Posts Tagged ‘travel’

My oldest child, my son, my heart walking outside my body, my baby boy, will leave me on tuesday evening August 28th 2012 and fly off to London where he will spend his freshman year of college.  Yes he will return, yes we will live under the same roof again for summers and vacations, but I am acutely aware that our relationship will not have the same dynamic ever again.  My job as parent will never be over but my role in creating the man he will be is essentially done, I scramble in these final moments wondering if I have given him everything he needs, if I have said everything that needs to be said.  I feel like there is five minutes left during an exam period and I have not had the chance to go back and check my work.  I will send him off with a sealed envelope containing a letter to read on the plane.  Call it my swan song, my final rally, my hail mary pass, I know it is more for me than him but nonetheless….

Dearest sweetest Aidan;

There is so much I want to say, so much I want you to know, but as I stand here in the threshold, watching you step into the first phase of adulthood I find myself unsure of where to even begin.  I guess I will begin by telling you how grateful I am that you are my son.

This past year I have had the honor of watching you reap the rewards of many years of hard work, integrity and determination.  With each school acceptance notification, scholarship offer and athletic letter earned, my pride grew.  My greatest wish for you as a parent, was that you become a decent person, a good citizen of this world.  If I had any doubt that this had come to fruition it would be erased by the words your teachers and peers made sure they said to me during graduation season.  I am very aware of what a privilege it is to be your mom and I promise you that I will never lose sight of that.  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

When you have stepped on that plane our relationship as mother and son will shift forever.  I will always be here for you when you need me and even when you don’t, but you will never again be completely in my care.  You will return to this house as more of a visitor than a resident and you will more firmly hold your fate in your own hands.  Knowing this, please indulge me as I take one last opportunity to guide you, try to fit in this one letter the things I most want you to know.

1.  Listen to your moral compass- Yours is strong, in your heart you know right from wrong; remember that there is no one standing next to you to nudge you in the right direction.  It is completely up to you.  Please know that I am not talking about rules, or social norms, I am talking about what you in your heart know is the right thing to do.  Now that you are out on your own you will bear the full weight of consequences brought on by poor choices.  Sometimes it is just a matter of taking the time to really think about the full extent and ramifications of what you do or do not do.

2. Forgive Yourself-  Even with the best of intentions you will make mistakes.  Rather than punish yourself, take the opportunity to learn from them.  There is nothing to be gained by wallowing in regret.  There is a great deal to be gained by self-reflection and determination to do better in the future.

3. Cut people some slack-  For the most part we are all doing our best to make our way in this world and we all have moments where the judgement of our peers neglects to see what is good in us.  Your way isn’t the only way nor is it necessarily the best way; it is simply your way.

4.  Be true to yourself- Simply your way is just fine for you!

5.  Run with the fastest- Surround yourself with people who have kind hearts, good ethics and who work hard.  You will always be better off if your inner circle is made up of people who bring out the best in you.

6. Be kind, honest and moral- Nothing else in this world really matters, truly.  At the end of each day take a moment and ask yourself if you have been the best person you can be, when the answer is yes, there is no better gift you can give to yourself.  When the answer is no, try harder the next day.

7.  Remember that nothing is forever-  You can always shift and alter your path, change your mind, make a new plan.  That doesn’t make you a failure, it makes you smart enough to know when something isn’t working for you.  It also makes the journey more interesting.

Ok, my love, I think thats the best stuff I have left in my mommy repertoire.  Final thoughts; there are not words to describe the love I have for you, you are my greatest accomplishment, my best gift to the world, and a piece of me goes with you wherever you may be.  Please remember that I am a part of your heart and soul and take extra care to keep them both safe.

Love mom