As I sit in a booth alone at a restaurant in South Austin today, I find myself almost in tears. I’m not sad, actually I am quite overjoyed. Motherhood can be challenging. The love and concern that you have for your children never leave you. My youngest daughter is 18 and she is a very quiet and shy girl. I’ve worried about her having a social life since her core group of best friends left for college this summer. She works and comes home, sits on the sofa and watches anime on her computer. What kind of life is that? I gave her two homework assignments over the summer (mom’s rules trump her being 18). She was to look for a career or college that she is interested in and she has to join some sort of social group. Well here it is October and this is her first anime meetup in Austin. I knew that if I didn’t go along for the ride she would chicken out. So I made her drive. When we got here, she had to find the group and introduce herself. I am sitting at a table within earshot and I’m watching my daughter come alive. I haven’t seen her this animated and social in I can’t remember when! My hope is that this is the beginning of an enjoyable time for her. All parents want their children to be happy and well-adjusted. She is surrounded by a very diverse group of people who I feel will expand her horizons. It is beautiful watching my little daisy unfold and bloom in her own special way. Sometimes I am the heroine and others, I’m the supporting character.
My Boy is growing up. He’s fourteen, kind, inquisitive, smart, witty, loving and wise beyond his years.
He came into my life at the tender age of 6. He was a sensitive kid who cried a lot the first year of our blended family. So many changes for a little fellow to deal with.
In the beginning of our life together, we went through a lot of learning and growing. Our backgrounds and culture very different. Some days it seemed like such a stretch to find the commonality in our existence. It did come with time.
My heart has grown at least three sizes if not more. I didn’t realize it was possible but here we are now and I cannot imagine life without this young man.
He is preparing to be confirmed in the Lutheran church. I never thought I would find myself so intrinsically involved in a faith that was not my own. Life is funny like that. I’ve learned to love and appreciate a good group of people that I have spent a great deal of time with the last eight years of my life.
I had to hold back the tears this morning as we prepared the last breakfast fundraiser for his DC trip to Washington. Not tears of sadness but love for the time that I have been honored to spend with this young man. We have evolved into a loving and trusting relationship. Although I did not give birth to him, I thank his mother for that. I am a parent and he is my son.
I look forward to many years ahead with this boy of mine. I look forward to many years ahead with each of my kids. No matter how old they become, they will always be my babies ♥.
I would like to thank everyone for their comments and encouragement. I am a few days into the experience and yes there is a light. Not that anything outwardly has changed, but I am experiencing a sense of peace. Life is full of rich experiences and this is one of those, “How am I going to reflect on this experience?” The way I see it I have two choices. I can say “thank you” to the Powers that be and realize that great internal growth is happening or I can feel slighted and upset for what I perceive as ingratitude. Both choices are very real to me and I leaned towards the slighted theory at first because that was the easiest to accept (no internal work on my part if I choose this option). However after thinking about the situations at hand, I realize that this is just another opportunity for spiritual growth.
“Life is a chance to grow a soul.”~ Powell Davies
Life goes on, so will I.
This isn’t exactly the follow-up blog I wanted to post. I prefer that it would have been another motivational and positive, “Yes you can do it” moment with a personal story or two. It IS about Daring to…let go. There is nothing fun about the subject. It is quite painful and that is why I want to share my struggles with you. Life challenges happen to everyone.
There are two relationships in my life where I have to take a step back and simply love someone regardless of circumstances. One relationship I have struggled with the past few months and I have finally come to the conclusion that I am not helping this person but enabling them. It began as an offer to help him get back on his feet. The first year in helping this person, there was real progress being made and I was so proud of him. I wanted so badly for him to simply succeed in life and be happy. That’s not a bad wish to have. The problem is that he has problems that I will never be able to fix. No matter how badly I want him to be whole and healthy, it will not happen without his consent and effort. My help has allowed his bills to be paid on time but it has not changed the drug or alcohol problem. Mom told me going into this situation two years ago that it was not a good idea. But I had to give it a try. What if my involvement created a change in him? Talk about delusion! Where did I derail? It started with the best of intentions. Along the way though, I tied my ego to the outcome of the situation. If he failed, I failed. I wasn’t going to give up that easy. It is time to put my ego aside and simply love him for all that he is, addictions and all. For me, it means letting go of the outcome and allowing him his own choices. I’m not going to tell you that I am at peace with my decision because I am still struggling. I do know this is the best I can do at this time.
When children are little they step on your toes, when they grow up they step on your heart.
The second relationship involves a child. Sometimes you have to let go, loosen the reigns, for them to see what they have. It has frustrated me to put so much energy into this child only for them to say, “You don’t want me around”. I suppose that all the school and sporting events, doctor and orthodontist visits that I have attended over the years mean that I don’t care. It feels like a big slap in the face. However that is their reality and there is nothing that I can do to change that. I have to honor their feelings as painful as it is. It’s messy, uncomfortable and unpredictable…it’s life. My hope is that one day, this beautiful child will understand the love that I have for them. Understand and accept. Until then I have to put my big girl panties on and move forward…daring to let go.