On the day I became a mother for the first time, my whole world changed. Everything shifted. Suddenly, I was head over heels in love with this tiny baby and would do anything for him – at any time day or night. (lots of at night 🙂 ) Truly, he brought joy. He was the greatest thing that ever happened to me, and he gave me a new purpose.
I was a career minded woman and gave it all up to stay home full-time with this tiny being. I didn’t want to miss one moment. Luckily, that is just what I did. I was there for all the firsts ~ words, crawling, walking. I watched him become a big brother – twice. On the first day of school, I watched in anguish (and some relief), as he left me and went off to class. I learned I had to share this incredible person with his teachers, his friends, and all the other people who were part of his world.
Although partial to him, I watched with pride at everything he did – or tried to do. I thought every last bit of it was amazing and wonderful. I never looked at him and compared him to anyone else. To me he is perfect.
As he grew older, I watched more from the sidelines as his friends became more and more important and his obligations at school took more time away from family. I prayed for his safety and good judgement, and worried about EVERYTHING ~ bullies, mean kids, smoking, drinking, drugs. A lot of bad things play through a mom’s mind as she worries about all that could go wrong. As it turns out, nothing went wrong – not really.
Later, in high school, I worried that he wasn’t “involved” enough and that he really needed a place to fit. However, at last, he found his place on the newspaper staff and his love for graphic design was born. This was an area where we could watch him excel and then fly. It was awesome to watch him receive accolades and awards, and just to feel good about himself – his own sense of pride.
Now, this amazing person is in his second year of college. He has lived at home and commuted to school so he could save some money, and he has done well. He works nearly full-time and is a full-time student with good grades. We are so proud of him.
Now, he has decided it’s time to move out and get his own apartment. He’s right, of course. It’s time for that to happen, time for him to be more independent and exercise his own freedoms. It’s time for him to start building his own life separate from me. In truth, isn’t this what we hope to achieve with our kids? Don’t we want them to be productive, responsible, independent people who go out and make a difference in the world? He feels so excited. This is his time! And, I am excited for him.
On the other hand, ~ I am heartbroken. This young man has been with me virtually every day of his life. In truth, there have been precious few occasions when we didn’t see each other ~ mom & dad getaways, camp for the boys, weekends with grandparents. All things considered, I have no idea what I do now. How do I play this new role where I am not involved and don’t have much say in what he does?
I have three boys. Have I mentioned that? I am very family oriented and always have been. Consequently, I have thought often of what will happen when they get married. I fear they will be pulled more to the wife’s family. From a young age I have told them to grow up and marry orphans so that I don’t have to compete with the in-laws. In truth, it’s only half a joke.
I know my son is a good man. Without a doubt, he will do well in his life. I feel gratitude for every single moment this child has given me. He makes me laugh like no one else. He is smart and charming. He is handsome and kind. He is my heart and soul. And now, he is leaving….
We will be fine, no doubt, as we navigate these new waters. After all, so many other mothers have gone through this very thing. I am certain I am melodramatic. I am so proud of him! Still, I am so sad for me.
Thanks for letting me share how I’m feeling with you and bombard you with photos of my son. So tel me, for those of you who have been though this, how did you do it? Those of you who have not gotten here yet….enjoy every single moment. The days go slow and the years go so fast! Your day will be here before you know it! #trustme By the way, his name is Riley, and I would love for you to pray for him in this new chapter of his life. Thanks! Don’t forget to comment below, I could use your wise words right now.