|"Just Listen", 12x12" mixed media on canvas. Available.|
My son just finished up his first year of university. How I got old enough to have a kid in university, I don't know. It seems like a few days ago he was a baby, and now he's a young man getting ready to move out.
Or that was the plan, anyway. He wants to live with his friends, and given that he's very close to 19, I figure its about the right time. They seemed to have it figured out... to the point where I marvelled at how mature these kids are. But now it seems the drama is starting. There's an extra friend that needs to be included. A girlfriend that wants to move in as well. One kid going to a different school to be considered. They need a place where they can practice (they're all musicians) and all the neighbours won't complain. Seems like a lot to ask for in a city where ANY housing is in very short supply, never mind the affordable kind. They are adults and need to sort it out among themselves, so I need to keep my nose out of it. Difficult when it's your child. The best I can do is listen.
I've always been more of a listener than a talker. I watch people. Read their non-verbal clues and try to figure them out. I was obsessed with that tv show "Lie to Me", where an expert used facial micro-expressions to tell if people were lying. I've passes those online emotional intelligence tests with near perfect scores. I can usually tell when someone doesn't like me, and it's taken me many years to not care about that and just be who I am. I've tried to pass on some of these things to my child... particularly the "be who you are" thing. For the most part I think I've succeeded.... but he's only 19. As much as I don't want to see him get into a living situation where he's constantly stressed out by other people's drama, I need to let him make his own decisions and figure it out for himself.
I did remind him that in a pinch, he can always come back here. The commute isn't the worst thing ever.