I Have a Pebble for You

5 years ago

The other day I was complaining about my son which I often do to pass the time. It's my small talk.  He's 18, a senior in high school, has a million friends, and an affinity for Jack Daniels which I found out his friends refer to as "Homework." Like, "Hey, Tyler what are you going to do tonight? Tyler answers, "I'm going to do homework. Want to hang out?"  bitchasses. 

I've been planning his exit. I'm planning his exit from my house to a dorm or an apartment with some equally irritating 18- year- olds so they can irritate each other instead of me. 

I'm dropping subtle hints to him that in July I'm making his bedroom into an office and propping his bed up in the garage. My subtle hints consist of these ambiguously vague text messages. 

Text from last night: "Remember: I'm turning your room into an office in July. Buh Bye."

Last weekend standing in his room and looking around: "Hi, Tyler. I can't wait to paint this room when you move out in July." 

Text message from 2 weeks prior: "Dear Tyler, I can't wait till you move out in July."

He usually responds to my cryptic messages with 2 words, "I KNOW." 

But, I don't know if he does. 

A friend suggested I start to give him a timeline also. That got me thinking of how I can subtly and appropriately countdown to his moving out without buying a wall size calendar and Xing off the days in red Sharpie with an X that reaches from corner to corner. 

Get Out

He graduates May 25th. Each month I will begin the transition of moving him closer to the door. 

October: Well, mission completed. The text messages have gone through. 
November: A Thanksgiving card with a personal note saying, "Thank You for moving out in July. Love, Mom" 
December: For Christmas he might get some....packing tape... in his stocking. 
January: When he is out doing homework with his friends to celebrate the new year I'll start taking items out of his closet and putting them in the garbage. I bet he doesn't notice. 
February: A lipstick heart on the bathroom mirror with, JULY 2012 written in the middle. 
March: Boxes might appear in his room. 
April: I start putting drop cloths and painting utensils and moving furniture "out of the way" while blasting "The Final Countdown" by Europe
May: Money and/or a car as a graduation gift with directions to ASU or UofA and the book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. 
June: Begin painting and dismantling the bed frame. 
July: Send him text messages wishing him well in his new dorm or apartment and move into my new office. 

It's time for Tyler to go off and seek his fortune. I'm setting him free to find himself. I've raised him to be independent, act responsibility, hate Christopher Columbus, cuss like a sailor, and value education. It's time for him to practice what he's learned from me, but he needs to practice it somewhere else. 

There is a time when a parent and child must part ways and that time is July 2012. 

It makes me think of the Asian dude in Kung Fu, Master Kan, who tells the grasshopper kid, "When you can snatch the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave." 

But I won't try to close my hand really fast like Master Kan does. I'll hold my hand open and the pebble will be more like a goddamn boulder so you can't miss it and there's no confusion about where the pebble is located in my hand. I'm not taking any chances of my "student" not being able to identify the pebble for say a piece of lint or a crumb. Take the boulder and go. In fact, I'll throw it right at you so you can catch it and leave faster. 

I used to think the phrase was, "If you can snatch the pennyfrom my hand, it will be time for you to leave." So for years I've been holding pennies out to people and daring them to snatch them away from me. Great! That's just another line I got wrong and people don't know what the hell I'm talking about. 

"The Big Move of 2012" cannot be compromised by misunderstandings! Maybe I'll move my computer desk and extra couch in his room in February. Or, I'll use his closet for my winter clothes and start getting dressed in his room starting in January. 

I'm having a garage sale in...April...

One way or another that kid has got to go live somewhere else. I was getting a mani pedi today and talking to the Vietnamese nail lady and she said she had to get married in order to leave her father's house because in her culture the whole damn family lives together for all eternity or until marriage. First, I had a little bit of a gag reflex ,but then I was like, "Well, Americans kick their kids out when they're 18. The smart ones do anyway. American culture values it when people move out of their houses."

 I had to make it sound like I represented the entire culture of America because I think she was shocked when I told her I had an older son who, "will hopefully move out soon." Maybe I shouldn't have said that, but at least I got to act like I represented ALL Americans with teenagers. For a moment I was the American Culture expert. I made it sound like I knew what "my culture" was like and we agreed that the American and Asian cultures were very different. And we had a good chuckle. hahahhooo. Those silly Americans and kicking their kids out. hahaha. Ok, I'm gonna to get some pebbles now.I'm not angry;I'm passionate

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