Last week was Son2's 24th birthday. Yes, he is 24. We were invited over to their apartment for his birthday party with his friends. We picked up Son1 and he went with us.
As is in recent history, it was all done in Son2's way. His friends are not mainstream, certainly not preppy, a mix of what some call hippy, edgy, punk and working class. He did not provide alcohol, guests brought their own, but I didn't see hardly any, except the six that his dad brought. C had spent hours cleaning the apartment, the first floor of an old craftsman style house. She made food, and I brought food as well. The have old furniture, couch covered with graffiti, a mix of edgy art on the walls, some his some hers. They have really made the place their own. Some people were there that came to the wedding, so we got reacquainted. We were the only older folks, but everyone seemed comfortable, and Son2 wanted us there. No drugs, no pot, little alcohol. The only thing was that most everyone smoked, so the place really reeked. He even had a small punk band playing in the basement, we left soon after (ha-ha, a little loud).
5 years ago I could never have conceived of this birthday, 24 years old, a college graduate and a wife. A mohawk, piercings, tattoos, combat boots... living on his own, getting a job, getting parts and fixing C's car himself, troubleshooting his problems, figuring out how to live. They are struggling financially, but keeping their heads above water.
Is he totally independent? Almost. We still pay car insurance and cell phone. I just gave him some cash to buy a car battery, but haven't given him rent money in about 6 months. He is about to start a new job and then they want to start paying their own insurance. C is fiercely independent.
A couple years ago, Son2 and I had a conversation about forgiveness. I'm not sure if I got my point across, but I tried to tell him that saying he was sorry was not enough, and it wasn't going to happen all at once, but over time. How he lived his life was the key. I wanted to see him happy, healthy, and self sufficient. And yes, time heals all wounds.