From the time our children leave the womb and enter the world, we have to begin the long process of letting them go. Sons, especially, need to push away from their moms to find their voice and establish their sense of themselves as individuals. Even though I've been through this process before with my older son, it isn't any easier with the youngest. As parents, we are expected to hover and listen and tune into our children's each and every need, that is, until we aren't. Then, we're required to pull back, support them as they leave the nest and without interfering, watch them learn to fly.
My son, Miles, and I each left the nest at the same time, but both of us are still adjusting to the separation and the new freedom and independence that comes with it. Last week, he came for a visit and it was a beautiful reunion for both of us. Caught up in the gale force winds of change last December, neither one of us really had time to properly transition to the radical change of living apart. Seeing each other again gave us the beautiful luxury of time to talk, share meals and long walks, enjoy the pleasure of long hugs and the thrill of watching him drive through the California foothills. After a full week together, we both felt happy and refreshed. He left with sun-kissed cheeks and a content heart, ready to re-engage with his busy life in Seattle.
We both share so many of the same values about dedicating our lives to travel and service to the others, that I fully trust that our lives will intersect many, many times in the coming months and years. In fact, I know that we'll probably travel together at times and collaborate on some community building projects. The exciting part for me is that we can share the experience outside of our usual roles of mother and son. I look forward to this wholeheartedly, as I know he does.
In the meantime, he's about to head to Guatemala for two weeks in April, where he'll continue growing and expanding his capacity to be in the world. Watching my sons blossom has been one of the greatest gifts of parenting. My older son, Julian, is up to a pretty exciting adventure of his own right now. More on than in a future blog post.