In a few months I will be mother to an adult. My oldest son will be turning eighteen years old. Wait, what? When did this happen? Somehow, amidst the years of homeschooling and refereeing fights between he and his sister, I just didn’t see this coming. He even went so far as to grow facial hair... What!!??
For the sake of blogging, let’s call him –N. So anyway, N is my oldest child, a confident and rational mirror of my own personality. He is sensitive, but willful and confident. N is so smart, it actually makes it difficult to argue with him for any reason. Been like this since he was very young. An old soul with a reverence for humanity and nature. He is an idealist and a musical artist. He has his own views on the world and has the knowledge to back up his opinions. I couldn’t be more proud of him.
Everyday something reminds me that he will be an adult soon. But I look at him and I see… my little boy. I do know, logically, that he is growing into a wonderful young man. I am honored to be his mom. I am also terrified of the knowledge that he will be starting his own life, independent from us, all too soon.
When your children are born, no one tells you that this is the hardest part of parenting; letting go while hoping you have done your best. Looking back, that’s what we have been doing all along. We, as parents, are letting them grow and learn lessons while being the silent safety net under their high wire, always there in case they fall or in case life pushes them down too hard. We try to keep them from becoming jaded and insecure while balancing their ego with humility. We work hard to teach them to think for themselves in an unfair and groupthink culture. We tell them that if they work hard enough they can do and be anything, but then send them out into a reality that will push them down if they have grown up poor, or a minority, or the wrong gender, or if they don’t love the way they are told to, or if they don’t fit into the cookie cutter expectations of the people who make the rules.
So tell me, is my anxiety irrational? I will be sending out into a world like this, my heart… my most amazing blessings, my loves… one by one, beginning this year! I am terrified. At the same time, I am excited. My children will change the world. I know this in a way that I know no other truth. They are all so amazing in their admiration of the world in it’s truest form; love, peace, kindness… they are smart, without putting logic above the hearts of people. They know that sometimes all a person needs is to be heard. They LOVE and RESPECT and DEFEND the defenseless. My son, N, will be the first of his siblings to make a difference.
What more can a mother ask of her children? I just have to get my head around the whole "growing up" part.
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