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What Are the Most Shocking Things about Adult Sons?

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CAPE COD, MA — Laurie on vacation with her sons, Patrick and Paul.

By Laurie Stone

Wait. I’ve been a Mom for 30 years? How did that happen? One moment my boys are sipping juice boxes. The next they’re playing Beer Pong in the basement. Some things I expected, like that maternal tug when I see my little boys now grown men with lots of facial hair. But here are some things I didn’t expect.

Times Gone By

I thought I’d feel more nostalgic about my children’s younger years. Does that sound horrible? I know I’m supposed to dissolve into a puddle when I hear a school bus or come across an old report card, but elementary school feels distant and fuzzy, like an old black and white photo.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ll always treasure the sweet, little handmade ceramic bowls from second grade, but life goes on with new triumphs and problems and things that drive me crazy.  

Recently we sat in the lounge of a Houston hotel. “I’ll have whiskey on the rocks with a splash of ginger,” Patrick, 30, casually said to the bartender like he’d done it 100 times (which evidently he has). My 28-year-old son Paul favored the more exotic “Blue Hawaiian” (whatever that means).

I watched us belly up to the bar and wondered what just happened? How did we go from Jamboree Playtime to Happy Hour?

Compassionate

My sons care about my feelings. When they were young, Patrick and Paul were a blur of skateboards, electric basses and Pokeman cards. Social interaction was primal at best, mostly grunts and shrugs.

But then something strange happened. My sons became perceptive, sensitive and empathetic to others, including their mother. They can tell when I need a hug, kind words or a good talk. My God, I thought recently, I’ve raised disciples of Deepak Chopra.

My sons are not only sensitive, but wise. “How do I help Grandpa?” I would frequently ask my boys when discussing my Dad who, at the time, had late-stage Parkinson’s. “You’re doing the best you can,” assured Paul who used to have temper tantrums that could peel paint. “You’re there for him and that’s what counts,” advised Patrick who enjoyed jumping on furniture.

I walk away wondering, where did these all-knowing sages come from? And do they charge by the hour?

Expressive

Their cards have become sentimental. How I longed for these when they were younger. Instead, especially in their early teen years, greeting cards usually included body function humor or a general “Hope your day is pleasant,” which could’ve been given to someone’s personal assistant.

Now their cards make me weep with sentimentality. “You’re the best mother ever” and “I’ll always love what you did for me.” These touch me now especially since I know they come from the heart and weren’t purchased by their father.

And they share things with me. I love hearing about my boys’ epiphanies, hurts and joys. Years ago, we shared a lot and I was afraid as they grew older, we’d grow apart. To my happiness, they still like to come and talk, to touch base. We’re not only mother and sons, but good friends. Sometimes we’ll just hang and watch TV.

True Confession

I’ve even played Beer Pong with my boys although I’m a lousy shot. Still, I’m happy they like spending time with me. Some things never change and I’m grateful.

Yes, for all you beleaguered mothers of young sons, it does get easier. And although it’s wonderful to have cuddly small ones, it’s also fascinating and gratifying to watch boys grow into men you not only love — but like.

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.

 

5 Responses to “What Are the Most Shocking Things about Adult Sons?”

  1. Lisa C Romeo says:

    Exactly for me too! (Except for the drinks.) My two sons, now 23 and 28, enjoy visiting, going places with us, and have also grown into compassionate, perceptive, and kind people. What more can a mother (parent) ask? Thanks for writing this. Nice to know other moms in same lovely position!

  2. Beth Havey says:

    Everything about this piece shouts out what a wonderful mother you are, Beth

  3. Diane says:

    Laurie, ohmyword this struck a chord with me! I, too am living in the time when my kids are my best friends. Surely the very best of times!

  4. Yes, I must agree, where did the time go, mine are 25 and 29, both hard working, responsible, no drinking, drugs or grandbabies – yeah!!!

  5. Lauren says:

    Laurie, I hope I am as good of a mother to my boys as you are and that we have this same relationship when they get older. Right now we are in the bodily functions card stage. I am one of those moms who gets bummed watching my children get older…but you have given me something to look forward to. Besides I am pretty good at beer pong.

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