Rock the Cradle
Nothing every prepared a parent for eighteen. Such an unassuming number until you're faced with it. So it was for Joshua and Mary. Before them stood their eighteen year old son, bags packed and enough moxie to make a go at living on his own.
It had only been two months since Joey's graduation. They'd had this time to prepare for his leaving, but hope had plagued their heart Joey would wait. That is, wait until he had a good job under his collar before he struck out on his own. Who really knows how a teenager's mind works.
Joey's parents were coming at this from a practical point of view, but Joey was thinking about freedom, parties, and girls. His job at the grocery store earned him enough to rent a garage apartment at his best friend's parents home. It was in a sad state of affairs, needing the fundamental things for habitation, but Joey reasoned he'd get "those" things as he could. He'd use an ice chest until he got a frig, he'd use a hot plate until he got a stove and the old microwave his friend had given him. His parents should be thankful the place had a decent bathroom and bedroom.
Yes, Joey reasoned life was great. Standing before his parents now, even the sadness behind their eyes couldn't quiet the excitement of this new stage in his life. He hugged his mom and tried to ignore the tears which silently fell. He shook his fathers hand and gave him a quick man hug, as his friend was watching from the truck. One more farewell and he was gone.
Joshua and Mary stood there for a few moments drenched in the eighteen years of memories of Joey. Joshua's way of handling Joey's leaving was to shrug his shoulders and head off for work. Mary, well Mary had a good cry and silently prayed for her son's well-being, after all she was the one who'd housed, bore, then rocked the cradle when their son was born. A small smile eventually found its way to her mouth. She knew eventually he'd be around for a home-cooked meal. Joey had spread his wings and flown, but there was nothing as good as mommas cooking, and a boy had to eat.