Nobody Told Me
Just wait until he is a teenager, they said, with a sense of foreboding attached to every word. Sometimes they would force a sarcastic chuckle as they warned me about the dark years ahead. Over and over again… “Just you wait”.
His teenage years will be behind him in a few short months and I realize that nobody told me so many things I would have liked to have known sooner.
Nobody told me that watching him live his wildest dreams would be infinitely more satisfying than living my own; an experience that would eventually give way to the realization that one of my biggest dreams must, in fact, be him.
Nobody told me that our quiet car rides on the way to school would allow for some of the most important and meaningful conversations of our lives; an experience that would lead me to opt to drive him every single day that I possibly could, rather than lend him my car or help him get his own. I would not trade those minutes for anything.
Nobody told me we would laugh until tears rolled down our cheeks. It sounds so simple and so ordinary, but nobody told me. I was told a lot of things. Some terrible things. But, never this.
Nobody told me he would need me more as a teenager than he did as a child, even though we spend considerably less time together. It is strange. We think as our children grow into young adults and gain independence, they need their mamas less, but that is simply not true.
Nobody told me about the pride I would feel for him every time he honours his authentic self and that it would make me feel like a nebula giving birth to a billion stars. Like my whole being could explode with pure contented joy.
Nobody told me that I would worry about him even more during his teenage years than I did when he was a baby. Even though he is older, stronger, and more capable of so many things, my worry grows with him. The stakes somehow seem higher with every move and the obstacles larger.
Nobody told me that I would move heaven and earth for MYSELF to show him what is possible. Yes, myself. I realize I need to be whole to help foster wholeness.
Nobody told me that my measure of success would morph from happiness into authenticity. I used to simply want happiness for my child. Now, I hope that my child feels it all and remains authentic in spite of it.
Nobody told me I would not know what I was doing for this long. I mean, shouldn’t I be a bit of an expert after 19 years (166440 hours) of being a mother?
Nobody told me that one day I would be ready to let go of that boy that I grew in my womb and cradled in my arms, and that letting go is really just celebrating his unique life path that was never mine to begin with. Just because we leave seeds for the birds or mend a broken wing doesn’t mean they should refrain from flying away into the open skies when their wings ache for something more.
Nobody told me that these years would add up to be the most magnificent adventure of my life.