At age 5, Jena already had a strong will, a mind of her own, and conviction like no other. I would tell her she’d be a successful adult but as my daughter who wouldn’t listen….well, let’s just say…we had many heated discussions.
Jena never got that chance to utilize those skills as an adult. And I never got a chance to relish in the pride of witnessing all she would accomplish.
Relish isn’t always so sweet.
Eric is now an adult.
Let me rephrase that.
Eric is an intelligent, very determined, capable and independant adult. He has a job at a bank, he’s in college, oversees his own health issues…and has his own health insurance. For those of you who know Cystic Fibrosis…all those things are monumental, yet for Eric…it’s just his life, no big deal.
CF does not define him…never has…never will. Eric defines Eric. Period.
‘He is an adult.’ I keep reminding myself as I picture, in my head, a little boy in footsie PJs raising his hands at me saying, “Up Mommy, up!”
And though most may take that adult milestone for granted…CF parents DON’T.
I certainly do not.
Eric is also making choices with his life. I may not always agree with them, but I have to respect they are HIS choices…for HIS life. Truth be told, he’s pretty damn good at the choices he makes…damn good indeed.
As a self proclaimed ‘Type-A’ mom, I’m having a hard time adjusting to the fact that it is HIS life. Sure I gave birth to him, raised him, and will always love him more than life itself but (big BUT here)…but, his independence, intelligence, and determination are all HIS now. My job as disciplining my son and raising my son are being replaced with coaching my son, being his sounding board, being his biggest fan and of course, always being his mother.
I still want to catch him when he falls, I want to put band-aids on his boo-boos, I want to step in front of anything or anyone that will hurt him…always.
He’s well adjusted and responsible.
He doesn’t wear footsie PJs anymore.
I never thought it would be so hard to let him fly.
But after having a heart to heart with another CF mom (whom I so admire and respect…love you, Gayle!) who has ‘been there, done that.’ I needed to hear, “You have to let go. You have to trust them. They control their life, not us. We brought them up to do so.”
I truly want him to soar and reach the heights of all HIS dreams. I will proudly watch him bask in all he achieves and be thankful every time he gets himself up from a fall…
Though bittersweet as it is, I do relish in all that he is, I am proud, tremendously proud…and I’ll always be right here in this empty nest with a net, some band-aids, and open arms anytime he needs his ‘Mommy.’
Yeah, you can’t outgrow a mother’s love.
I love you, Bud!
I love reading your blog. It is exactly like sitting and talking to you (except no slushies). I can hear your voice and intonation. And it makes me miss you so!!!
Joyce Bartlett says
Loved reading this and love following you on facebook. You have such a way with words and living a purposeful life. Really helps me keep a healthy perspective on it all. Finished reading Beyond Breathing at Christmas time. Not exactly when I thought I’d be reading it but felt I needed to read it when I was close to home and Sydney. Beyond the tears, it strengthened my faith and belief that a beautiful life no matter how short can have an enduring impact on the lives of so many. I truly believe these kids are special angels and we are blessed to have them in our lives. Do I see another book in the works?
Many blessings, Joyce