Thursday, November 1, 2007

Beginnings

I am at an interesting point in life. I have one child preparing to leave childhood, and two children preparing to enter it. Very unique, interesting, exciting, and maybe just a bit like a Days of Our Lives storyline, with the exception that my older child did not suddenly appear after years of being raised by my sworn enemy across town.

I brought my son home on July 4th, 1991. I don't remember celebrating the fourth that year. I do remember that the sunshine was bright, and my otherwise very alert baby squinted his eyes against the glare in the car. I remember holding my hand over his face to provide extra shade, and his opening one eye to check out what was going on. My son hadn't cried much when he was born; instead he had wide open eyes which looked curiously around the delivery room, and curiously at me. He seemed surreal. I remember a nurse joking that if I stared at him any harder, I might break him.

I have been a parent for most of my adult life (all if you don't count a person as an adult until age 21). I do not know much about the time in between childhood and adulthood where you are only responsible for yourself. There has always been this person: first very small, then increasingly bigger, now standing over me, draping his long arm across my shoulder, calling me "Ma" as he tries to convince me to grant permission for the newest want. He charms me; he charmed me then, and he charms me now, with his handsome face and disarming smile.

To look back to the other end of the spectrum is also surreal. What will it be like to have that total dependence again? A dependence I admit I miss as my son grows more and more independent from me.

The other night, I was advising him to be careful in a certain situation. Every sentence I spoke was met with, "I know." He'd heard all the sentences before; he really did know. Finally he looked at me and said, "Mom, I know. You told me. I know."

And he's right. At this point in his upbringing, he's heard all the lessons a thousand times. He's starting to get college brochures; soon it will be time for me to trust him to implement those lessons without me following up on them. The opportunities to present my advice will lessen. I'll have to have faith that I did okay; that the person I am loosing into the world will be able to thrive in it fully. He'll take with him the echoes of our conversations, and the knowledge that I am always there for him. That I adore him; that I love him.

These are the things I am certain, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he does indeed know.

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