I don’t know if my son knows exactly how I feel about him. Sure, I tell him “I love you.” I hug him and I have always done my very best to support him.
The problem stems from my inability to fully comprehend how quickly he is growing up. He has his own plans and dreams. He knows what he wants his world to look like. All I know is how my world changed the moment he came into it. It was not an instantaneous miracle, it was a subtle shift in my priorities. I could no longer make decisions about my life without considering how it would affect him. I was no longer my only priority.
If I am being honest, there is a selfish part of me screaming for him to stop growing up already! It’s horribly unfair. These little guys come tearing into our hearts and all we get is the promise of abandonment long before we are truly ready.
My son has never been truly mine. He was always his own person and sometimes he would generously allow me a little peek into his world. He is forming his own opinions and his world is different than mine.
We get to share our hearts with our children. If we are truly lucky, as I consider myself to be, we raise phenomenal people who will leave their own mark on the lives of others. I know he has left an indelible mark on me.
I can’t stop time. He won’t allow me to wrap him up in bubble wrap to protect him from the world. My only hope is that he makes decisions that are true to his heart and that he experiences life as fully as he wants to.
I am lucky. I have this amazing kid who is rushing headlong into adulthood. I hope he savors these last couple of years of adolescence. I want him to love and be loved. I want him to look out at the world with wonder and not be afraid.
I will always strive to be his safe harbor. The person in the world who loves him more than anything. I will be as open minded to his dreams as my heart will allow. I promise to support his desires and to help guide him the best way I know how. While he is not my possession, he stole my heart the day he was born.
When I watched him walking into airport the other day I was overcome with emotion. I was proud of his independence and I was missing the little boy he was not very long ago. It took every ounce of willpower I had to not rush after him to make sure he could navigate the airport. (He’s a smart kid, obviously he had no problems.)
He does not need me to hold his hand anymore. He knows how to look both ways before he crosses the street. I know because I watched him do it. I have to have faith in the lessons our family strives to teach him. I have to believe we are raising a good man.
So, I’m not going to waste time crying over losing my little guy. I am going to celebrate his journey into manhood. However, if I am being honest I wish it took a little longer. I just don’t know if I am ready yet.