Monday, March 26, 2012

Battling the Demon of Success (3.26.2012)

I have been battling a demon for the past few days. So hard to put into words and yet so recognizable to most mothers: my son is growing up.

It hasn't escaped my notice in the past few years that Sam is now taller than Ben. That he has his own point of view. And that he has a unique set of likes and dislikes. That part of the growing I always expected. What I am battling is the feeling that I am no longer Sam's primary frame of reference. I am no longer the primary audience, if you will. I've been replaced by the guys at the group home and the new friends at work. Now I'm just "The Mom".

Me and Sam at his first
swimming class (6 months old).
Don't get me wrong: this is what I have always wanted for Sam. I can remember a day about 14 years ago when, after a very rough week at school (aggressive behavior), and a very rough week at home (having to be carried kicking and screaming on and off the school bus every day), I had a blinding moment of reality: Sam is not successful at home or at school. How will he find his place in the world? What will become of him? I will never forget it. And that thought stayed with me as a kind of  touchstone over the years. Something to go back to in terms of how he was doing and what we were doing to help him find his place.

I'm sure many of you mothers out there are thinking, "Yeah, and what's your point? Kids grow up." And I guess the point is that I've been spoiled for so many years beyond where most kids -- young men especially -- would have naturally detached. I have always recognized that I had way more control of Sam's life than any typical young man of the same age. And there was a legitimate reason for that. But it's clear to me now that Sam is truly growing up and into the world. And good for him.

And tonight, from his own mouth, he sealed the deal. When I suggested that he might want to go to bed earlier this weekend because of some plans he had with his dad, he said to me, "Don't worry about me. I a grown man."

Yes, indeed you are my little Sammy.


  1. oooohhhhh, you sweet, dear, beautiful woman. thanks for sharing this sad but true but hard but wonderful realization. **hugs**

  2. Thanks Honey! I think this is the point where many women decide that the solution is to have another child. But that ship has