Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.
Corrie Ten Boom
Don’t waste your precious moments with your son. Stop a moment and look at him. Treasure him. Be grateful.
It’s difficult growing up in a “successful” family. Everywhere one looks one sees certainty, solidity and pretty conventional behavior. For some this might be more of a challenge than an encouragement.
You and your wife have chosen a path of guidance rather than control. You are always there but don’t seem to rush in before consequences are felt and lessons are learned. I have seen you stand aside and let your children explore in their attempts to find their paths; and still you are supportive and ready to listen.
And so I understand the challenge when you watch your son seemingly floundering. He isn’t talking. He isn’t moving. Without a visible plan he isn’t doing any of the things that make us comfortable as parents.
I can only remind you that this moment is what you have with him. It is all you ever have. It is so easy to wrap our pleasure in the present around visions of the future. We can breathe deeply and detach from many things in life and still we cling to our hopes and dreams for our children.
You are a planner. You mapped your life work and reworked that map when necessary. And you are a bit of a stoic as you internally work out the potholes along the way. Without being inflexible you have maintained a sureness. Yet you must have had your own times of uncertainty. Haven’t you ever been faced with so many choices that making a decision overwhelmed you with possible outcomes? Haven’t you ever wondered if you were capable and equipped for life as it spreads before you?
Remember those times. Realize that some of us are immobilized by uncertainty when it comes our way. Share your own vulnerability with your son and let him know that you recognize what he is going through.
And remember that he is enough at this very moment. Who knows what is going on inside his heart and mind. And still, he is not making bad moves. He isn’t making bad decisions…just no decisions.
Love him and let him be still.
Great post Mother and I would like to add my own experience as a parent. I try to share this experience with as many people as possible and must say that I find the success rate of what comes out of my sharing is very disappointing.
As a hard drinking successful professional I could not understand my son’s alcoholism till the AA asked me to study their program. I just thought that it was a matter of willpower! If I had to see my son come out of addiction and live, I had to be a role model instead of an unsympathetic and selfish father. I had to change to change him and today I can say that when that attitude came into my life is when change took place.
Such a powerful message as a parent, Ramana. Thank you for sharing your story. It brings to mind the great quote from Katherine Mansfield, “Everything in life that we really accept undergoes a change.”
Oh Wisdom…reaching from end to end and ordering all things mightily and sweetly.
Oh Christin, as usual your language is beautiful…and much appreciated.