Letting go

When our son was about two, I looked at my husband and said something like: “He’s either going to be a Monk or a Navy Seal”.

Both options frightened me in that doting kind of way mothers have for their toddlers. You know what I mean. Even if you’ve never been a parent, you know the syndrome. Hyperbolic language proffered with a smile that says you’ll be able to protect them no matter what they chose to do and by sheer will alone the Universe will bow to your omnipotent parentalism and see them safe, secure, healthy and happy.

Our son is now 17. Yesterday I took him motorcycle shopping.

I shouldn’t be worried about him learning to ride since I ride, his dad rides, and I purchased his sister’s first bike—although she no longer rides. The motorcycle is one thing. Although it, and learning to ride is indicative of the kind of optimism that says I can control my environment by being cautious, vigilant and following the rules.

Enter the scare factor….

My son wants to go to law school, then join the FBI. That’s not the scary part.

Before he applies to the FBI he wants to be an Air Force pararescue specialist. The training alone is a two year commitment. These specialists are elite special forces. Their job is to insert themselves into highly volatile environments to rescue injured soldiers. I’m sure there is more to it than that, but that is what they do.

“That Others May Live”, is their creed. It’s what they live and die by.

I know I can’t save my children from whatever life has in store for them—who should want to “save” their children from life at all? Still, as I’m typing this, I’m fiercely proud of the young adults my children are and the people they have always been.

I’ve got a medical student caretaker.

I’ve got a would-be warrior-monk-caretaker.

I worry more about the one with the deeply spiritual bent who is bound and determined to serve his country in the capacity he sees as the best one for him, but, that said, once you let them out the door to experience all the wonder, the adventure and the sometimes sublime and often overt beauty of the world, there is no going back to those childhood days of hand holding and the illusion of parental control.

I have two incredible children who are now adults. I’m trying to let go, to be supportive, and to be the person they know will take on a battalion of bad-guys when-and-if they need me. Still, it’s damn hard knowing that the monk part of my warrior children put them each in harm’s way. I wonder sometimes if my parents felt this way when I went into prisons to represent those who needed representation. Something tells me, they didn’t. Not in the same way. Guess I’ve got some growing up to do.

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16 Responses to Letting go

  1. Betsy Norman says:

    You have the most amazing children because they were born to
    Exceptionally amazing parents ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

  2. E. Ayers says:

    At 17, he’s invincible and ready to take on the world. At least he has some admirable direction and isn’t blowing that energy away with the wrong things.

    Being a parent and setting them free to follow their own paths is difficult. But the hardest part of being a parent to adult children is watching them make mistakes and not saying anything to them because they didn’t ask for your opinion. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This is such a touching post! I don’t think the fear ever leaves us, no matter how far our children fly. All we can do is pray they stay safe and encourage them to leap at their dreams {{hugs}}

    Liked by 3 people

    • leighmorgan1 says:

      Jacquie, you are so right. Encouragement is vital when they want to do honorable, yet scary things. We all need encouragement on some level. I know I do. 🙂 Some days I want to form an invisible bubble of safety around them. Some days watching them fly makes me smile.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Joan Reeves says:

    I guess our children are usually the focus of our prayers, aren’t they? May they always be safe.

    Liked by 3 people

    • leighmorgan1 says:

      Sending all kinds of positive energy, Joan. May blessings come to you and all those you hold in your heart. Yes, our children are always the focus of our prayers. May all our children know how much we love them, and may that love help make them strong.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Carol says:

    Yes, lots of prayers and accepting what our children choose to do with their lives. I know you’re proud of your son!

    Liked by 2 people

    • leighmorgan1 says:

      Thanks, Carol. I am proud of him, mainly because he’s such a good person, game for anything, kind and so genuinely funny. He makes me laugh without even trying. I’m very lucky he likes my company; a fact I try never to take for granted. I’m not usually so worried and I try to be enthusiastically supportive—most of the time that doesn’t come across as well as one would hope. Still, it’ weird being so much more worried about him than I’d be worried about myself in a similar situation. Had I’d known at 17 that pararescue was an option (which it wouldn’t have been then for someone of my age and gender) I would have flipped that career path around in my head once or twice—for the plane jumping alone :).

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Kiersten says:

    There is certainly a lot to know about this subject.
    I love all the points you made.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leighmorgan1 says:

      Thanks for reading, Kiersten, and a big hug for commenting! Guess I was just taking stock of my parenting so far, and fear took hold at the very real thought that my boy is now a man. It’s my job now to support him and help him become whatever he wants to be. He needs to make his own choices—something he’s done thoughtfully so far. I need to trust he will continue to do so with his best interests at heart, not his mom’s.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Jill James says:

    When my son joined the army and left for boot camp I was lost for days. Anything could happen and I was sooooo far away. Letting go is the hardest job a parent will ever do.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. ginaarditoauthor says:

    It’s a testament to you as a mom that they are brave, generous, selfless individuals. Yes, it’s hard to let them go, to fear for them, to allow them to make their own choices. But it’s part of our jobs as mothers. Be proud of yourself and the amazing adults you’ve raised. They’re going to do great things and change the world-or at least their own corner of it.

    Like

  9. Will says:

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    Just wanted to tell you keep up the good job!

    Like

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