The other night I asked Chat GbT, “How should I deal with the sadness that my son got married and then moved far away to the Midwest to his wife’s family?”

The answer beat out most of what I’ve heard from friends and even one therapist, all without judgement:

It said:

It’s completely normal to have mixed emotions when a loved one, such as your son, gets married and moves away. While it’s important to express your feelings honestly, it’s also crucial to approach the situation with a positive and supportive attitude.

Consider a balanced approach:

1. **Express your feelings:** Let your son know that you will miss him and that his absence may bring some sadness. Share your emotions in a loving and open manner, emphasizing that it’s a natural part of the process.

2. **Be happy for them:** At the same time, convey your joy and happiness for his new journey in life. Emphasize that you want the best for him and that you support his decision to build a life with his spouse.

3. **Stay connected:** Discuss ways to stay in touch, whether through regular phone calls, video chats, or visits. Knowing that you can maintain a connection might help alleviate some of the sadness.

4. **Plan visits:** Talk about future plans for visits or family get-togethers. Having something to look forward to can make the separation feel more manageable.

It’s essential to strike a balance between expressing your emotions and maintaining a positive outlook. Remember that his marriage is a significant milestone, and your support and encouragement can contribute to a healthy and positive family dynamic.

Before seeking the answer to this question from the dispassionate Chat GbT, I threw down my gut emotional reaction in order to look deeply into the mirror before beginning the “work out phase” of this inner conflict.

My approach went more like this:

Did you ever see the 1960s movie Bye, Bye, Birdie. I’m pretty sure I channel Albert’s boot stomping mother who follows him everywhere and doesn’t approve of his Spanish love interest Rosie. She only wants Albert for herself. OK, maybe I’m not quite that bad, but I get her. Turn those black lug boots into running shoes, dress her in Lululemon– we’re a good match.

I have three sons, yes, A Jewish Mother with three sons, all of whom walk on water. Since birth, I’ve carried their photos in my wallet bragging to anyone and everyone about them until their ears bled, waxing on about their humor, intelligence, personality, athleticism, cool factor…you get the picture.

Fast forward, our first born is now married to the most wonderful life partner whom we all adore. After years of living together in Boston, she desperately wanted to return to her home state of Minnesota and take her new husband with her to try it out. Seemed fair enough, especially since they both were green lighted from their companies to work from anywhere. Weak in the knees in love our now and forever accommodating son left hundreds of friends and a city he loved to move to MN a month after their wedding. So far, he loves it: house on the lake, golf country club, wide open spaces for he and their big chocolate lab to roam.

But wait, you may ask, why is this about me? Let me have a hundred dollar bill please for everyone who responds, “Isn’t the fact that your son(s) are happy all that matters?” “HELL NO” I say, at least to myself, as I nod in fake agreement. I had them, raised them, fell madly in love with them, never really separated from them, even as they healthily moved on to separate from me. So why would this distance suddenly be ok with me. Add another hundred dollar bill each time someone mentions, “you can fly there in under 3 hours on multiple airlines.”

And yes, in case you are wondering, I am fortunate to have the best mate of a husband by my side 24/7, whom I love madly every day, but as Cosmopolitan founder Helen Gurley Brown preached to my generation, “I want it all.”

Minutes after each son was born I quickly realized I can’t live without this new adorable appendage by my side, I want them close. And little by little, with our encouragement, they moved from the sandbox, to the local playground, to the local pizza joint, colleges way out west, and then far away. “We showed them the world and they left us”, not because we weren’t the most fun parents on Earth, but because they each had an adventurous spirit. Not fair. We raised confident, independent, adjusted, productive sons.

Is this what “having it all” feels like in 2024, especially when I know grandkids are coming soon? I know my great grandparents never experienced this. They only had to look a block away to find their heirs.

Many of my “real” non Chat GbT friends don’t get it. These same friends are also the ones whose kids live in their proverbial back yards so they see them for dinners weekly, thus have zero right to judge. Besides, they would never relate to Albert’s mother in Bye, Bye, Birdie.

I’m just sayin.

Chat GbT is My New Best Friend was last modified: by

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