October 23, 2012
One Mother, One Child, One Fear, One Day
I sometimes feel very alone in terms of my life as a mother. I don’t always relate to other moms. I often think people just don’t get how hard it is to be a single mom, or even how much joy I get from being the mother to only one child. I am raising him alone and it is hard. It is really, really hard.
When I see mothers at the store with a bunch of kids, I stare, wondering what life would be like if I had more children. When I see families together, I wonder what my life would have been like had I stayed in my marriage. I often wonder if my son thinks I am a good mother to him.
I am outspoken as a mother. I don’t worry about upsetting my child in terms of my choices. or embarrassing him. Whether it means not letting him take the car, or missing out on party, or staying home to do homework when everyone else is out, I don’t care. I am focused on his wellbeing.
He may not always like the choices I make, but in the end he understands. He knows that I am a worrier and can be over protective, but he also knows I want the best for him, am his number one fan, and that I want for him all the things he wants for himself, plus more. My love is clear.
We may not be the richest people, have the biggest house, or the nicest cars, but we have each other. We are close in a way that is defined by our path together. It has been him and me against the world, and with the world now knocking on his door, we are both scared.
I have always been scared. I am actually scared of a lot of things, which is weird because in many ways I am quite fearless. When it comes to motherhood though, fear is ever present. I worry about his safety, his choices, his future, his health, his heart, and his emotions.
I am clear on what my fears are, but as he gets older, I don’t know what his fears are. He used to be afraid of the dark when he was little, and now prefers to sleep in darkness. He used to be afraid of thunder and lightening, and now likes to sit outside to watch nature at work.
Last night my son came into my room, laid his head in my lap, and said he loved me. I said I loved him too and he sat up, looked me in the eye and said, “No really Mom. I love you. I want you to know I really love you”. I sat up and waited for the shoe to drop on really bad news.
I was certain he was going to tell me he crashed the car, did drugs, or had a drink. My mind was racing through all my fears as I calmly asked if everything was okay. My little baby, who I love so much, told me he was scared to leave me and go to college. He has fear about his future.
He said he did not know how he would handle college, and was worried about not only how he would do, but how I would do. He spoke of being worried about me being alone. He said I spend so much time being him mom, he wonders if I will be sad when he goes and my job is done.
I have been afraid of his leaving since the day he was born. I wanted to raise a good man, and if I allow myself to reflect on our time together, I can see that I have accomplished exactly what I hoped for. My heart will break when he goes to college, but it will also soar, and burst with joy.
I have often thought about my fear, but rarely think about his fear. His fear is actually more debilitating than mine because I am a grown up, and he is just a child. I have lived a full life out in the world, and he has lived a full life within the boundaries of the safe world I created for him.
When he was young he used to worry I would find love and not love him as much. I promised him I would not have a man in my life until he told me he was ready, and I would never have another baby so he could always be my number one. I have honored my promises to him.
My son will soon turn 17 and begin his journey to college. He has clear ideas of where he wants to go, what he wants to study, and the career he wants. He is doing exactly what he wants and I support him 100%. I get his choices, understand his passion, and believe in him.
He is strong and focused. He understands my fears and embraces me as I sometimes struggle to do it on my own. Last night he gave me insight into his fears and it was sweet. I never knew he was scared. It turns out I am not alone in my fear because we have one heart.
It was a touching moment for me as a mother. In hearing of his fear, I was able to quiet mine. I need to focus on assuring him we are both going to be fine. He has become all the things I have raised him to be, and my job now is to teach him to see himself as I do.
He is going to change the world for the better. He will be an amazing boyfriend, husband, father, grandfather, and professional. With every dream he makes come true for himself, will be a dream of mine coming true also. I want him to live his life out loud and without any fear.
By without any fear of course I mean I want him to have enough fear to help him make good decisions. When I gave birth to this child I was able to see God. Not only see him, but feel him, thank him, and share my good fortune with him. My son is a blessing.
I am proud of him. Proud of his Jewish worldview, proud of how he loves me, proud of how he takes care of me, proud of how he dreams, hopes, prays, laughs, cries, hopes, and thinks. I can see myself in his heart and that is all I ever wanted. I can let him go because I am a part of him.
It is an interesting time in a mother’s life when she realizes her baby is heading out into the world. I am one mother, who has raised one child. We share one fear, and one day, sooner than I can believe, he will wave goodbye. The day is coming, and together we will keep the faith.