Elder and a few friends decided to plan a camping and canoe trip. Then Elder revealed his intentions to me.
“I don’t think so,” I immediately replied. “With no adults? No, I don’t think so.”
“We won’t do anything stupid, Mom,” Elder assured me. “You know me. I won’t do anything stupid.”
“I don’t think so,” I repeated. “I mean, you guys aren’t old enough to even understand all the ways you can be stupid.” But taking a deep breath, I qualified, “I’ll talk to your dad. If he thinks I’m being overprotective, then I might reconsider. But,” I couldn’t help but tack on, “I don’t think so.”
But my husband thought they’d probably be all right.
Probably be all right.
So, I reluctantly acquiesced. But I didn’t silently acquiesce.
“I don’t like this, Elder,” I told him, stalking him as he packed. “I just don’t like this at all.”
“Mom, I’m going to be eighteen in a month. In a year, I’ll be going off to college.”
“Yeah,” I muttered, stubbornly. “I don’t like that either.”
Elder grinned, tilting his head slightly. “Are you going to say ‘no’ to college, too, Mom?”
“I might,” I blustered. “I’m thinking about it.” I planted my fists on my hips. “You call me. A lot. And text me. All the time.”
“Mom,” he responded, his voice brimming with confidence in his own abilities and patience for his fretful mother. “I’ll be fine. I’ll call and text you. Don’t worry.”
A sure sign one has never been a mother is the utterance of that simple phrase — don’t worry.
But he is growing up. I guess I have to as well. And he returned safe and sound, if a little sunburnt, two days later.
But, you know, I think I’ve done my bit at growth for a long while. And if Younger thinks he’s getting that driving permit in a month, he can think again.
Because I am as up as I ever intend to grow.