The Long View: ‘Younger son’ makes big moves in life


Another milestone has been passé. Having completed his undergraduate degree and started his career, my younger son is now living in his own place.

He found work not five weeks after last spring’s graduation. Since then, he has come to understand one of the unavoidable hassles of working life – commuting to his place of employment.

Getting to his workplace was, during rush hour, an hour-long chore. As his boss allowed some flexibility in schedule, the Younger was able to trim his commute to 45 minutes by leaving for the “to and from” a little later in the day, just after the rush.

But he soon tired of devoting almost eight hours of his week just to getting there and getting back. After some online searching, he found a place to rent only 10 minutes from the office. He counted down the weeks until his lease began, arranged to rent a truck, and packed his belongings.

On moving day, he picked up the vehicle and, with the help of his older brother and I, loaded his things. A couple of hours later, we left him in his new digs, off on his own for real.

It’s about a 50-mile drive to my son’s new home, but I was startled at how much further away it feels. We haven’t lived together in the almost three years since my divorce, so it’s not like I was privy to his everyday comings and goings. But I got to see him at least twice a week when he would bring Charlie, the dog my former wife and I share, to my house.

One of the facts of this new normal is, I will see him a lot less. And I find myself feeling more than a little sentimental that my little boy is building a life in which I’ll play only play a very small part.

The Younger is building his skills as a software developer and networking with other professionals in his field. In his trendy new suburban community, he is going to trendy clubs and restaurants that I don’t know about; he is making new friends and new choices without the benefit of his father’s supervision from across town.

And it is absolutely appropriate that he is doing all of these things.

After all, he’s 21 and out of school. He had the desire and the means to move out of his mother’s house, and that is exactly what a young man in his position should do. Besides, as the second born, he was doted on a little less than the Elder, so he probably has some experience in finding his own way. That experience will serve him well.

Here’s hoping his dad will muster the strength and the wisdom to know that even though he will make mistakes, he will be fine. And here’s hoping that once we establish a new rhythm of seeing one another, albeit infrequently, his dad will stop missing him so much.

It’s a very good thing my little boy has grown up. Guess it’s time for me to do the same.

The Long View: ‘Younger son’ makes big moves in life