I knew it was coming up but I guess I just put it out of my mind. Did not want to face it. My oldest is turning 18 in two months. 60ish days that I still have any real legal say, at least in his mind and the governments, in what he does, says, doesn't do, etc. Of course I still say things that I swore I would not say like "You'll be under my rules while you're living in my house" and the ever popular "Why should I mortgage the equivalent of a small island to pay for your college if you don't follow my rules".
It all has do with control of course. Control that I lost a long time ago if I'm really being honest. This is my firstborn, the most outwardly sensitive and compassionate of the bunch. Travels to the beat of his own drummer. Incredible brilliant (really. Crazy high IQ), but very scattered. Of course he would never would have had all the accomplishments that he he has with out this combination. He is a gifted actor, singer, musician. He accomplished a lot of "firsts" in our little haven of a town. He will do wonderful things, he just has that thing, that unexplainable x factor. When he is on the stage your eyes are drawn to him, when he sings or composes a piano or guitar piece it is always haunting and so familiar at the same time. He is an idealist. He will not do anything that does not bring him personal satisfaction, and he is very hard on himself. I have done the usual coming of age lecture about paying your dues and how tough the competition in his chosen fields are. How he is a big fish in a really small pond right now and that will change. He knows it will and he welcomes that change, or at least tell me does. He does however, continually proves to me over and over again that he knows what he is doing.
His first paying job was singing at a friends wedding. Second paying job as one piece of the duo that is the new house band at a very popular local establishment. He did not find these on his own, yet other people sought him out and hand these things to him on a silver platter. He would happily do this for no pay, but is realistic in that sense. Currently he is busking in Harvard Square with a good friend of his and is drawing quite the fan base. Busking, if you are not familiar, is the official name for street performing. You must obtain a busking license in order to be a busker. I know, we too have been joking around about this for weeks, which of course drives him crazy. I figured that Harvard Square being pretty much the busking capital of the world (or at least in the top 10) would be fraught with social politics, tough characters, and lots of rules of the road. I pointed this out to him (not that I have ANY experience to speak of in busking, but I do have common sense which sometimes he lacks) and he promptly told me that he had it under control and to not worry. That he had to learn this things on his own. Something that I told my parents over and over again from 15 to 20ish. I should just trust him and know that he usually comes out pretty good. After three trips to Harvard Square the first one netted $0, second one in a different location $25 The third weekend proved to be pivotal. After two previous trips to Harvard Square they figured out the best place to play, befriended a homeless man in the alley behind them who happened to scare off anyone else that wanted to play in that spot (a coveted spot apparently) and had a pretty big crowd surrounding them. Lots of requests for business cards, websites, and other social media info. Three hours on the third trip netted him $54 dollars. $18 dollars an hour to do something he absolutely LOVES and getting exposure that he otherwise would not get. Many people filmed them, talked about collaborating on projects, took pictures and were generally really interested in their music. Of course they also had the real "women" and typical fangirls asking for numbers and giggling because of course they are good looking as well as talented, along with their $5000 orthodontically correct smiles. Plus, we all know musicians get a certain "allowance" in the looks department that someone, say working in CVS, would not get. However even on a bad hair day they both look like men, even though they are still technically man-boys, have unruly curly hair (translate to they do nothing with it) and it still looks really cool and hipster and they are good looking. I kind of figured that one out when he started high school and a lot of the Mommies were drooling over him that I would have trouble and it has never stopped.
My first job was working at a nursing home as a cleaner making $5ish dollars an hour, second job as an order picker for a local department store. Eventually I too found my dream job. However, I was probably close to 26 before I was making close to $18/hour without working two jobs.
I'm thinking I need to let up on the control and just revel in the responsible(ish), talented, charming and bright man that he has become. What do you think?