Monday, September 19, 2016
This is the year that my son turns 18. This is the one that he graduates high school. He could be living on his own within the year. This is the one that has loomed heavy in the distance since he was knee high to a grasshopper. Yet, here we stand. I ready my heart for what comes, not sure if there is ever really a "ready".
In the meantime I stand by, on call, in case I'm needed. Because that never goes away, that careful attentiveness that comes with motherhood. The intrinsic things of mothering are as part of me now as my very soul. We two are one.
So I get the rolled eyes when I may be hovering a little close and I try to back off. I don't want to smother my birds as they make their way to nest's edge but I'm certainly not ready to push their fledgling bodies over.
This is a fine dance, this one of allowing wings to spread, watching as they feel the warm breeze lift them ever so slightly, offering a glimpse of what is to come. It aches and it rejoices and it beams with pride and stays awake at night in worry. And it is a dance that I don't know the steps to just yet but I try to keep up with the music anyway.
I remember back to where we were just a year ago: fighting a darkness that felt so strong, so overpowering that it almost seemed easier to just succumb to the weight of it, to allow it to pull us under. It was a battle of epic proportions but I see, only now, that we are better for having fought it.
He's a high school senior. He's starting his first day of college classes today. He is student member of the Police Advisory Board as well as a Police Explorer with our city's department. He continues on with the high school JROTC rifle team. And just like that, he's a member of the community and making decisions and living life.
Now, we look toward the future. So much will change in the next year, two years, three years. Our lives will change and evolve and there is no way to know what that will look like. But here, in this time, I watch my little birds that are not little at all. And I see that their flight feathers are coming in nicely. I see them struggle with this new skill but it's not one that I can learn for them. It is that dance of struggle and stumble and succeed that I danced when I was their age too.
They may never know the heart wrenching love I have felt for them since they first came into my life. They may never know the tears I've wept, the fear I've battled, the prayers I've whispered. They may never know how much their lives have changed my very being, made me something better than I ever was before. They may never know how thankful I am for them. They are the best and most beautiful thing I've ever done.