Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Empty Nesting

As the spring arrives and so many activities are nearing I have a deep feeling of sadness hovering over me with the impending graduation of my eighteen year old son. I will not be experiencing the empty nest with my other two children still under mothers wing, but the thought that I will have to let go of my first born son is gnawing at my heart strings and giving me a feeling of sadness that I can't seem to shake lately. What brings this on so fierce I believe is that he's in a drama class with a teacher that treats the students horribly and for the first time I have to sit back and keep out of it. Normally, I would have a conference with this teacher and find out where she stands, I would move to the principal if I felt that I needed to further the discussion. But, my son is eighteen and needs to learn to handle predicaments on his own now. The stories that he shares about her behavior and her degrading comments to the students makes my blood run cold. I believe that a teacher is there to mold a student to lend encouragement and to teach. I know that it's not an easy task for any teacher to take on a group of teenagers, but a drama teacher should be most encouraging and wanting to ignite the fire within these students to carry on with this art even after graduation. From what I understand, from hearing bits and pieces from many sources this teacher wallows in her own life's dis-satisfaction, using these kids as springboards for her own anger and pain. It's wrong in my eyes, but here I am with my very own lesson in life, it's time to let go and let my son fight his own battles. With the sadness of him heading off to college next fall and the feelings of loss and fear shadowing the excitement for me, it's going to be a hard course for me to take all of this in stride and keep that smile on my face. I watch him quietly as he goes through his day and evening and tell myself I am doing the right thing, leaving my feelings inside and allowing him to start living his life as an adult.
But inside I worry about the safety of college campuses with all the recent shootings and him staying safe when he leaves home to venture into his own independence. I worry about him making the right choices and finding his way. But, like my father once told me at eighteen I can tell you about all the mistakes you will make but you won't listen to me, you will have to find out for yourself and learn from your own mistakes. That advice and those wise words have stuck with me all my adult life.
It goes to show us the circle of life that we lead. I can remember turning eighteen and moving 0n into my life like it was yesterday, but now it seems to feel like a different world for our teenagers. But, who is to say thats exactly how my parents felt when I was off on my own for the first time. I suppose as I venture into this new phase in my life I will learn many new things and emotions that I will express. And, I can only hope that when my next son moves on I will be able to deal with all of the feelings that I am having now, with a bit of new light!

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