This weekend my eldest son went camping with his friends. On their own. For the whole (long) weekend.
This is a test of motherhood.
I’m very blessed that we share a pretty strong connection. We’ve been able to talk about the important moments in his life thus far.
Keeping that connection requires a lot of trust, and a lack of judgment. I have to be open and not freak out when he shares his choices with me, whether I agree with them or not.
When my boys were young, I did a lot of reading, trying to figure out what it meant to be a good parent. I wanted my boys to grow up to be strong and independent. I wanted them to be able to think for themselves, make their own decisions.
That meant some non-mainstream choices, and some challenging parenting moments. My mantra was, “Independence is a good thing when they grow up. Independence is a good thing when they grow up!”
Now that he is almost 17, I have to accept the consequences of my earlier actions. 🙂
He has become a strong and independent young man. And yet he remains respectful and responsible.
He planned the camping trip with his friends, and packed everything himself. He bought all of his own food for the trip with money he earned from his part-time job.
I admit, I shed a few tears as my husband drove him out to the woods. Not because I was worried about what he and his friends would do unsupervised for a whole weekend – I trust him. I cried because it’s time to let go of my baby.
In just over a year, he’ll be graduating high school, and then he’ll be off to live his own life.
I hope that I have done my job well and prepared him for life. And I hope that I will be able to continue the close relationship we have had thus far. Either way, I have to admit, he’s grown up. And I couldn’t be more proud.