In a small apartment across town there sits a young man in search of his own destiny. On this end of town, here I sit as this young man’s mother trying to make sense of what that destiny might be.
I recall the memories of his life so vividly in my mind. The hopes and the dreams. Seeing the potential and knowing, from experience, the struggles that come with lack of money and lack of education. His potential to change not only his life, but so many others. His potential to create a life that offers opportunities and possibilities. His potential to be the man I know he is capable of being.
And yet, my heart is filled with worry and sadness. I see the potential for what could be a long hard life. I see responsibilities dropped and a spiraling of choices that go beyond my own comprehension. My heart breaks for what I believe to be lost in a continual pattern of self-destruction.
At one point this morning, I realized that I am at a point to choose. I can choose to keep trying to pull him along the path of what I think he should be doing with his life. This is not about career path but about responsibility, ownership, integrity. Or I can choose to release. I can choose to know that I did all that I could and that at some point, this is his to take on. And with that, I have to be able to look at my choice with conviction that no matter how hard the outcome is, I chose this path.
My work today is to release what I thought was supposed to be and somehow find peace in what is. My work is to continue to walk the line of enabling and supporting. My work is to recognize that my dreams are different from his. My work is to allow his suffering and pain, knowing that may be part of his journey.
My work is to look at this beautiful soul I know as my son and ask, “what are you here to teach me?” What lesson is the underlying theme of him being in my life. What did I come into this lifetime to gain from him? Why is this situation in my life and what can I learn?
Rather than pray everyday that he make better choices or that life eases for him, I am going to start knowing for him clarity, success and integrity. I am going to let go of my own dreams to allow his to flourish. In doing that, I will have to look closely at my choices and perhaps make some changes that may test my own integrity and endurance.
I hope that someday we can both come to peace with what I consider to be the hardest time parenting him. I hope that we can both see the lessons. I hope that we can both be grateful that we had each other to walk along the path.
I hope that he can someday see that on this path, there were times that he carried me just as much as I carried him.