Thursday, September 10, 2009

Unempty Nest

My son is moving back home. He had been renting a house WAY out in the country (the directions include "you turn off the dirt road..."!!) with his buddy Charlie. This summer Charlie was activated and is on his way to the sandbox. John could afford the house on his own, but since he was nearing the end of their lease asked me if I would mind if he moved back home, so that he could put more money aside toward the downpayment on a house. He also offered to share expenses for utilities, etc. Nice offer, I thought. I'm glad to have him back. We get along well, always have, and I like that he's being practical about wanting to save and buy a house. He likes to cook and has surprised me many times in the past by having dinner prepared. We're both blunt, and mostly that's a good thing.

I'm lucky that J has a good job and a good head on his shoulders. He really wants to do things the right way. Not many 22 year olds own their vehicles outright, have no outstanding credit card bills, and have already settled into their dream job. He continues to have at least a couple of good guardian angels looking after him (Thanks Dad and Hank).

I've had people ask me if I worry about J on the job. I guess maybe if I hadn't grown up as a police officer's kid, then became a police officer's wife I might worry more as a police mom.... but the simple truth is that I don't really know any other way of life. J is well-trained, has good people working with him, and looks forward to going to work each day. I am thankful for all those things, and try not to devote any of my energy toward negatives. Sure, bad things happen all the time, but this isn't something I can control. I CAN control my actions/reactions.

Every police family deals with the stress differently. For me, I have a need to leave the scanner on when he's at work. Some police wives/moms/families refuse to even have a scanner at home, and I can understand why they feel that way. It can be intrusive. But for me, it's a security blanket. Knowing is always better than not knowing. Hearing his voice or number as part of my background noise means that things are ok. J and I both work nights, so a lot of the time I'm at work when he is. (also a bonus since we both have to sleep during the day)

There will be a period of adjustment, I'm sure. I'm also pretty sure he still goes through at least a towel a day, and has forgotten how to put the toilet seat down. I'll have to start leaving a robe in the bathroom again, and it's only a few weeks til John and I can start the battle of the thermostat. I wonder if he's learned how to unload a dishwasher in the last year?

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