My oldest son, whom I now refer to as the, “Man-child”, seems to be coming into his own. Truth be told, it has been somewhat of a rollercoaster ride raising him. Now, he is someone who I actually enjoy being around. All of his past teenage angst, complete with attitudes and arguing have ceased. We have conversations as two mature adults would. I never thought either one of us would live to see this day.
My son arrived into this world with an agenda all his own. He spent much of his childhood fighting me full of opposition from the moment he could walk, then speak. It only progressed as he grew older and older. He was that child with no fear. He confronted everyone and everything head on, barely learning from the experience. No matter what I tried, he would never comply. I was so concerned, ultimately for his wellbeing. Yet as a parent, I did not want to ever crush his spirit. I was constantly at a crossroads attempting to configure how to handle this kid.
He always exuded a level of confidence I truly admired. There were plenty of times he would become cocky though. This would be when as a parent I needed to try to minimize his ego. He never made it easy, yet I always remained consistent – even to the point of tears. In a nutshell, he alone exhausted me.
Today, I realize every tear I spilled was worth it. If my younger self could only see this time of his life. So much less concern and worry would have been avoided. So much self-doubt would never have existed. Today, I am the ultimate proud mother.
My Man-Child son remains vigilant in his efforts to get what he wants. Although, it is accomplished in ways that are not of potential detriment to himself or others. At nineteen and only working at his job for less than six months, he earned a promotion as a manager, and oversees a crew of seven that are older than he. He sees himself as wanting to be fair, a teacher, and encouraging to those under him.
He sacrifices sleep to play in his band twice a week as a lead guitarist. On his days off, he takes care of his room and laundry, pays bills, and spends time with his friends. All the while, I have not needed to provide one prompt.
He still aspires to go to college and is saving his money he earns to attend college and live back east. Frankly, I am not pushing this. I am choosing to be selfish for a little while longer because I am not ready for him to be so far away from me. I am enjoying his company too much!
One downfall about this kid – err, Man-Child…he cannot cook. I have actually seen him burn water. I use this as another excuse to tell myself he isn’t ready to leave his mommy yet.
Through it all, I have loved this child so incredibly. Throughout the hellish times, I saw something in this young man who had extraordinary presentation within himself and for himself. I was somehow able to avoid demolishing his spirit, which makes me happy. He has turned all of his defiance and opposition into something of learning, perseverance, and incredible endurance. He has not changed, he has improved and continues to improve each day.
My son has tons more of his life to live. I do realize that. What has come to be thus far, exceeded beyond my wildest expectations. My son was born with this willful spirit inside him. It was reinforcing it into the positive that became my mission for him.
So, for the mammas of the world that have younger, blatantly, stubborn children like mine was – keep at it. You also may arrive to a point in realizing every tear you dropped was well worth it, because your children are. Don’t give up and don’t give in.