When did my baby boy turn into a six foot man-look-a-like? Where has the past seventeen years gone? It seems like it was just last week that he was taking his first steps, now he's making plans for the prom. It seems like it was just yesterday that he was holding on to my leg, begging me not to leave him at preschool, now he's looking at colleges. I remember holding him and kissing his fat little cheeks. Now, I have to look up to him when I tell him to clean his room.
I was just twenty-one when I had him–a kid my self. Looking back, I had no idea what I was doing. All I knew is that I wanted to be the perfect mommy. I joke that he was my practice child and that my other two children are lucky I got some experience before they were born. Truthfully, we grew up together.
The hardest day was the day he pulled out of of my driveway for the first time on his own. I watched through the window as he backed out of the driveway, and then came the sobs. Where's the rewind button? Tears fill my eyes as I write this. I play out all the terrible things that can happen to him out in the world and I'm not there to protect him. Did I remind him to wear his seat belt? Of course I did, probably a hundred times.
I used to think I had so much to worry about when he was little. What he ate, what he watched on T.V.,if he brushed his teeth. But at least back then I had control. Now, I have no idea what he's doing or who he's hanging out with most of the time. For all I know he could be doing drugs or having sex, or both at the same time. Oh the anxiety!
Then I start to question my parenting. Did I do everything right? Of course not, but I honestly tried. We had the drug talk. We had the sex talk. I tried to instill morals and values. I tried to set an example.I guess I didn't do too bad. He's kind and genuine. He's smart and funny. And I guess his dad had a little to do with that. Now I'm smiling.
He's a good kid. Now of course, he's a typical teen age boy. He doesn't turn in homework sometimes, forgets to call when he's supposed to, his room is a disaster, he's late on occasion, he leaves his book bag in the middle of the kitchen floor…the list goes on and on. But what I do know is that everyone that comes in contact with him tells me how respectable and helpful he is. He is a fine young man they say. I smile with pride.
I know I can't always be there for him, I can't fight his battles or solve all of his problems. I have to trust that I've prepared him to make good choices and avoid situations that can get him in to trouble. So, I've learned to stand back and let him find his way and be here, open,ready, and waiting if he ever needs my advice.