Last Tuesday was a difficult day for me. It was joyous but nerve-racking at the same time. I was anxiously waiting for you to return home from school. It was such a big day for you and for the first time, I would not be by your side as you were crossing this new threshold.
You see, last week was something you and I were dreaming about for a very long time. You worked (and continue to work) so hard to achieve this milestone. Every therapy appointment we went to, every session you did with your therapists and with me at home, were all leading towards this moment.
The small steps you were taking down this path lead you to many different milestones and achievements. Last Tuesday you started your internship, another gigantic milestone to add to an already accomplished list.
As the clock inched slowly by that day, I pictured you at work. I wanted desperately to pass by and spy on you from the outside but I didn’t. Deep down I knew you were OK. Two of your classmates were with you and the teacher’s assistant was also there to support the three of you.
Still, as a mother I couldn’t stop worrying if you were okay. I wanted so much to celebrate that moment with you but I knew it was much more important for you to stand alone and celebrate it your way, with your co-workers and supervisor.
I hear your wings my son. You’re no longer a baby. You’re a young man ready to take flight on a new adventure.
I heard the bus pull up the driveway and I couldn’t contain my excitement or my questions any longer. You were barely halfway up the stairs when I blurted out “So how did it go!!!???”
You looked at me so calm and with a slight grin on your face replied “You mean at work?”
“Yes! How was your day at work today?”
That was it. That’s all you gave me. Like a starving bird I picked up the morsel of crumb off the ground and begged for more crumbs.
“I’m so happy to hear it went well today sweetie. Can you tell me a little more about what you did?”
“I don’t remember.” I’m searching for crumbs.
“I see. Think hard, I’m sure you’ll remember something. Did you cook?”
“Oh now I remember”. And you started giving me some more crumbs, feeding the starving bird who simply wanted to get a glimpse of your day.
I told you how proud I was of you. I told you how I was thinking of you the whole day, hoping you were happy and not too overwhelmed.
You turned to look at me and somehow you looked different. You didn’t look like a seventeen-year-old anymore. You looked like a young man, more mature and with a little more confidence.
“Mom, you don’t have to worry about me okay. I’m fine. Jeez you really should stop worrying. I can handle this”.
I think back to your first day of school. You were non-verbal and I prayed that God kept you safe.
I think back to the hours of therapy, the countless evaluations and papers I had to fill out. The ones that kept insisting I recall every missed milestone, every aggressive/non-compliant behavior and the out-of-norm characteristic traits, all in order to justify a diagnosis.
I remember the countless nights I cried myself to sleep wondering and worrying what your future would look like.
Well, today is the future my love and today you look at me and tell me not to worry so much, that you can handle this.
Oh my sweet boy, you have given me the greatest gift any mother could ask for.
But, I will always worry, I am a mother.
I will always worry because I am your mother but I will worry with confidence that all will be okay because you continuously do things to help me understand just how capable you are.
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