Wednesday, March 25, 2009


My baby is now twenty years old. He is no longer a child but he is so far from being a man that it frightens me. Right now he is completely and totally lost, trying to navigate the world without a life map. Everyone sees it, making a point of pointing it out to me like I can’t see it for myself. What no one seems to understand is that not only do I see it, but I feel it. My child’s frustration and hurt are so acute that I can feel it with every single breath I take.

I am determined to get my son back on the right path and save him by any means necessary. What I can’t figure out is just how to do that.

I have given myself five days to come up with a game plan. I asked my son if he trusted me and then I asked him to trust me to help him find his way. He’s reluctant, not at all sure what I might be getting him into but he promised to give whatever I ask of him a try.

Baby boy is exceptionally bright. He’d completed the high school math and science curriculum before he reached the eighth grade. High school was a challenge, trying to find advanced courses to meet his needs. He’s also an exceptionally talented artist. But he has stopped applying himself. His zest for life and his love of learning have diminished substantially. He walks in a cloud of depression and funk with one excuse after another for why he’s wasting his life away. He’s moody, lazy, and completely annoying, fraying my one last good nerve. But more than anything else he’s self destructing fast and I feel responsible.

Reflecting back I have tried to pinpoint exactly when he began his downward spiral. Sadly, I can almost visualize to the precise moment when thing started to go wrong. His big brother was dying from cancer. As a family we were all consumed with grief and baby boy, knee deep in the throes of high school angst, began to spiral.

Thinking back I truly believed that with time things would get better. A missed homework assignment here, a bad grade there, wasn’t horrific. Death was. But one assignment turned into many and his first year in college proved to be nothing but one bad grade after another until the child simply crashed and burned. Sometimes I think that I was so consumed with losing one child that I completely ignored holding tight to the other. Then I think maybe I held him too tight, mothering him to the point where he hasn’t been able to successfully leave the nest, spread his wings, and fly.

Now, I have to come up with a game plan to help my son become the man I know he can be. And I can’t begin to figure how just how to do that.

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