Keith was home last weekend with his fiancé Jen. He’s in his fifth year at UW-Platteville in Southern Wisconsin and will graduate in December with an Electrical Engineering degree. Jen finished school with a degree in Business Administration. The couple got engaged over the summer. I snapped this picture of them in our sunroom.
Keith lived at home this summer, completing an internship in Minneapolis. Kurt liked having him home. He asks me, now that his brother is back at school, “When will Keifer be home? Next week?”
The calendar is not Kurt’s strong point. He knows the seasons, the difference between night and day, that one day follows another, and weekends are “stay home days.”
When Keith will be home is getting harder to explain. He will visit at holidays, but has an apartment with Jen. After graduation, he won’t be moving back into his old room. That time has passed.
That’s what Kurt and I talked about Sunday night.
“Why did Keifer go back to school?” Kurt said.
“He is finishing classes and then he’ll graduate this winter.”
“And move back home?” Kurt said. That always seems to be prominent in his mind.
“No, he has an apartment. He’ll get a job and maybe have to move to another city, but he won’t be moving home.”
“Why won’t he move back home?” Kurt said.
“Because he is grown up.”
What have I stepped in now? I tell Kurt all the time that he is a grownup. Does he wonder why he lives at home? Will he ask to move out?
My heart suddenly felt squeezed by a vice grip, thinking of Kurt not living at home with us. I have been protecting him for 20 years.
On the other hand, this could be the beginning of a new step. With Keith as his role model, Kurt will be exposed to what kids do when they grow up. They move out and have their own lives.
That’s what Paul and I want for Kurt. I will have to take the next step too, in letting go.
Letting go is hard.