Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Here we go...

Can it really have been that long since I've written. The last post was lamenting the end of summer. Now, Christmas is just 3 days away. I'm sitting in my cozy living room with a toasty fire in the fireplace, the lights shining on the Christmas tree, and the family is asleep...all but me. My head tells me that I really don't have anything new to say, and who would really want to read about me anyway? But, I know that there are just a couple of you that might like to know what my heart is feeling. And, these recent feelings are new for me.
I'm a relatively down to earth, get 'r done kind of gal. I don't really like to get all mushy or cry much. I'm pretty analytical about things and tend to see a problem and will look at it from all angles and then make a decision. However, I've become a blubbering idiot over these last several months. I have been second guessing my decisions and completely unsure about things. I must say that I don't like feeling this way. The root of all this anxiety? My son. My 18 year-old son. Do you understand what I'm saying? I HAVE AN 18 YEAR-OLD SON! How is this possible. Even as I write that, my throat is stinging a little. What is wrong with me?!
This child of mine is now old enough to vote, has been driving for almost 2 years, and Lord help me...he has a girlfriend. He's applied to, and been accepted, at several colleges. It's coming people. Now my nose is starting to sting a little. This child has become an older young man. I can't bring myself to say he's an adult man yet. He is still in high school, still lives under our roof, still asks if he can borrow the car, still has chores and gets and "allowance". He has a curfew, has a limited amount of computer time, and I've even found him, from time to time, sitting at the Lego table putting something together. These remnants of youth keep me from feeling like I've completely lost him to "adulthood". He's so sweet and has never really caused us a moment of trouble...you know what I'm talking about. He has had his moments here and there, but really, no Trouble with a capital T. Even with all that is happening to him, there are deeper feelings I have that cause me grief. The cause of my emotional meltdown is because the sweet mother/son relationship has changed. (Throat and eyes tingling now...) He's still so sweet to me and very loving, but something's different. He is much more introspective...not a lot of sharing. He answers my questions, but there's no real deep conversation... He's making his own decisions about when/if to study. He spoke to us about having a girlfriend, got counsel from a few others, and then made a decision. He's 18. It's not like we can stop him. Roger says that this is a good thing, and in my head I know he's right. Roger tells me that Zack's beginning the early stages of "leaving and cleaving". And, he says that Zack will continue to need to feel like he's becoming independent of us (me?) and that eventually, he will realize the blessing of our relationship and will come back to the deeper parts of it. Really? Why do I feel such loss? I feel like there's some strange unwritten rule that says I need to keep my mouth shut. if I offer guidance, counsel, or even an opinion that it's viewed as a mother that's trying to be controlling...who won't let her son grow up. The tears are flowing now. It's emotionally exhausting. I feel such extremes. I'm so very proud of him and thankful to God for helping Zack to be such a fine young man. But I miss him. I miss that little boy that needed me. I miss knowing what he's thinking. If this is the way God intended for boys to become men, why is it so hard for me? I have several friends that have been through this and they assure me it's completely normal. But good heavens! I have 3 more boys coming up right behind Zack. Does it get any easier? And what about his future wife. What if she doesn't like me? It makes me wish that I'd encouraged Roger to call his mother every once in a while...just to tell her about his day.
In my effort to be analytical about all this, I remind myself that the first one is always the hardest in respect to the unknown. If I can get through this, the others will probably be a piece of cake. Of course, we can't forget about Katie. She deserves her own blog post.


Laura said...

All right, now I am crying. That is me in a couple of years and I am NOT ready for it. Zack is a wonderful mature young adult. You have done well (not that your job is quite done!) and you should be proud.

Living Creatively said...

Oh, Trish, you practically have me in tears, and my oldest son is only 9-years old right now. But I know I'll blink, and he'll be 18, too.
You have done a good job. And it will deepen again. I'm closer to my parents now than I probably ever was before. And the same for Fred. He talks to his mom more often now than he did as a kid.
When Zack does marry...someday... you'll just be gaining another daughter! And the more you treat her like a daughter, the closer you'll be to your son. :) At least, that's how I think about it.
Hope your Christmas with your fine "older young man" is very special. {{hugs}}

Mom Keena said...

Dear, Dear Friend-
It's so hard. No denying it. As our kids grow UP, it feels to us like they are growing OUT: out from under our wings, out from under our protection, out from under our care, out from under our control. And those of us that are protective caring controllers :)are very uncomfortable without our charges exactly where we've always had them. Where they should be. Where they belong! Where they have grown, and flourished, and become the amazing young people they are.

Zack is a wonderful young man because you and Roger have been such faithful, loving parents. You have honored the Lord in your parenting, in your home, in your family. The Lord has blessed your efforts and answered your prayers.

Now He will also answer your prayers to help you through this next wonderfully painful, terribly exciting time of life of releasing your first-born to a world so unworthy!

Go ahead and cry, a lot if you need to. When it feels like your heart is being ripped out, be assured, it is not. Those are growing pains; your heart is growing to a new capacity that you never thought possible.

Our kids never leave our hearts. Oh, they may leave for a time, but they do come back with new experiences, with other loves and with their own life stories that make us love them even more. It's then you'll be glad you allowed your heart to be stretched, for it's only then you'll have room for the love of an adult child.

It's wonderful!
I love you, Friend!

Melissa Flaming said...

Ok, Trish. I am crying now. Don't stop posting. I've let my blog go for weeks...months without posting for the same reason- who really cares? But I know that we both have friends who DO care; and we have a need to put down in words what we cannot communicate any other way. I am in shock as I read that Zack is 18! Not possible. But, on FB anyway, he seems like such a mature young guy who loves the Lord so very much. What a blessing! Merry Christmas. AND, I will get back on blogspot and write what I'm supposed to write about.

Shan said...

Trish, I am so glad you wrote these feelings down because not only will that help you work through it, it definitely helps those of us that will be experiencing it in our own families soon.
Every one of these growing stages feels so strange and I know that just increases. G is twelve and on the budding edge of all things grown up but I can see it and feel it happening already! It hurts a little even now! Thank you Kim also for expressing it from your side. I like to think of it as a growing pain and not a breaking heart! :) xo