Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mother of an Adult.. A New Era has begun...



Ok, who decided that at the age of eighteen you become an "adult"... seriously, who actually thinks that eighteen year olds are mature enough to be able to vote, drink, get married etc... I really think that this needs to be reviewed.

Years ago, if you were of my parents generation, you were handed the key of the door as such on your eighteenth birthday and you went on your merry way. Moved out, got employment and probably settled down in your early twenties with the person you would spend the rest of your adult life with, raising your children and setting down roots (I paint such a pretty picture ;) But nowadays, it is more common that your "child" lives at home until their late twenties and continues their education well into their early twenties. Perhaps if they are lucky enough, they travel the World before settling down.

My eldest turned eighteen last week and the thought terrifies me. He is now classed as an "adult" and apart from the obvious benefits being cut, there really is no difference to when he was fourteen in my opinion. I still cook his dinner, do his washing and do a taxi service for him. He still attends school and will sit his Leaving Certificate in a few weeks time. I have the summer to prepare him for moving out as we have no university where we live and he'll have to live in Dublin when he goes to college. I have to let go of the reigns and let him figure things out for himself... He'll be responsible for feeding himself, making sure he takes his meds and generally keeping himself safe. No wonder I'm terrified! Yani has told me she's NEVER leaving home and thats a whole other issue to deal with...

It got me thinking to what the future holds for Munchkin and I hold the hopes that in fifteen years time I'll be having the same worries about her going to college and taking care of herself. That's the long term aim but who knows what her capabilities will be at that time. I think of friends whose children have more needs than Munchkin and wonder how they deal with their worries for the future and know how lucky I am to have my first in the starting blocks preparing for uni. I shouldn't think too far into the future as still have to secure a place for Munchkin in the ASD unit to give her the best chance at mainstreaming and inclusion so to think fifteen years forward is silly but unavoidable at times. After all, it doesn't seem that long ago that my manchild was a little boy...

19 comments:

Hammie said...

Manchild! that's the word alright.

Boo has promised to stay with me for 56 years and 8 months - so I'm sorted then. xx

KWombles said...

Awwwww. The time flies by, so I don't think it's silly to look towards the long term future; it's what allows us to implement the best short term plans. :-) There's no way to know, though, how the world will tilt on us, so flexibility is key.

Anonymous said...

Great post Tracy. Makes me realize how lucky I am with my elderlemon.
When I was there age I was married with a child... How crazy is that?! If Shinny told me she was getting married now I'd lock her in a room,lol xxx

Petunia said...

Lol @ Boo... he couldn't narrow it down to the weeks and days no? :)

I agree Kim that flexibility has to be key with our kiddies.

Vicki, if either of mine wanted to get married young they'd be locked up til they saw the light hehe...

Looking for Blue Sky said...

He was such a gorgeous little boy wasn't he - and he looks so like Munchkin! Sad how fast they grow, it only hits you when they actually turn 18 I think, Angel was still a little girl 4 years ago and now she is a grown woman. V scary...

Jen said...

When I was 18 I thought I was ready to be an adult but looking back now...........I suppose all 18 year olds are like that? He is so handsome Petunia, I hope the Leaving Cert and the summer preparations for Uni go very well:) Jen.

Jean said...

Good luck to your manchild...I'm sure you have very mixed feelings about him growing up.
Of course it makes us question what choices our ASD kids will have when THEY turn 18???
I'll have no worries as my dude is a dab hand at picking locks and climbing walls...I see a lucrative career as a cat burglar looming... (God, I shouldn't joke...)
XXX

Andra said...

Manchild is certainly the right word for it, not quite a man but hardly a child either, I hope he gets on well in Uni and finds his way to becoming a man.

Petunia said...

Candi I didnt' notice how alike himself and Munchkin are til the two pictures are side by side! Uncanny lol.

Jen, I too thought I was so mature at 18 and thats what scares me most lol!

Jean, the way the economy is headed, catburglar might be a very good job prospect ;)

Andra, thanks. I hope he gets the course he wants in September

Patsyperdu said...

Great post and he is certainly very good looking. Hope he will get his place in college and does well in the leaving.

Meadow said...

He was the CUTEST little boy ever created!!!!!!! I miss that lil face x

Clive said...

Frightening how quickly they grow up!

The very best of luck to your very handsome 'manchild' in the Leaving Cert and heading off to college.

Truf said...

Spent the week tidying up years of digital photos, and feel so sad for the time when my kids were babies! And they are 7 and 3, lol! Scary how the time goes by! Expect him back every weekend next year - with his washing!

jazzygal said...

What a handsome young Manchild you've got there Petunia. Image of you too.

I can understand your concerns for all your children. I guess it's true, as mothers(special needs notwithstanding)we'll always worry!

I wish your Manchild all the best....hopefully this will be the making of him. xx Jazzy

Nan P. said...

Hi Petunia. Just want to share with you that I am a control freak, and "was" a mother hen... until Cathal's Mammy left for college aged 18, and then her brother left for college 3 years later. I had no choice but to let go of them... It took me a "little while" (read: "just a few years") but I did let go. And now, years later, I trust both of them totally. And my daughter is the one teaching me, as she is so brilliant with Cathal, knows such much more than I will ever know about parenting in general, and Special Needs kids in particular.

Just trust him... you have no choice.

As for Munchkin... plenty of time yet. Enjoy the present. But I understand where you are coming from...

coolkid said...

wow hun, that is terrifying, my plans for luca are that he may extend onto my house and have a chance of independant living but yet under supervision, i so hope he prooves me wrong and is moved out and having a great life
i hope all goes well for ds and dublin brings him hapiness xx

Casdok said...

It all happends so fast.
Wishing your Manchild all the best for his new adventure.

Lora said...

So sorry that it has been so long since I have visited your blog. What a great post! It terrifies me too to think of when Griffin turns 18 and all the things to think of as you had mentioned. But as you also said, it is not so good to think ahead so far, one just can't help but to consider it sometimes.

Lora said...

Oh and he is a handsome lad indeed.

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