I had a revelation the other day. I was my son's first girlfriend and he has totally broken up with me! Now he wants to be "just friends" and I am having a hard time transitioning into my new role.
I shared this creepy tidbit with my husband who is fresh out of Psychology 101 and he affirmed my thought telling me this is exactly what Freud was talking about. Not in the inappropriate Oedipus way but there is a special mother/son bond.
When you think about it I was the first girl in his life. He shared his thoughts and feelings with me, I listened to him, encouraged him, loved him. I taught him how to treat a woman with respect, how to open doors for me, cradle my arm in the crook of his elbow and help me on with my coat.
I thought we were getting along just fine. I never saw it coming.
Then one day another girl came into his life and suddenly he was sharing all his thoughts and dreams with her. He was spending time with her and taking her thoughts and encouragement more seriously than mine. And there she was benefiting from all my hard work of molding him into the wonderful man that he is.
What did I do wrong? Or did I do it right?
Isn't this what we are supposed to do as parents? Train them, teach them, help them grow and then let them go. I must admit that the reality of that last part, let them go, is really becoming more and more real to me as we get closer and closer to the end of high school and I realize 6 months from now we will be packing up all his stuff and moving him out. This is what I have been doing the last 17-1/2 years, preparing for this moment to come. And he is ready. Although half of me wants to lock him in a closet and hold on to him a little longer the other half knows I have done my job and it is time to release him. And in the end I will listen to that other half.
So now that he is ready, I guess it is time to get myself ready.
So I am working on learning to be "just friends" and trusting that I have raised him, loved him and encouraged him to go out and make choices for himself in relationships and life that continue the work I have begun in him.