Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I'm Having Trouble Letting You Go

"It's a restless world, uncertain times
You said hope was getting hard to find
But time rolls on, days roll by...

I'm having trouble letting you go..."

--"Letting You Go," Tom Petty

Today I got some great news-- I checked online and discovered that I've been cleared by the state of Illinois to take the NCLEX, the last test I must pass to become a nurse. I got on the phone and paid for the test. When I get my "ATT"-- Authorization To Test-- I can schedule in the test just as soon as I get that email.

In the meantime, the move is proceeding. I got most of the basement packed and stored and we've all been packing the rest of the apartment.

When I moved in here nearly 13 years ago with my four year old son and a girlfriend, my son wasn't reading yet-- he hadn't been to kindergarten. He hadn't yet learned to ride a bike. His favorite movie was "Them," movie about giant ants attacking Los Angeles.

Now he's 17 years old. He'll be a senior in high school and he's looking at colleges. He can ride a bike and drive a car. And his favorite movie is "The Big Lebowski."

He spent a lot of time this weekend packing, separating his stuff into boxes to move and boxes to take to the Salvation Army. I popped in on him a couple of times to see how he was doing and realized that I was having a harder time with it than he was. I had to restrain myself from waylaying "Ten Apples On Top" and "Frog and Toad Are Friends" from the "Salvation Army" box. I knew in my head that the books should go to the Salvation Army so that some other parent could get them for their young kid, but my heart wanted to keep them so that I could hang on to a little bit of his childhood.

He was smart enough to tape the boxes shut-- I think he knew I might fish some things out if he didn't. Yesterday, as I drove the boxes to the Salvation Army, I had a tightness in my chest. I realized that I'd felt the feeling before: the day before he started high school, nearly three years ago.

6 comments:

SkylersDad said...

You have raised a fine young man JY. We have hung on to some of the stuff from Skyler's childhood, but he really didn't have a choice in the matter. There are some things I wish he could give up or move past, but he is still emotionally very young.

Mnmom said...

DON'T watch Toy Story 3! You've been warned. My twins will be Seniors too. It's bittersweet.

Johnny Yen said...

SD-
Thank you-- he is a great young man. And I managed to sneak a couple of things away, including "Nancy Bunny," his favorite stuffed animal who he couldn't go to bed without when he was three.

Mnmom-
Too late! He and I watched it together last year. I had to fight back tears. I think every parent in the theater was in my boat.

kirby said...

I'm where you were three years ago, my son is heading to high school in the fall. I look at how much he's grown, and contemplate how much he'll grow in the next four years and I'm stunned.

LegalMist said...

I feel your pain. They grow so fast, and it is so hard to let go of all of the toys and books and stuffed animals, lest you forget the memories that go with those little childhood treasures. But in the interest of avoiding becoming the next "star" of "Hoarders," I often make that trip to the Salvation Army with boxes sealed shut so I can't pull things back out....

Pat Tillett said...

In about 20 years or so, he'll love having some of his childhood stuff. time flies, don't it...
The fact that his favorite movie is "The Big Lebowski" proves that he is in fact awesome!