It has been a trying few months. Some of it I can discern, some of it is still completely out of my ability to articulate. Recently, one of the most stressful, heart-wrenching points has been inside of my cozy, loving, warm home. As those of you who have read my blog, or know personally, know, I have had a rough past, to say the least. Rebuilding my life has been an uphill battle but a priority and main focus has been making my home my safe zone, my sanctuary. To have that disrupted has created an exhausting amount of anxiety and an upheaval within its normally peaceful walls.
Letting go of ones we love is never easy. As the mother of a teenage
boy young man, nothing in my life has ever compared to the agony of letting him go. Of course, it is a natural course and has been inevitably coming all of his life. But the crisp, sharp reality of it being months away has forced facing the changes and starting to reluctantly prepare.
Recently I have noticed some unfavorable fluctuations in my son. He has been struggling between his need to assert himself as a man and still taking orders at home, school and work. His attitude has been relentless. His distance growing daily. His annoyance with my requests to help around the house or just with me, in general, have left me feeling further from him than ever in the last 17 plus years.
I was told that the most difficult years between a mother and son were between his fifteenth and eighteenth birthdays. Making it through the first two of those fairly painlessly, I luckily had the wherewithal to brace myself for what could be coming. And let me tell you, we arrived and there was no way to prepare enough.
Now sidebar here for anyone reading who does not know my son personally. He is an AMAZING human. He is kind and generous, patient and has a huge heart. Despite everything he has been through in his life he has survived and grown into a fantastic man. So when I say there has been friction, it is not that it is that bad, however, if it had come from a normal moody teenager I would accept it – but it feels like my sweet boy is vanishing in the shadow of this edgy, argumentative, temperamental young man.
It has left me feeling lost and a little topsy-turvy, right, like this stranger is in my home and my sweet baby has vanished.
Of course, throw my anxiety and normal big personality in the mix and it’s been a recipe for disaster. Last night the bubble popped and we hit the point of it all coming to a head. We cried and we spoke straight. We lashed out and corrected misunderstandings. And by the end, exhausted and weathered, we found each other again. Mother and Son prevailed and we reconnected to be whole again.
We discussed how there are two sides for this progression in life. For him he is experiencing and growing, he is having copious amounts of “firsts”. There is excitement and anticipation. But for me, for all parents, they live in firsts while we live in lasts.
The first time using a potty, was my last time putting on his diaper.
His first steps were the last time I saw him crawl.
His first foods were the last of our snuggie time with a bottle.
His first taste of freedom on his bike were my lasts at being his every moment companion.
His first days of school and making new friends were the end of me being his only best friend.
The first time he started walking to or getting a ride to school with friends was my last waving him off at the bus stop.
His growing into a man has been the end of his childhood, for me.
And, as he prepares to fly from my nest and face his life with exuberance and big dreams, I am facing the last nights he will be home with me, day in and day out.
It must be said here, as I have before, that my job is to fill his wings with love, and pride, and goals, and understanding, and meet his enthusiasm with my own. And, I will. I will see him off and make sure he keeps always moving forward. I will remain his steadfast unconditional love and support. I will be his biggest fan.
But, I would be lying if I said it was not breaking my fucking heart.
I will let him go, and I know I have given him the foundation to succeed, but he will take with him all of my heart. This is the way it works, and I know it is part of life. I know we will be fine. I know I will survive. Last night as the conversation worked its way through the tumultuousness of our minds, thoughts, expectations, and feelings, there came a peace over both of us. We were reconnected, and he looked up at me and thoughtfully chose his words. He said, “that was it. You know how sometimes you feel like something is missing or you need something, you know that feeling? Well, this was it. This, us reconnecting was what I was looking for.” There was my heart, sweet baby boy, at his finest. And I finally exhaled.
That is how I know we are okay now. That is how I know that come what may, I have done the right job as his mother. That is how I know we will be successful at this relationship, over the hills and peaks and valleys (and even times where it feels like a cliff I want to jump from).
We will make it. I may need more wine and bourbon than ever before, but we will.
Now I have to go touch up my makeup for work since this word vomit just came flooding out of me and I did not have on waterproof mascara ::eyerolls::
Happy Friday Y’all & Merry freaking Christmas!
Photo cred: the amazing Starla @ Star Mega Photography