The most gratifying moments in my life were the days that my children were born. As a mom, the most awesome moment is watching your child take his or her first breath and holding them in your arms counting ten little fingers and ten little toes. It’s a moment when you recognize that you are responsible for molding and shaping these tiny beings into happy, well adjusted members of society. It’s a day when the term unconditional love is understated. There is no love like that of a mother.
What they don’t tell you in this non existent manual of parenthood is when that baby who grows into a toddler-who grows into a child-who grows into a tween-who grows a teenager, will navigate you into unchartered territory. They don’t prepare you for this zombie who sleeps and eats all the time, who won’t listen, and won’t clean up after himself. As much as your intentions as parents are to guide them into making choices based on truth and integrity, their own transformation into boy into man or girl into woman may not align with your ideals or meet your expectations. They’re young and growing minds, in conjunction with hormonal fluctuations, are trying to maneuver their own transition into adulthood. The may act out, they may do or say some hurtful things, but just as you are trying to navigate these changes, they too are trying to make sense of who they are. They will stretch boundaries to find their independence.
While the momma bear in me wants to hold and protect him so tightly, with any evolution of growth and expansion, it’s a personal process that everyone must endure. Change is uncomfortable. Watching the metamorphosis of your baby boy turning into a man as he examines his own sense of self and takes the reins of his life into his own hands can be scary as hell. But don’t you think the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly was a long and hard process?
While I can be there to support him and provide guidance, wisdom, and insight, I can’t want his life for him. I can’t control every facet of his life. I can only hope that as he faces choices and challenges in his life, that the lessons and examples that he has grown to know have had an everlasting imprint in his heart and soul. I hope that his long line of strong heritage runs through his blood and veins and that he will always remember where he comes from.
As you weather the tides of change, there comes a realization that the fight to control is futile. That maybe it’s time to honour the process and let go. It doesn’t mean that you don’t care. It means that you care so damn much that in your heart you know the right thing is to have the courage to give them the opportunity to make mistakes, to fall, to fail and to have heartbreak. If and when they do, you will be there to catch them. It means that each and every day you are committed to letting them know that you are there to love and support them - whatever that looks like - whether to listen, talk, time together, or space. It means that you will love them through it.
I will love him through it.