Wow. This day is so much harder than I expected it to be. Today, my very first baby is 21 years old, a full fledged adult in the world's view. Admittedly, I was warned that this day was coming. I was told that in a blink of an eye, his childhood would end. It went even faster than that. He gave me a taste of what was to come just last week when he officially moved out of the house. Yet, I still feel so utterly unprepared for this moment. And even now I somehow know that I will feel just as ill prepared in two years when Kodi is 21... and four years when William gets to make this transition ... or six years when it will be Jonathan ... and even nine years from now when it's Andrew's turn. Sigh.
How do you let your children grow up? My gentlemen have been the center of my universe for such a long time ... 21 years and counting. I've spent that time loving them, teaching them, trying to steer them clear of the heartaches I experienced when I was their age. The role of mother is surely not for the faint of heart.
I was a young mother when Michael was born.When I gazed at Michael for the very first time, I saw that he was beautiful and good and perfect. I know that I am very blessed to have him in my life.
As a new mother, I felt like I had a lot to prove and I wanted to get everything right. I worked hard to show the world that I was worthy to be Michael's mother. But, as far as getting everything right... I failed. All mothers fail. As much as I would like to say that I was the perfect mother, I know that no such creature exists on this planet. We all mess up sometimes. Still, I hope that Michael knows that I gave it the best that is within me and that even if I'm not the perfect mother, I have and will always love him with my whole heart.
For today, I am trying to convince myself that it's okay to step back. I'm trying to wrap my head around the fact that it's his life and it's time to let him make decisions for himself. Not that he hasn't made his own choices before now. In fact, the day he was born didn't exactly turn out the way we had planned. He arrived via an emergency c-section after a full day of labor. I should have known then that he would spend the rest of his life doing things on his own terms, not the way I had planned them.
As his mother I just can't stand the thought of him hurting or failing, so I've tried to prevent that from happening. I want him to succeed in life. I want him to live up to his potential, to fulfill every ounce of greatness that I glimpsed in him from the very first moment I saw him. But I also recognize it's all up to him. They are his choices. It is his life. I just hope he'll let me continue to be a part of it now that he's all grown up and that he will forgive me as I continue to worry about him and pray for him.
More than anything, I pray that he knows he's loved and supported ... that my door and my arms are always open. I still want all the best for him. I want his heart to be full, his spirit strong, his body healthy, and his mind balanced. I wish him a life of happiness and joy, even while recognizing that those gifts come at a price. Still, I want him to have it all. It's the mother in me ... yearning for perfection for my dear, sweet Michael.
I will love you for always.