Preparing him to leave me…
The fear I had when the doctor told me I was going to have a son is beginning to happen. When the doctor announced over five years ago that we were going to have a boy, I am ashamed to admit this, but I cried. Not because I didn’t want a boy, but because an overwhelming sense of truth came upon me, that one day he would leave me. It’s not that girls don’t leave, they do. But men separate from their mothers in a different way. Even scripturally it says in Genesis that, “A man shall leave his mother and father and cleave to his wife.” I heard this man tell his mother once, “A daughter is a daughter for life, but a son is a son until he finds a wife.”
Selfishly, I want to keep this bright, funny, charming, handsome boy to myself! A few days ago, he started half-day kindergarten at a great school. I did my due diligence and checked out every school near us to find one that was perfect for our family. I love the school. I love his new teacher. She is someone I know and respect. I even welcome the idea that she will have an influence on him. I consider her to be….well a saintly woman! One I want around my son!
Even with all that, the night before school started, I panicked and that motherly selfishness began to take over my mind and I began thinking of ways to keep him home. I don’t believe the Lord is calling me to homeschool and that wasn’t what my fear was about. I want to keep him home to avoid the inevitable…that he is growing up and in some small way, he is beginning to leave me.
After collecting my thoughts and remembering that my son is an extremely social child who loves to be constantly engaged, I was reminded that kindergarten would suit him well and that it’s not about me.
This became quite evident when he woke up and begged to put his school clothes on an hour before school even started because he was so excited. He got to school and was so happy that he was shoving me to leave. I even said to him in the car, “Are you sad we won’t be spending the mornings together?” He must have seen my sad neediness because he replied, “Don’t worry mom, when I get home later, we can snuggle.”
I am excited for him, the new friends he will make, and all that he will be learning, but is it wrong that I just want to watch him do it all? I’m certain that if there was a streaming video into his classroom, I would be glued just trying to catch his expressions and ways he responds to things. I am deeply in love with my son! It’s not weird or strange as some people in this culture would make that statement out to be. It’s completely ordered that a mother would love her son. I just take such delight in his company. He’s not perfect by any means and can be extremely strong willed at times, but I am his mother and I see beyond to the inner core of who he is.
Maybe that is what scares me, that he is beginning something new where people will have to get to know him and I want them to see him through my eyes and through the Lord’s lenses. I want him to feel deeply appreciated and understood. I want his heart to never feel pain, hurt, or rejection and I can’t control that from home.
I guess I’m realizing that I’m starting a whole new chapter of parenting. I have sent him out into the world and now I have to teach him strategies for living in it while upholding his uniqueness and integrity.
To say the least, my job just got harder! I am blessed to be able to send him to a school that does uphold our values and teachings at home, but there is a part of me that knows that this is just the start of me having to prepare him to leave me…something I dread in the first place. I have to prepare my son to some day move out of my house, maybe even out of the state, so he can be a part of a world that may not love him as much as I do. My question to the world is, “Will you be appropriate when he is around you, will you refrain from vulgarities and sexual-innuendos that will confuse him, will you support him, console him, trust him, and make him feel like he matters? Will you appreciate the details in his drawings, will you let him share his creativity without interrupting or making him feel like he is not good enough? Will you laugh at his jokes, and delight in his company? Will you have the courage to hold him accountable when he makes mistakes? If the answer is “yes,” well, I have no reason to be afraid! But, if the answer is “no,” then I can’t apologize for feeling a bit sad about preparing my son to leave me.
To you moms who have been through this, I’m sure you understand. My prayers are with all of you who have children starting school this month! May the Lord and our children’s Guardian angels watch over and protect them and may our Blessed Mother Mary be a mother to them when we are not around!
Note to readers: Please pray for my Vera Bella Girls’ Formation Program. We have 100 girls and are off and running for the year. EXCITING NEWS! I have opened up the Virtual Program for those who wish to participate online for FREE this year so people around the country can become acquainted with the program. If you know an 8th-12th grade girl, high school teacher, principal, church worker, or even a college student who would like to receive the monthly virtue videos, have them register at http://www.verabella.org! Spread the word!