, and it’s not like we were close. We rarely talked.  Why did she have to take everything so personally?  Who says things like, “Why are you doing this to me?” when their child moves out of their house?  Isn’t that the goal?

Me, married mom of two babies, moving out of state: Excited!
My mom: Crying.

Now a mom myself, inevitable or not, the thought of my babies leaving me one day gave me sympathy for my mother, but moving was an adventure that I was already loving.  My mom seemed more sad about me taking her grandsons out of state than about me leaving.  I was okay with that.

Me, 3 years later, moving back to hometown:  Sad.
My mom: Relieved.

My father was in the end stages of cancer.  We were thinking of little else. After he passed away, my mom wanted us to stay with her, in her house, permanently.  We stayed for a year, househunting the whole time, eventually buying a home of our own across town.  I was so happy when we finally moved.  She was less happy, but she didn’t cry, at least not that I saw.

Me, 7 years later, moving 2000 miles away: Excited, but sad for my mom.
My mom: Crying.

She was very sad, but surprisingly supportive of this move, reminding us many times that she’d never liked the area where she, and we, were living.  I could tell she wanted to be happy for us, even if her cheer was forced.  I appreciated the effort, and for the first time, I was truly sad to say good-bye.  I cried as we drove away.  She never really got over it.

My 20 year old son, moving 2000 miles away: Excited!
Me: Excited for him, but crying for me.

I was truly excited for him, but I knew I was going to miss that boy something awful.  I wanted to not cry in front of him, to not draw attention to my emotions, and let his move be all about him.  Good intentions.  Going to see Toy Story 3 the weekend before he left opened the floodgates.  We both left the theater with tears streaming down our faces.  Two years later, I still miss him, but I’m still happy that he is out there living his own life.

Me, on living 2000 miles away from my mother: Worried.

This is the part of moving away that I never saw coming.  I’ll tell you more about it on Wednesday.

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12 thoughts on “Growing Up, Moving Away

  1. I live 16,000 miles away from my mum and that makes me sad. Our lives take us in directions we never expect. I think back now on the moves I made and how hard they were for my mum. I know in a few years it will be my turn too. But for now I’m the daughter who’s mum doesn’t see the grandchildren nearly enough. Thankd God for cheap phone calls and skype.

    • Cheap phone calls are such a blessing. My mom still has the mind set that long distance is expensive; I always have to remind her, “I’m not paying long-distance, Mom. We don’t have to hang up quickly.”

  2. I can relate to most of this. Haven’t had a kid move away yet, but I’m sure I’ll be that mix of excited for him, sad for me.

    Prayers for whatever has you worried about your mom living far. I can relate to that, too; it can be hard watching a parent age from long distance. At least, that’s what my worry is usually about. Hope yours is nothing serious.

  3. This touched my heart so, Ginger Kay. Sheesh…how kids can make their mothers cry, how mothers can make their kids concerned, and how it all just happens to the best of us, the being on both sides. Best wishes on the missing your son and the caring for your mother.

  4. I so thoroughly regret all of those eye rolls I gave my Mom. It is some comfort to know that one day both of my kids will finally “get it”, too.

    This was a beautiful post.

  5. Can your mom move closer to you? I can imagine your worry. My mom is only 180 miles away and I worry about her. It’s close enough to visit, but not close enough to get there fast when she needs help.

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