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Eight Things Every Mother with Grown Sons Knows

Laurie with her sons, Patrick and Paul (from l to r)

Laurie with her sons, Patrick and Paul (from l to r)

By Laurie Stone

Moms of boys understand. When your kids are little, you think you’ll never survive the sticky hands, typhoon-force energy and non-stop “getting into things.” I won’t even go into the teenage years. But then, in what seems an instant, your boys are men. And with that comes another phase.  As a Mom you’re doing less, but observing more. Watching my grown sons over the past few years, I’ve learned the following…

They’re still fast: To this day, I can’t sit easily in the passenger seat when my older son drives. Yes, Patrick’s 26, and a good, experienced driver. He’s driven everywhere, including cross-country.

He’s just still a little, er, “speedy” for my taste. No doubt, I have P.T.S.D from teaching him to navigate our narrow, curvy Connecticut roads so long ago. To this day, I’m still clutching his armrest as we zoom along, a frozen smile on my face. 

They’re tough:I know I’m stating the obvious, but males are different. My younger son, Paul, works in a professional kitchen, where he does an assortment of tasks, many physically demanding. Many women would have a rough time, to say the least. I know I’d be taken out on a gurney if I had to do his job.

Paul comes home each day, muscles tired and achy, but still smiling. And I’m filled with admiration. I see how you have to be strong to be a man, not just physically, but mentally too.

They do things that make you happy: I’m blessed with a chef and a musician. Once in a great while, the stars align (sometimes on a Sunday afternoon) and Paul cooks while Patrick sings and plays one of hundreds of songs he knows on his guitar.

Ahh, the sounds of chicken cutlets sizzling (and I’m not doing it) along with Bob Dylan. I took it for granted when they both lived at home. I don’t anymore.

They come in handy:You know that household job you and your husband hate, that leaves you both swearing and sweaty? For us, it’s cleaning the garage or putting out lawn furniture. Installing the annual Christmas tree also comes to mind.

Well, we made a great discovery. We have grown sons! For the price of a good meal, we now bribe them for free labor. They do something in 15 minutes it would take us four cranky hours to do. We’re happy. They’re happy. Problem solved.

They’re brave:On a trip to Ireland last summer, my sons and I climbed the narrow, claustrophobic, medieval stairs of Blarney Castle. I was terrified and almost turned back. But Patrick, who was probably just as nervous as I was, held out his hand. “You can do this, Mom.” Paul was in back. “Just take it slow,” he advised.

Hey, wait a minute. That’s the same voice I used on them when they were afraid to go to nursery school. And like so long ago, that reassuring tone worked. I ascended to the top, with the help of one son ahead, and one behind. Their bravery inspired me.

They’re sweet:In the early years, I’d get birthday or Mother’s Day cards with either bodily function humor or “Hope your day is pleasant.” Now they give me cards that make me weep with sentimentality.

They’re quick with hugs and a kind word. Paul comes to talk to me every night, filling me in on his day and inquiring how mine was. Is this the same middle-schooler who used to stomp around with a Mohawk haircut and braces?

They’re funny:When they were little, they made me laugh with their cute kid stuff. What I didn’t know then was they’d keep me laughing years later. Paul will tell a story about his job, complete with killer impersonations. Patrick will post something droll and witty on Facebook that gets me chuckling and shaking my head. Is this the kid who used to love Jackass 3?

They’re good people: Even though Paul still lives at home, things have changed. He works long hours. He’s an adult. We catch him in passing. Patrick moved out a while ago. I see him once a month … if I’m lucky.

And yes, it’s right, and for the best, and the way things are supposed to be. I wouldn’t have it any other way.


This was my hardest lesson as a mom with grown sons. You have to let them go.

And if you’re lucky, you look at them with pride. You love the men they’ve become — even if you miss those little boys with sticky hands.

Laurie Stone writes from the woods of Easton, Conn. Her blog, Musings, Rants &Scribbles,” shares thoughts on growing up, older and (hopefully) wiser. Follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.


4 Responses to “Eight Things Every Mother with Grown Sons Knows”

  1. Lisa Wingerter says:

    Aww this made me cry! My boy is only 3 but I am already dreading him growing up and leaving the nest!

  2. Kim says:

    I, too, am a mom of boys, now men. At 33 & 35, they’ve grown into wonderful adults. Both are married now, giving me two daughters to love as well. My heart is full. Thanks for the touching message.

  3. Diane says:

    My baby found out yesterday he and his family are moving over four hours away so my son can take over as assistant manager of a great hotel in Lake Louise. I knew this time of having everyone close by was fleeting and I really did enjoy it while it lasted, but now it’s beginning to unravel. I’m really teary today. Your post made me cry. All those ‘used-to-bes’. Thinking of the little children they were and of the grown people they now are. The bittersweet-ness of being a parent.

  4. Laura says:

    I am so lucky to have a son and a daughter-both so different. My son is the writer and the dreamer and my sounding board for all creative things. Plus he has the quickest wit! And the best hugs!


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