The Doctor is IN

Keen Observations on Life … Whether You Need Them or Not

Sometimes, growing up sucks

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The best thing about having kids while you’re young is that you get to grow up with them. Our son was born two weeks after I turned 25 and ever since, we’ve referred to ourselves as ‘the Sickles Three.’ We’re family, but more importantly we’re friends. A unit. And while we’ve been working toward preparing our son for college and adulthood and life, now that we’re there, it sure is difficult to bear.

Progress is important. Change is inevitable. And sometimes growing up sucks.

I’ve been struggling this week with Peyton heading to college. He is exactly where he is supposed to be, doing exactly what he is supposed to be doing, and I am thankful and elated and supportive … but I am so sad. While his college is only an hour away, and I know he’ll be back, dropping him off at college this morning signals a huge shift in life. Things will never be the same again, and the future is unknown … and sort of scary. There’s childhood. Then marriage. Then kids. Now … something else new.

For the past 18 years, we’ve had our little peanut at arm’s length, there to hug and talk to and just look at, anytime we wanted. So much has changed for us this summer. We lived in our house in Apex for 19 years — my Sweet Pea came home to that house — but we moved on June 1 to a beautiful house on two acres half an hour away. We’ve got a grown up house now. And we’ve got a grown up son who isn’t in grade school anymore. And by default that means that I, too, am a grown up.

And that kind of sucks. So while I usher in a thrilling new chapter in our son’s life, I must also turn the page and begin a new one. I think I’ve been so focused on mentally and emotionally preparing myself for Peyton’s college departure that I forgot it what day-to-day changes it will bring: I’ll wake up on Monday morning at a reasonable hour — not the 5:45 am I’ve done for the past six years. I’ll fix breakfast and lunch for myself. I’ll miss cross-country meets in the fall, and track season in the spring. I’ll miss harassing the shit out of him to finish his homework before midnight. I’ll miss watching his dog trot up the stairs after him for bed.

Sigh …

So here’s to all the college-bound kids and their exciting new adventures … and here’s to all the parents establishing a new normal. And here’s to growing up. May you face it with a smile on your face, your loved ones close to your heart, and adventure in your spirit.

With me in San Diego, 2016; at the beach, flying with dad in 1999; running in the NYC Summer Streets long run in 2016.

With me in San Diego, 2016; at the beach, flying with dad in 1999; running in the NYC Summer Streets long run in 2016.

Author: Dolly R. Sickles

Writer, mother, wife, adventurer, agent of change, advocate, ally, volunteer, instructor, and lover of chocolate. I write romance as Becky Moore, and children’s literature as Dolly Dozier. I'm a contributor with Frolic.Media, a book reviewer for BookPage, and I'm also an adjunct instructor in the Creative Writing Programs at Central Carolina Community College and Wake Technical Community College. And when I'm not writing or dreaming about writing, I'm out adventuring with my family.

One thought on “Sometimes, growing up sucks

  1. Everything you said squared. Letting go is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. Your everyday prayer is that your children will come home often bringing so much happiness and joy with them it will sustain you until the next time. No, things will never be the same again but that doesn’t mean the new normal isn’t as good in it’s own way.

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