I Spent New Year’s Eve With a New Man

A new man ended 2015 and started 2016 with me. It was the first time he invited me to spend the night. He made me dinner and showed me his city. He unloaded my vehicle upon arrival, had linens laid out and noticeably had cleaned his home in anticipation of my visit. During my stay, we shopped, cooked, talked, laughed, recalled past New Year’s Eve events and chewed a lot of sunflower seeds while watching endless college bowl games. Occasionally, he’d flip the channel and let me see New Year’s Eve programming from Times Square. We toasted the beginning of a new year and he taught me to play Phase 10-a card game.

The man I spent New Years with is our 21-year-old son, Alex. It  was my first aaaovernight at his home and it was memorable not only for the ringing in of a new year but also for his hospitality. Admittedly, I was a bit tepid about encroaching on his space for the first time-sleeping on his bed, using his shower, eating his food and following his house rules. The truth is thinking about the role reversal on the drive there far exceeded the reality of it. Once the door opened, it was quite natural.

For the most part, I checked my “mother role” at the door and entered his home as a guest. Okay, I did offer some non-solicited advice on cooking and, when he wasn’t looking, I took a couple extra swipes with the dishcloth at the oven top. And I might even have reset the coffee table and opened the blinds. But, don’t tell him! It’s just not that easy switching from mom to guest so abruptly. When he asked me to get him a beverage from the refrigerator, I knew the role shift wasn’t that easy for him either. We all fall into natural roles like mom and son. But I did want him to know during this visit I was also a guest and he was the host. It’s one of those things you learn over time-how to host guests. With more practice, I’m sure I’ll do better as a guest and he will continue to excel as a host.

I left my man’s home feeling proud and blessed that our son has matured into a person who can fund his own home, keep it clean, furnish it and even host his parents for a holiday with graciousness and charm.

It was a wonderful New Year’s Eve and a very special start to 2016.

I’m already waiting for the next invitation. This time I’ll leave the dishcloth, oven top, coffee table and blinds alone. Promise? Maybe! I’m still his Mom.

Do you recall the first time you spent the night at your child’s home? Can you relate?  How? Comment. Share.

 

©Copyright. January 2016. Linda Leier Thomason

All Rights Reserved.

 

4 thoughts on “I Spent New Year’s Eve With a New Man

  1. Hi Linda,

    Ok, the truth:
    First, I had to check if this was a phishing email: it wasn’t. But nice snow angel!
    Second, I was curious? about who the new man was; my guess was that it was your brother Russell.
    So already I have two strikes.

    As I read the story I thought: Neat; that’s how it should be.

    We have been through this with two of our children (or 3? or actually all 4!) depending on how closely we follow your model story. When they get to be 21+ years old (or when privacy act kicks in, a “gray zone” arises and we walk gingerly until we (not our kids) have demonstrated independence (maybe 28ish?). But that’s on us, not them.

    Maybe we don’t trust ourselves and how well we raised them, which is mostly by example since there always is that “era” when they seem to listen-not!

    For me, in understanding that I can always offer to help them (yup-to do it their way), or be passive, or take my self and my money and leave, I know that I have a choice to be supportive at my comfort level. I can even “run an errand” so that I can use a cleaner bathroom or politely pass up the kale salad because the ham/potatoes/apple sauce stuffed me; I only have room for dessert!

    Ultimately, I end up with a mix of “they’re getting there” and “Dang, they turned out great!” In which case I need to now be concerned about my age, hoping not to damage my rotator cuff as I pat myself on the back. And then I also need to remember that my better half did most of the nurturing, so I get 1/3 credit? anyway.

    Maybe there will always be a bit of this “spotting” in us until we see the angels – and the parents who likewise watched us. What a blessing we have in this life: To love and care and ponder and be proud of those who follow us.

    Pax,
    Ter

    1. Thanks for opening email, reading and commenting Terry! Loved your observations and musings. And, ironically I wrote a similar essay years ago and the subject was Russell. You and Patty have been fine examples of parenting…look at the outcome! Thanks for following along. I look forward to reading more of your comments. Linda

  2. How special, Happy New Year! I have to say, you did much better than me! We were “guests” in our son’s home for 2 weeks when the closing date for our next home was moved unexpectedly. I could not help cleaning the bachelor pad! Bought him a new light fixture to replace the spot light in the main bathroom. Some other minor things too. I think he appreciated some of it, but was really ready to have an empty nest again!

What do you think? Let me hear from you.