Suzanne Olsen's Humor Blog - I don't offend some of the people most of the time

Fly Away, My Son

My son is taking a break from college and living at home. He just got a job today, but it will be some time before he gets a paycheck and enough saved to move out with friends.

Meantime, I need to know exactly when the statute of limitations runs out for being a mother. I know I’ll always be his mother, and I’ll always be there for him, and I will always love him, but I’m wondering how long I have to do his laundry.

I’d be more inclined to continue in the role of his personal slave if he were nice. But he’s trying to be independent, which means he wants to do his own thing. His own thing is leaving his shorts on the bathroom floor and his dirty dishes in the sink.

It’s just like old times, with me griping about it and him arguing but picking things up because, after all, I was the boss of him. He no longer feels that way. Two years of college and being on his own taught him to do what he wants when he wants.

As for me, while he was at college I got used to having a fairly clean house and reduced workload. My vocal chords were healing from nagging him. Now he pays lip service to my requests but doesn’t follow through, or he just blatantly says NO. He’s an adult after all, and why should he do what his mother says when it’s so stupid anyway? His shorts aren’t bothering anyone, for crying out loud.

It’s not just that he doesn’t do what I ask; he’s down right defiant. I’m helping write a book about global warming, so I’m acutely aware that the convenience of electricity comes to us with a cost in CO2 emissions. I ask him to turn off a light when he leaves a room and he argues. He says there is no global warming. I retaliate with all the scientific evidence, spewing facts as I follow him from room to room while he scrambles to get out of earshot. Finally he tells me to leave him alone and turns off one token light to make me go away. Later, when I return home from my daughter’s swim meet, he’s gone and has left practically every light in the house on. Granted, this is pretty normal for him, but I take it personally.

I have refused to do any more of his laundry. If he wants to be an adult, he can have the responsibilities of one. I was trying to get caught up with the wash today and found several of his items suspiciously buried in the sorting baskets, like maybe the laundress wouldn’t notice they were his. This morning he asked me to pour a bowl of cereal for him. Where does it end?

It probably sounds like I’ve raised a spoiled brat, but honestly he used to be such a nice young man. Compared to some of the horror stories I heard from friends, I thought I was pretty lucky. Now I think that he was just a late bloomer.

If any of you have any advice, I’d love to hear it. I figure I’ll just bide my time until he’s ready to spread his wings and fly the hell out of here. And I used to think Christmas breaks were long.


Black Cat Blues


I Have Regrets


  1. I’ve got to tell you, you are right on. I got 2 your post from someone else’s website and am really intrigued by this niche and learning more. Do you mind if I link to this site from my ?

  2. This is a extremely useful article. Do you mind if i translate it into french for my visitors?

  3. Fly Away, My Son Aunty Depression is an interesting name for a blog, keep up the good work, thanks, from Ezekiel Adkins

  4. You are so funny! That’s why I LOVE everything you write! Exclamation Point!!!

  5. I was in the same position about five years ago. Two-plus years at Oregon State and my son told me he’d dropped out during that “plus” part. After a few months at home, I suggested he literally fly away. “Go visit your brother in Germany. See the world.” And he did. He spent 2-1/2 months bumming around Europe, came home and enrolled at Portland State. He’s getting his master’s this year.

    Your son will get there. I can tell he’s got all his lights on.

    • How creative you are – in so many ways (love those Pullets – are you going for a pulletzer? Sorry, I couldn’t help myself).
      Is you son still in Germany – perhaps he’d like another long visitor????

      • I am SO tempted to go for a Pulletzer… no, my son is in Illinois now. He spent a year abroad as an undergrad. Studying beer mostly.

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