The Heartbreak in Parenting

In exactly 46 days, my oldest son Sam will be 18 years old. It terrifies me. He has been our toughest child and I will not sugar coat what we have been through. It has been a struggle for the last four years, full of anger, panic, frustration, and tears. There have been truancy problems, and issues with smoking. Tickets for curfew violations, and running away.

Few people will understand, that even when you are loving, and nurturing parent, who is always around for support, sometimes it is just not enough. Being a parent is hard, and you do not always know what you are doing. What might be right for one child is not always right for another.

However, I feel the need to explain that I love my son, more than words can describe. He is smart, good looking, helpful, athletic, and extremely funny. Everyone has always loved Sam, and his incredible personality. I know he would do great things, if only he would try.

He holds such resentment, and I do not even know if he knows why. He blames everyone around him when things do not go right, never taking responsibility for his own actions. How can a child with so much confidence still be so unsure of himself?

This is when you tell me to try counseling, be harder on him… sit down and make a plan. These are all the things we have tried and have failed with.

From the day he was born, he wanted to live life his way, and no one was going to get in the way of that. As a parent, you are in awe of his take-charge personality and see the great man he will become even though he does not believe it himself.

I have failed him in many ways, though I know that in my heart I have given him much more. 46 days, in less than two months, he will be able to move on as an adult, able to make life-altering decisions on his own without mom or dad stepping in the way. That is his greatest want now, to be out on his own without us there to guide him.

As a parent, I know he needs to do this, that I need to let him go. I know I have given him the morals and education he needs to be a good man even if it takes a little stumbling along the way. I know that all I can do is be here if he ever needs me, support him when I can. Yet it doesn’t make it any easier. Life is funny that way.

Picture provided my JEisele

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