I used to think I had to direct my kids in their every step. That’s how I was raised. I used to think I knew better than them, because I was the adult, right? Your elders know, from experience, more than you can. You can never catch up to them. The devil doesn’t know so much because he is evil, or powerful, but simply because he is so dang old, as the saying goes. Respect your elders! And do as you are told, even if you think differently. They know better, even about your life.
Anyway, my teenage son suddenly started telling me he wanted to go live with his father back home. Nothing wrong with his father, as a father. He was a crappy husband, but that doesn’t make him too unique. Sadly! So I started off kind of like, what about your school, what about your sports, and friends? And then I got suspicious, like, hmm, what is it? Fess up! You want to get away with stuff? You want no supervision? Oh no. Oh no, son. Not gonna happen. You need your mamma! You need mamma’s rules!
But my kid, he was like, no Mom, I just feel so strongly that I need to go live there, just for a year. One school year. Please, Mom.
Well, I prayed about it, because you know the other four kids get to live with their father all the time, right? And the answer I received is, trust your son. Trust his gut. Trust in his destiny. Let him go. He will come back.
He did go, and he lived with his Dad and his Dad’s girlfriend-of-the-week club member, and of course she was mean to him. She was horrible. But as for my son, he really got to know his Dad. They did a lot of stuff. His Dad wasn’t all tired out like I am, from actually working full-time and taking care of five kids, right? So he was just Mister Relaxed and Fun Guy. And since he never paid the child support he owes me, of course they could do more fun things. But my son called every weekend and he kept his nose clean.
A week after my son moved back, the last Girlfriend Club Member calls him on his cell phone – not me – and says, “Hey, your Dad just died of a heart attack.” How is that for a nice way to tell a child he just lost his Dad? But it was for real. He just suddenly dropped dead. He died. He really died. Just like that.
Of course it was a shock for my son. Of course it was. But he was like, Mom, thank God you let me go get to know him. Thank God, Mom.
So I keep wondering, how did my son know? How did he know? What is inside of him that let him know to go get to know his Dad, that it was his last chance? Intuition? Whatever it is, it is lovely.
So anyway, about older people. I am starting to think, yes we need to guide the little ones. And the teens, especially, the poor things, as they are getting their feathers. But it starts to look like we all have a piece of the truth. We all have inner knowing. Call it wisdom or intuition, but there it is. It’s not just from experience. We are born knowing.
I don’t know what you think of my story, but for me, it makes me feel safer, like I don’t have to guide everything, like I can trust my kids. I like that feeling. Honestly, it was exhausting to try to guide their every step. Now I am more like clapping from the sidelines. I can finally see that each of my kids has their own race to run. Actually, lots of them. And I will not always be beside them, but their inner knowing will. How lovely.