I went for a walk with an old friend – a woman who also just sent her oldest (a son) off to college. After 45 seconds of small talk, we began to commiserate about the lack of incoming information.
Her son doesn’t call her much either, but unlike me, instead of complaining about it in a blog, she’s spent the last several weeks in due diligence, interviewing elders to determine where realistic expectations should lie.
I told her I was jealous of the moms of girls – women who got calls or texts daily, sometimes every few hours.
She called that phenomenon The Dump and Run. Kids, mostly girls (but not always) calling moms and unloading for 45 minutes, spewing their unresolved problems or just venting about the day, leaving the hapless mother to a sleepless night pacing the house and putting her face in a bag of OREOs because she knows there's nothing she can do to help.
The mom then calls the kid the next day to check in.
"How are you doing today?" the mom will ask.
And the kid says, “I’m fine. Why wouldn’t I be?”
“You don’t want that,” my friend counseled.
No, I don’t want that. But I want something. Is there nothing in the middle? Because it seems to me that between a kid who calls every few hours and a kid who doesn’t pick up the phone at all there is a lot of real estate.
Another friend reminds me time and again that this is what boys need to do. They need to SEPARATE. As in, become their own person. Why, I’m not sure. This friend has no children but his advice comes with sobering cautionary tales. He has several friends who did not separate successfully, and those men are still living in their parents’ homes – the men themselves all over 50 years old.
I don't want that either.
So I’m trying to go cold turkey. Not picking up the phone. Waiting until he calls me.
Here I am. White knuckled and waiting.