By Kathy Hooven of The AWEnesty of Autism
If I see one more How To Survive Guide about your kid graduating, leaving the nest, going to college, etc. I’m going to rip my eyes out. Oh, wait, that might be difficult since my eyes are so swollen I won’t be able to find them. Yeah, with all this sad, sappy shit I see every time I open a social media site, I wind up walking away looking like Rocky Balboa’s stunt double.
I have admittedly become one of those rubber-neckers passing by a car crash. “Oh, wait, there is another horrifically sad article on kids leaving the nest; let me look at it even though I don’t want to see it. Yep, should have looked away. Oh, but wait, this site has taken me to another equally devastatingly sad story about how this mom survived, so I better read it so I can feel even sadder.”
Shit. For the love of God, look away. Just look away!
Don’t get me wrong. I love my son. We have a bond that is unique and fabulous and I will spend the entire month of August in between our trips to Target and Bed Bath & Beyond curled up in the fetal position highly medicated, but I can’t spend the next two months looking like Apollo Creed. It’s summer for fuck’s sake. There are margaritas to drink and beaches to sit on.
So for you moms celebrating and mourning your senior’s next rite of passage, here is a pick you up, a different way of looking at the various How Tos with a little How to Survive the How To Survive The Empty Nest Bullshit Drama Articles on Every Social Media Site in summer:
1. How am I ever going to get that teenage funk smell out of his bedroom, the vents and the HVAC unit when he’s gone?
I mean, sure, he will come home for weekends, holidays, and summers, but you know you are already thinking about what color to paint the new “guest room” when he’s gone. No guests are going to want to stay in that guest room if they believe there is a body buried under the floor boards. I have yet to find a Febreze Teen Boy Smell Begone Scent. Those are not tears you are crying in his bedroom because you are sad he is leaving. Those are your eyes watering as a way of protecting themselves from being burned by the various toxic scents in his bedroom.
2. How the hell will Stanley Steamer ever get that stain out? What is that stain anyway?
Never mind, I don’t want to know. I really don’t want to know. Chances are it’s lending itself to the smell, though. Don’t sniff it. Let Stanley do that.
3. How the fuck am I going to survive without doing all that extra laundry he forgets to give me week after week?
You know, the laundry that was covering the stain that made the room smell worse than two weeks’ worth of baseball socks. I mean, four loads instead of ten? Holy shit, I’m weeping just thinking about it. Not nearly as much as the CEO of Tide. Less money on detergent, more money on wine. Winning.
4. How will I react when I go to pay the nice teenager at Starbucks for my mocha frappuccino with soy milk (dairy is not my friend) and I actually have cash in my wallet?
Real cash. Like the kind with Andrew Jackson on it, not George Washington. More importantly, how will the young barrista (who, chances are, just raided her mom’s wallet for her own mocha frappuccino with real milk because she has a young GI tract) react when I break into giggles of near hysteria?
5. How the shit will my body adjust to going to sleep at a reasonable hour, not waiting to hear the garage door go up at midnight knowing he’s not at the police station or in the clutches of some teenage girl’s father’s hands?
I mean, I will still worry when he is no longer under my roof, but I will sleep better imagining him in his dorm room pulling an all nighter for his Physics test. My story. My denial.
6. How am I ever going to make it through a work day without checking my phone every five minutes for that panicked 911 text, “Mom, I forgot my (insert anything remotely related to school here) and I need you to bring it to the school immediately” (also insert heart eyes Emoji here knowing his love and your guilt will get you to the school in record breaking time)?
Sorry about your meeting, your lunch date, your life. Stop it all. I need my black shirt and I have no idea where it is, but chances are it’s in my bedroom, crumpled up on the floor and covering that stain, and it stinks. Don’t sniff it to see if it’s clean. It’s not. You will be sorry.
7. How will I keep my referee certificate up to date and valid when there is no one left for his siblings to spar with?
I mean, I have gotten really good at breaking up fights, keeping everyone in their respective corner and keeping everyone alive. WTF am I going to do now? Oh, wait, more time for wine. Still winning.
8. How will I adjust to having just one dinner time? I mean, what the hell will it be like to have the kitchen cleaned up once without the second shift coming in to eat after baseball practice and leaving little piles of rice on the clean counter and dirty dishes in the clean sink? Is that what heaven is like?
9. How will the recycle man feel when our recycle can is so empty due to the missing Gatorade, Powerade and soda cans?
Will my wine bottles end up in a landfill once the recycle man decides to stop coming to pick them up, believing it’s just not worth his time? I’m sorry Mother Earth. Blame the asshole. (See below.)
10. How will I ever find the asshole who decided we should give birth to these fabulous creatures, dump our entire hearts, our entire world into all that they are, all that we are, and then one day they get to say, nice job Mom, I’m outta here?
I’m going to keep looking until I find him. I promise you, it was a him. Asshole.
We’ve got this, moms. We always have. We always will. Just look away from the next post down. No need for tears (or medication) until August.
About the Author
Kate is a mom of three fabulous kids and she shares how her family rides the waves of autism without drowning at The AWEnesty of Autism. The blog is real, raw and AWEnest. Kate hopes in the few minutes it takes a parent riding a similar wave to read one of her posts, that parent feels a little less lonely and little more determined to ride the wave and hold on. She has been blogging for 3 years and has had several posts shared on The Mighty, Yahoo Parenting, AutismAwareness.com, The Autism Society of America, Autism Speaks, Scary Mommy and Sammiches and Psych Meds.