Reading this, my immediate thought was to forward this to my sons. Both went off to college and came home after a semester. Both were mortified by their failure. Both are smart and could have – should have – done well. But they didn’t. Mostly because their father figure didn’t teach them how to be men. Then again, their father is a 53-year-old 5-year-old. He taught them not to grow up and be responsible for their own lives.
I love my sons deeply, but I wish…. In my perfect world they would both be strong men. Responsible for their lives. Stepping out into the world to grow their lives as happy, healthy, adults. But that is a perfect world and, unfortunately, I don’t live in a perfect world.
My biggest fear is they are so mortified by their fall that neither will rise up again. How do you convince a 19 and a 24-year-old it’s not the fall which matters but how you get up afterwards? It’s a hard lesson and it took me years to learn. As a mother, I want to spare them my pain. I want to open up their heads (not literally) and pour all my hard-won knowledge in so they don’t have to make the same mistakes I did; so they don’t have to suffer the heartaches and pains.
I know, realistically, I can’t do this, but that doesn’t stop me from wishing.
And, yes, I know my negative attitude is not helping. I get so frustrated with the *lumps* sitting on their beds, watching their TVs and playing on their computers. Yes, they both take classes at the local community college and the older one works part-time, but really? Would I want to be living at home at their ages?
Ah – no.
In the end, I know this is their fight just as my lessons were mine. I can’t make these decision for them, as much as I dearly long to toss them out the door and say, “Fly.” So I struggled with teaching them to stand back up and move forward. There is no shame in falling, just in not getting up again. I struggled to teach them responsibility and how to walk in this world, head high, shoulders back, smiling even in the dark.