The one thing I have always been sure of, beyond any doubt, is that I would be a wonderful mother. I knew I would do everything in my power to give my son unconditional love, trust, faith in his ability to find his way, support in his dreams, belief in his ability to achieve whatever his goal, and a safe place to rest his heart. Always.
While I believe I did the very best I knew how, with the knowledge I had at any given moment, I have come to that moment when I’ve learned too much. I know what I could have been, and done, and shared, with more heart and wisdom. It is a humbling place, and it could be a heart-breaking place if I let it.
I would have given more support to who he was becoming instead of who we, as parents, thought he should be. I would have honored his spine more and worked to protect him less from those who had different ideas of who he should “become”. I would have gone to Wal-mart and picked up a spine for myself, adding mine to the strength growing in his. I would have encouraged the lean towards guitar, and art, and skiing, and a mohawk. I probably couldn’t have stopped trying to dress him in color, but I digress, that is just me.
I have discovered an interest in a class called “Parenting By Design”, a 4 week tele-seminar being taught by Elena Brower on behalf of the Handel Group. I have thus far stopped myself from signing up because my son is an adult now, fairly recently out of the USMC after a short trip to Afghanistan. But I am still a parent, a mother, striving to be an example of how to communicate, solve relationship issues, love unconditionally, forgive the same way, accept each person as they are without the pressure of expectations from others. To diffuse my rage and anger at the world for his disappointment and disillusionment. To stop myself from the horrible pressure of fixing what I “see” is wrong for him, because IT IS NOT MINE TO FIX. And it may just not be wrong at all for him at this time in his growth.
I thought I only wanted him to be happy. But I’m starting to realize that I want HIM to want to be happy, to find that within him, to seek peace for himself. I am beginning to understand that he will not get what he deserves in life until he thinks he deserves it, and that for me to want him to be happy for my sake is very selfish indeed, not to mention impossible.
So I am sitting here tonight, thinking that since I am still his parent, his Momma, what does that mean for me now? Do I still want to be an example of what unconditional love looks like? Yes. Should I be an example of respectful communication, and honoring boundaries? Yes. Should I embody forgiveness as a strength and freedom? Yes. Am I capable of showing him that joy comes from within? I’m working on that.
I’m leaning towards a helping hand from Elena’s seminar so that I can grow up to be a really awesome Momma, a person capable of changing a heritage of guilt and obligation to a legacy of love and growth. I’m leaning so far, I’m about to fall over. And I REFUSE to believe it is ever to late to change the legacy I pass on to the next generation. Starting with one, no matter how old he is.