My youngest graduates High School today. This is one of the major milestones in one's life and what a wild, twisting, winding, bumpy, pot-hole-filled road it's been. I will never EVER say that's it's been easy or without anguish, tears, angry words and total frustration because it has been. Getting a piece of coal to a diamond takes lots of heat and pressure and time. Good lord, I thought child-birth was hard.
As a parent, it is now our job to push him out of the next and you'd think that having already done so with our oldest, this would be a cakewalk. It's anything but. It scares the hell outta me. The oldest is in college and safely (mostly) ensconsed in the protective (mostly) confines of a dorm on campus. He's not out there having to face the cold, cruel world just yet. It's coming. But, the youngest is heading out to another state to work, to get paid, to manage money, to follow rules set by someone other than his parents. To survive and my mind spins in vicious circles asking and arguing with myself over whether we've fully prepared him for what's coming.
And I just don't know. I guess we won't know for years to come. I believe that we've done our best, that we've taken from our own experiences as young adults and tried to teach him or at least explain to him the possibilities-both good and bad-that are out there. Whether any of that has penetrated his still developing brain is anybody's guess.
I worry because when demon-spawn isn't standing in my kitchen, he's the kindest, most generous, most loving and trusting child I have and it scares me because that opens him to all sorts of people who will take advantage of him. I've already seen it in some of the people he calls friends. Friends of convienence. Friends who need a ride. Friends who need a coke. Friends who need a sandwich. Friends who need and rarely give back. It breaks my heart.
My oldest's soul is like memphis bbq. His flame burns low and slow. My youngest is a Thai wok. His flame burns hot, bright and fast and it consumes a lot of energy and resources. He has a mind that is on super sonic speed all the time and it's exhausting just trying to keep with, much less stay ahead of him all the time.
Both boys' souls were brought to us for a reason. Their souls have been surrounded by this group of souls for a reason. Some souls have moved in and out of the group and those that have come back, have come back for a reason. I know that ALL of the souls in this circle have lessons to be learned from this group. Our job is to figure out what they are and evolve from them.
I have found strength in many of the people traveling in this circle of souls. Sometimes in the most unlikliest of people and I've also found judgement. None, though, have judged me more harshly than I have myself. I suppose all parents go through this and I suppose I'm not different than any other parent, it's just that in this moment, I feel like I'm the only parent out there with a child about to walk out into the cold, cruel world.