My baby is 18

Every year, when Little T had a birthday I would calculate how many childhood years I still had to cherish before the day he turned 18.

Well, that day has come.

Tried as I could to press the pause button year after year, he quietly slipped into adulthood right before my eyes.

Feeling a mix of emotions today. There’s sadness knowing my parental responsibilities will transition, as he now has legal rights that don’t require my signature. He can sign himself out of school, change his name, or run out this afternoon and get married. If he does, I hope she golfs.

But a big part of me is excited. Tuscan is beginning a new journey in life where he can choose the path(s) he feels are best for him. One decision he’s made is to leave high school and not complete his Abitur. He’s already earned a secondary school diploma, and decided he doesn’t want to attend university which would require an Abitur certificate.

Instead, Tuscan is deciding on whether to apply for an electrician or IT apprenticeship that would start in January, and work part-time in the fall. This is a path he’s been thinking about for close to a year, and chose to stay in school this last year to make sure. If he later decides to attend University, he can easily go back and complete his Abitur.

Does it bother me that he’s choosing not to attend University? Not at all. In fact, I admire that he’s invested time this past year figuring out what he’d like to do career-wise. I wrote in his birthday card to always listen to your heart, as it’s the best guide in life.

It’s time for me to step into a different role as a mom. Even though I feared this day for so many years, now that it’s here I realize it’s not so bad. I have lots to look forward to as a parent of an adult!

Besides, I’ve had plenty of time getting ready for this transition, which already began three years ago when Tuscan moved into the basement. I can still feel the sadness the day I stood in his empty bedroom, picturing him playing Lego on the floor. But as the weeks went by, I began to like the freedom of having a level of the house all to myself and Ralph, and one less person to battle washroom/shower time with. His room also transformed into my office with a bed, so I have somewhere to sleep when a certain someone saws logs.

We began Tuscan’s birthday celebration today at 7am with an ‘American’ breakfast he requested (fried eggs, toast, bacon, and brown beans). The beans was an odd wish as he’s never had them – so we bought the traditional Heinz beans in sugar tomato sauce. I think he maybe tried two? Mogly certainly enjoyed them.

Children in Germany get their gifts in the morning before school. Wait a minute…I could have slept in this morning! Tuscan’s main birthday gift is tickets to IEM Cologne 2022, three days of watching a bunch of teams play Counter-Strike, an online gaming sport. We bought a ticket for his friend Yannis, and Tuscan wanted Ralph to come as well. (Ralph’s not sure what to expect, but the beer is free!) I’m tagging along for a three-night stay in Cologne – we’re leaving Mogly behind so I’m looking forward to it as a min-vacation-for-me.

To make sure Tuscan had something to open on his birthday, I bought a bunch of these ‘American’ treats from this company in Germany that imports product from the US (food we can’t get in the local grocery store).

Last November I bought Quaker Instant Oatmeal thinking I’d like to have it for a treat – bugger ate all the packages before I had a chance! Even though these Quaker oatmeal boxes cost more than wine, I buy them for him anyway. I guess that’s what moms do.

As Tuscan doesn’t like having his picture taken or made public, I’m sharing instead this little famous hand gesture he developed as a child (those that know him will recognize it as true Tuscan fashion).

So many pictures had to be re-taken because of that stink finger. But that’s my boy.

He may be 18 now and considered an adult. But my baby he’ll always be.

8 thoughts on “My baby is 18

  1. I still remember the day at Sybase when you told me you were preggers!!!! 🙂 Happy Birthday Tuscan! I liked the part about his school journey…it reminds me of my gf in Germany (that I met at Tech Gymnasium there)…she did a trade after grade 9…(sewing), then decided to get her Abi…and that’s when we met …then she went on to a Fachhochschule to become a textile engineer….who knows where his journey takes him….he might discover something along the way that catches his interest even more….


  2. Ah Heather, bittersweet as it is, the day comes for us all. It is also a day to celebrate ourselves, and the enduring commitment of the last 18 years! Now is the fun part. Sit back and watch the next chapter unfold as Tuscan finds his wings, and soars. Our work as parents never really comes to an end, it just changes. (And I can tell you ‘parenting’ your adult child(ren) comes with an altogether new set of instructions!). You and Ralphy-Boy should raise a glass and celebrate this also as a testament to your love and dedication to one another. Cheers.


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