I Am Letting My Child Go

If you are wondering what kind of horrible experience I have  just been through with my child to make this statement….. it’s nothing like that.

I just got back from 10 days visiting my son in Brazil after not seeing him in 19 months.  It was a beautiful, happy time and my husband and I were thrilled to be with him and experience his new home.

Witnessing the joy and enthusiasm he brings to a world I could not begin to  imagine here at home on the opposite coast, a continent away, was amazing. What brought him there is a long story, a winding  path through post university study and a fascination with environmental sustainability.  A grant through a non profit gave him a foot hold and the rest developed through sheer sweat and toil in a farming project near Santo Antonio.

My son is just shy of his 30th birthday but there is nothing in his growing years that would have remotely given us a clue that this passion lay dormant in him.  As a teen, sports, friends and the outdoors was his main interest. After university he worked in an IT recruiting firm; from all outward appearances he was a ‘successful’ young man.

Successful…..but unhappy. He craved purpose and meaning to his life.  In a few short months he gave up his job, his car, his apartment and flew to the other side of the world. Today he is happy, at peace and creating environmental initiatives to help the earth.

I share this story because as parents we are driven to helping our children follow the mold; buy into the material dreams, careers to support those dreams and fail to guide them to meaningful activity. I am as guilty of that as anyone. Luckily, I was able to let go of that ideal easily and support his choices.

Yes, I am letting my child go.  He no longer needs my protection or my advice. My little boy is now a grown man.  Instead I choose to love and support his vision. My parenting has taken on yet another new phase and I honor that.

As your teen navigates their life path, let it be their own journey.