Somewhere along the way my son became ready to venture out on his own. Though I was still packing his lunch, doing his laundry and even monitoring his checkbook, he grew up without me. This past year has been a year of prodding, pushing and exasperation trying to get him to apply to colleges. I put the nag into nagging. What I didn’t realize was that he would get it done in his time. And more importantly, he would make his own decisions with or without my help. Looking back, he readily completed all the requisite forms, researched his chosen school and prepared himself without my nagging. The nagging really only applied to the schools I, in my own insecurity, ‘forced’ him to apply to. So I suppose perhaps this year has been one where I was supposed to be getting ready not him.
My realization came slowly, as I would nag him to do something for his top choice school, and he would reply in that ever so patient tone, ‘I already did it’. Or when I realized that he put gas in the car before the light came on and I had to ask him to do it. The true awakening that he was ready came at his high school graduation. My son was a senior class officer and processed with the official party. I knew this. As we entered the Hall for graduation (local high schools use W&M Hall for graduation too.) I read the program and noted that my son would be presenting about High School Memories. I knew he was going to be presenting but had in my head that he had put together a PowerPoint presentation for this and that was what we were going to see. A teacher from his elementary school was sitting nearby and commented that it was so exciting that my son was going to speak. I quickly assured her that he was not. I was convinced that I would know this if he was. Imagine my surprise when he indeed spoke at graduation, to more that 5000 people. My quiet, seemingly shy 17 year old stood up in front of all of those people without stumbling and spoke loud and clear. He even made eye contact and smiled. It was then that I realized fully that he was indeed ready! He had prepared for this entirely on his own.
So, the lesson I learned was to trust my son and to allow him to spread his wings and fly. It is so important to allow our kids to make the phone calls, send the emails and decide their path, perhaps with a little encouragement along the way. And remember that they ARE ready.
– Betsy Quinzio