I have been sharing my journey through my Teenager's Senior Year and it has been a bumpy ride to say the least. The emotions tied to the significance of where he is in his life at age 17 and where I was at 17 - a teen mom wondering where her life was headed and trying to make the right decision for both my unborn child and myself has been in my face the entire time. The acceptance of him as more than just my baby and seeing him go through events that I myself never experienced. These are all steps in our process.
Now that I am living and experiencing these moments with him I have such a mix of feelings ranging from excitement and anticipation to worry and a bit of dread. My son is a teenager! He has made it through High School, he has goals, dreams and plans. The years of hoping I was doing everything right have finally come to a moment of reveal. I get to see the impact and results of my tears and prayers. Yet in that same moment comes the worry - have I taught him everything he will need? Is he ready to be on his own and away from home? Does he have the firm foundation to maintain who he is away from my daily guidance?
These things are on constant play within my mind and heart all while I try to show him the support and encouragement he needs to feel secure in his choices for his future. I can't let him see, feel or even get a glimpse of my fears because they may become his own. I must give him what he needs even when I am wondering if I have done all that I was supposed to.
When he came in from the mailbox the other day all of these things came to the forefront in a very 'in my face' kinda way.
"Ma! Ma! Ma! It's here...a letter from the school. "
It was here. That letter that every High School Senior looks for with a mixture of dread and hope. Was he accepted? What it a rejection? This was the next step towards the end of Senior Year and the beginning of so much more.
I saw the thin envelope that appeared to have no more than one piece of paper within it and my heart jumped. Oh No! Was it a rejection? Was I happy or disappointed? How would I console him if it was? How would he react? What would we do from there?
"What's that mean?"
He didn't know. He never had that moment when you search for a thick letter to mean acceptance with forms, brochures and pieces of your college future packed tightly inside. Should I say it? No. No. Let's wait. It may not be. I could be wrong. Things are probably different now. No more pages of forms. It's all online now. Right?
"Nothing. Open it."
As I stood there watching him hold the envelope and unable to rip it open I flashed back to the same moment in my own life. I was dating and thought I was in love. I had plans, goals and dreams that would take me far away from the home I felt had become my trap. From all I thought was holding me back. My letter was thick. It was full of everything I hoped for.
Finally he ripped it open. Giggles! That's what I heard from my normally reserved Teenager. Giggles and jumping and a lap around the staircase. He was in! He was accepted! He was going to his 1st Pick School! I was happy and filled with joy to see his joy yet sad still. He was really leaving. did he feel as I felt when I opened my letter? Did he see it as a release from me?
"Mom! It's an acceptance! I'm In!"
No. He was joyful for his future. His dream was that much closer. I released the fear. Embraced the happy. This was an acceptance. He was being given a chance to pursue the paths that I have encouraged him to choose. The dreams I watched develop and the passion he holds so dear. This was a happy moment and I would live in IT and not in my hesitation for the future.
"Call your Dad! We need to tell him the good news!"
We would celebrate. We would face the changes together and come through them stronger. As we always have. This was an acceptance. This is a part of the parenting process and the growth of a boy to a man.
Do you have a Teenager?
How have you prepared not only them but yourself for their future?
How do you feel about them moving into adulthood?