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Jewish Journal

Motherhood 101: Let the Crying Begin

by Ilana Angel

June 4, 2014 | 6:13 am

Do you ever have moments when everything makes sense? I have had several of those moments this week. For some reason, and rather unexpectedly, I have been able to see things with clarity. It has allowed me to make decisions I need to make without hesitation. These moments are rare and have value. I am having a particularly awesome this week and it feels great. It is all because of my remarkable son.

It has been a week of celebration leading up to graduation tomorrow. There have been performances, awards, parties, prom, and all the work and planning that is required to get through it. Even though my son has been telling me for months he is 18 and an adult, it took this week to see it clearly. My son has grown up and is an exceptional human being. I am so proud I could bust.

My son performed in the senior showcase at his school and was remarkable. He is my child so of course I am biased, but he is something special. A fearless performer, watching him do his thing opened my eyes in a way that forced me to see him differently. I worry about him, always will, but when it comes to his dreams for his life, he is a talent to be reckoned with and will make all of his dreams come true.

At Senior Awards last night, my son won an award and when the head of his department gave him the honor, she cried. Her pride in the work of my child in turn made me cry. When you see your child through the eyes of another human being, and that person has love and respect for him, it fills your heart with immeasurable pride. He was surprised, humble, and appreciative when he won and it was really lovely.

I volunteered at my last school function for my son and it was bittersweet. I will miss the moms I have come to know and love over the past four years of high school. It is hard to say goodbye to this time in my life. I have enjoyed being involved in his school and to have it be over is sad. By sad of course I mean annoying I won’t know where he is every day from 8-4. Graduation ends my control. Damn it.

My kid will no longer be in the same place at the same time everyday. I can no longer insist he go to bed early because he has a test the next day. He will make his own choices and his days will be his to fill. Losing control is hard but liberating. He is good about keeping me in the loop of where he is and who he is with, so I’m not worried about that. I am worried about not being to pull rank on what he does.

I will cry all day tomorrow. It will start when he puts on his cap and gown, and last until I go to sleep reviewing the day, week, and past 18 years. It is a special time of reflection. My son will always be my baby, but this week I see that I did my job well and am sending my boy into his future prepared and ready. He has a clear plan moving forward and I feel confident he also has the tools he needs to implement it.

The truth is that the crying started days ago. Every moment of celebration this past week has made me shed a tear. Buckets of tears actually. I am proud, happy, overwhelmed, scared, excited, aware, blessed, and hopeful. I see my son clearly. I marvel at his accomplishments and appreciate his maturity. I have bought lots of Kleenex for tomorrow. I will be crying like a baby and keeping the faith.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Ilana Angel writes two blogs for JewishJournal.com. KEEPING THE FAITH is about her worldview as a single Jewish mother, and KEEPING IT REAL is all about reality television....

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