Well, my youngest turns seventeen a month from today. Though he has another year until he’s an official ‘adult’, my son has an independent streak Grand-Canyon wide. He’ll probably be graduating early, next January, and he wants to take off when he turns eighteen and be on his own. And it’s fine with me. I know that he has what it takes to take care of himself. He is a very smart kid; perhaps too smart at times. He’s in all the advanced placement classes in school. He always scores well on his report cards, and this isn’t to brag. I’m just so proud of him, for all that he does and for all that he still can become.
I still remember having to hold his hand back in first grade, to cross the street. I stood with him and his older brother on the school playground waiting for the bell to ring. We were newly arrived in the area and the boys didn’t have any friends at the time. I remember the trust he had for me, knowing that I would do everything in my power to keep him and his older brother safe. I hope that he felt loved by his mother. I pray that he knew I’d move Heaven and hell to protect them both. Yes. Great is a mother’s love.
Now he has his own life. His own world. Which, frankly, breaks my heart at times. It’s hard for a mom to be replaced by outside influences; girlfriends, video games, friends, school, etc.. Oftentimes I miss that special time we used to spend together just the two of us, going places and just talking. I miss the talking. Yes. We still do that sporadically. Now he has other people to confide in, to share his life with; his hopes and dreams and goals.
Being a parent is an awesome responsibility but well worth the risks and the heartaches it can bring. The heartache of a son who is no longer just your own, but belongs to the world. A world that you see as a terribly frightening place, full of pain and betrayal and frustration. But I know it’s not all gloom and doom. There are joys and triumphs. Life is what you make of it. You can greet each day with peace or you can greet it with a heavy heart. But it’s each individual’s choice – rainbows or storm clouds?
But what I want most for my sons, as any good mother(or father) would want, is for them to be happy where they are at. To make the best out of a bad situation when they approach. To take the good with the bad and to understand that dark days do not last forever. That heartache is only temporary. That time does heal. That life can be beautiful in spite of all the crap that goes on in this world on a daily basis. But most of all, to remember that they have a mother who loves them no matter what. Unconditional love for the sons that she bore, that she gave life to, brought screaming into this crazy world.
Would they have wanted to turn around and go back in if they knew what a mess life can be? Wouldn’t we all? Well, not literally, of course. But as a child you are kept safe and warm from danger, if you are brought up in a loving family. Unfortunately, I know that’s not always the case. But a child must feel loved to grow and to prosper and to become a success in life. Give them a sense of security. Hold them. Love them. Calm them when it is needed. As they grow, life becomes more complicated. In school they are either accepted by the group or ostracized. It can be painful to bear after being coddled at home. But let them know that they are not alone, that you’ve got their back.
Let your children know, as well, how proud of them you are. It takes only a moment to convey this message to them. It can leave a lasting effect, though. Children are a gift from God, at least that’s how I see it as. Thank you, God, for allowing me to become a mom. I couldn’t be happier. Someday I know that they will come back around and we will be friends. Thank you, sons, for calling me Mom. My greatest challenge and my greatest achievement.