Parenting in Uncharted Waters

sam-drivingThis is one of those weeks where it feels that as parents, we are entering many uncharted waters.

Uncharted waters are different than deep waters. Deep waters are over my head. There are plenty of those times too. But right now we are in a stage of simply new waters.

I cleared my calendar and set aside today to be all about my fifteen-year-old son Sam. He was exempt from his mid-terms and had the day off. I quickly took over his day and filled it. I put an IBC cream soda in the fridge for him. He got them for Christmas, and he still had two left. He saves them for “special occasions”, and I decided that today should be considered one.

We got him up early to take care of his driving test and he passed and got his learner’s permit. Then I carted him off to a dental appointment. We had a special lunch together. I love our dates so much that I had been looking forward to these hours all week. He chose sushi. We talked about what summer programs he wanted to register for in preparation for a meeting this afternoon with his academic adviser. January is the time he schedules his summer program, and it takes all of those months for me to be ready to send him off to other states on airplanes.  See “Letting My Son Go Places Without Me”

I realized this very day when looking on the calendar that exactly 11 years ago, he’d officially decided to become a Christian. All those years ago, I was so honored to be the one that sat on the couch with him too late that evening and answered his profound 4-year-old questions. (Read that story here.) What a special gift that I had set aside today, of all days, to spend with him.

Here he sat eating sushi with me at age 15. He’s almost a foot taller than me with his rough head of curls that popped up out of nowhere a few months ago.  There are a lot of questions he doesn’t bother to ask me anymore. Our minds work so differently. We don’t connect on a lot of things, and he knows too much more than me to converse enjoyably in some areas. But the things we do talk about are rich. He values my opinions and thoughts, and we’re starting to learn what “fields” we can have real discussion in.

This is our oldest kid that has taken us  to most of the uncharted waters of parenting. The first to walk, start school, get a phone, and become a teenager. He’s an easy kid, and he eased us into these waters. Sure, there are days that are disappointing for him and for us. But he’s taken us to all of these new parenting places with such gentleness, and for that I am so very grateful.

So now we are teaching him to drive. We are preparing to send him off to new places. We are starting to talk about college. We are in many uncharted waters with him at the moment. I feel a little anxious, but not scared. My heart hurts in the transitions, but I am not worried about the outcomes.

I feel so much love for this jewel of a boy that made me a mother, and who is truly a joy to parent. im000010



2 thoughts on “Parenting in Uncharted Waters”

  1. Great article. Was the picture in St. Vincent and if so was it at the hotel where you went swimming and to the beach occasionally? Also, how did Fat Yellow Momma Kitty get in Sam’s picture?



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