Two roads diverged in the wood, and I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.~ Robert Frost
Years ago I started joking with people that one of my children would head out west and never come home when he got a taste of the mountain air and outdoor life. If he sees two roads, he’s unafraid (judging from his truck a few months ago) to skip the roads and blaze his own path. He has always been his own thinker, his own doer, his own person. His heart is gigantic and his passion for life is just as big. He’s at a place in his life that he’s making big life decisions and I keep getting asked what I’m going to do about them.
I will answer that question but before I do, humor me in a story. Years ago there was this girl. Most people saw her as quiet and maybe even reserved. She pretty much towed the line, but certainly didn’t always follow the right path. She was passionate about so many things and a few people. She always knew what she wanted, and she rarely compromised. She was kind of her own thinker, her own doer, and her own person. As her mom tells the story still to this day, “At the age of 19, she ran away.” For the record, she didn’t run away, she went to a friends house in another state and basically made tomato sauce and cleaned her house for a few weeks. (THAT’S A TRUE STORY.)
This new adult wasn’t breaking any laws or compromising her morals, she was just spreading her wings a little further. It’s a natural progression that always comes too quickly. The perception, even to her parents I’m sure, was that they were losing her, or maybe that she was even rebelling (oh the horror). Not her!!! HA! She wasn’t, she just wanted to begin to do it alone now. It was time, and she needed a little distance to do it.
So I keep getting asked “Are you going to let him…,” “What are you saying when…” His current professional goals have given me pause. I’m only human, and his mom. I also think God has a sense of humor, so my child WOULD choose this career. (HE’S going to break me of my worrying heart, and make me TRUST HIM more.) He is also looking to leave for college (OUT WEST..I should play the lottery) in a few months (six months early). I am asked, “Are you going to let him. Are you ready?” HECK NO I’m not READY. I’m only human, but my day to day job is changing with him.
This is how I keep trying to answer the question: He is focused. He is happy. This kid (young man) is showing me that he is taking his decisions seriously and he’s asking great questions. I (we) have given him everything we have known how to give him (them) to the best of our abilities at the time, and we raised him for HIM, not us. This isn’t, and never was, about me! HE is following HIS own heart, and he’s perfectly capable of knowing what it wants. These decisions are his now. This is not about how I feel. This is about WHO he is. (This is why his professional aspirations nor leaving for college early surprises me in the least. HE IS BEING EXACTLY HIMSELF.) HE IS GETTING ON THAT TRAIN, and I don’t want to be the parent standing on the platform because I didn’t support him. I want to be the one that gets invited along for his life’s journey.
I’m convinced that not only will his path be less traveled, it will be one to marvel at, just as all of our kids will be. Am I ready for my child to leave? HELL NO. Do I want him to be in harm's way? A desk job sounds way more appealing. Is this him? YOU BETCHA! (…and I’ve known this for a very long time.)
That girl that ‘ran away’ (hardly) and her friend have raised a total of five children, and been married a total of 43 years between them. They’re still making mistakes, and laughing while they do it. They still make tomato sauce and run a business based on getting off the path and finding the beauty from it.
No one is ever ready to let go. It ALWAYS comes too soon. What I’ve learned in my own life’s journey is sometimes we don’t need to let go for ourselves, but sometimes we need to let go for those that we love SOOOOO MUCH, so that they can live the life that they deserve. I’ve raised a man who deserves to make his life choices. So what do I say to him?
I can’t wait to explore YOUR path.