My son called me last night. This is a relatively new phenomena for me. He has lived in and out of my home for the past couple of years, staying with friends for weeks at a time while we works to create his dream. Then he would come 'home' to my house and stay with me again for a few days or weeks before he would be off again.
Now he has his first place, an apartment of his own with a roommate. I have seen this place with the usual young kids' lack of furniture, lamps sitting on milk crates, television sitting on the coffee table, clothes in boxes scattered around the room.
I offered his furniture from my house and he refused. He wants it left here. He wants to create his own space. I remember that desire. In fact, I still feel that way.
Many mothers struggle with this change. The empty-nest syndrome is not something I am struggling with, perhaps because we did it in stages. I just know that I am excited for him. His world is opening up and there is so much for him to experience. He believes the world is his for the taking and he is ready to accept the challenge.
Do I worry about him? Of course, I do. I know the failures that are ahead of him and I won't be there. I won't know everything that happens to him, not that I have for several years anyway, but I will get glimpses into his life now, not the full picture. I will know what he wants me to know.
But if I have done my job even reasonably well, he will be alright. There will be triumphs and failures. There will be exciting moments and devastating moments. And he will navigate his way through all of them. He is a strong person. He is a capable person. Whatever challenges he faces, and there will be many as it is with all of us, he will be OK.
As I sit here and look at the pictures on my desk of the little boy wearing the black cowboy hat holding his new boots and the slightly older boy standing with his grandpa holding their many fish just caught, there is a little twitch of melancholy that those days are long over. The days when he relied on me for so much are all in the past. Oh, not that he doesn't need me or want me around now. Of course he does but in an entirely different way. And that is alright with me.
I wish him only life's best. I hope for him to have the courage to take on all challenges and master them. But, mostly, I just love him...who he is today, who he was yesterday, and who he will be tomorrow.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.