Thursday, December 17, 2009

Letting go

Millions of words have been written on the bittersweet emotions that mothers lug along as they watch their sons grow into young men. It's impossible to be original on this topic, I fear, but perhaps it's worth repeating from the front row.

Maybe the single thing I'm most grateful for in my life - and there's so much - is the close relationship I've been fortunate to share with my son, from day one. He's my only child, yes, but he's also such a fine and interesting person - it's a pleasure, really, to be in his company.

And, I've been doubly-blessed to have a supportive spouse and a life that has supported my spending a chunk of Dylan's childhood right at his side. The costs for such privilege can sometimes be high - in ways that are difficult to foresee at the outset - but I would do it just the same again if asked.

The good news, the great news really, is that now Mark gets the chance to really, full-on be there at Dylan's side as well. Some time out from earning a living, he's there to pick Dylan up for swimming, home to grab the band-aid when the cut starts to bleed, around the dinner table to check on homework and struggle through the tough math.

Mark deserves it. Dylan deserves it. And, as Dylan stands at the precipice of adolescence, the timing feels almost cosmically orchestrated. The joy that emanates from the two of them as they build, or ski, or strum, or solve is palpable.

So, now it's time for Mom to step back and let go the reins a bit, place the "primary caregiver" badge on the bookshelf with the Curious George books and the Wiggle DVDs from Australia that never would work in our player anyway. Time to rediscover what I loved before I loved this child. Time to awaken deeply slumbering parts of my mind and soul.

A time of renewal for all of us, a time of sharing and space and engagement and disengagement. Humbling and cherished.

And very, very hard.