This week has been quite eventful for me. I heard the same message from both of my sons: “Back off Mom.”
Before I move forward, perhaps I should explain myself. I am the mother of two amazing young, African American males. They are bright, loving, and believe in our Creator. Aaron, my oldest son (24), has Asperger’s Syndrome, a high functioning form of autism. Bryant, my youngest son (16), is academically gifted as has ADHD. To say our journey has been eventful and colorful would be an understatement. We have been extremely blessed to have my husband Paul in our lives. He is the calming force that helps quell my Type A, easily excitable personality.
Having children with varying issues has led me to seek equilibrium in our household so things run smoothly. As a result, I have become a case manager of sorts. Whatever needs my children have, I attend to them with the tenacity of a tigress. Every time they express a desire or a goal, my response is always be the same: “What can I do to help?” But lately, I have been sensing a change in my relationship with my sons. For instance, one day after Bryant shared with me a goal he made for himself, he immediately followed up with this statement, “Mom, you don’t have to ask me what I need. I will let you know if I need your help.” In another instance, Aaron recently ordered some items from Amazon. When I asked him why he didn’t talk to me about it first, his response was, “I’m sorry, I didn’t know I was supposed to.”
Those events should have sent a signal to my brain to slow down, let my sons do their own thing, but either I didn’t get the signal or I ignored it.
Fast forward to this week. For a few years now, I check in with Aaron and Bryant ever so often. I ask them what kind of mother do they think I am as well as if they need anything from me they’re not getting. This year, Bryant’s response was loving but clear: ” I need you to back off some and trust me more.” In a subsequent conversation with Aaron about financial responsibility, one of his comments to me was, “No matter how much you talk to me Mom, some mistakes I’m just gonna make. I have to learn from them.” We talked a bit more and then Aaron asked me, “It’s hard for you to let go, isn’t it Mom?’ I was honest and replied that it was. He nodded his head and told me he was going to be ok. Then we hugged.
It seems my relationship with my sons is evolving. I taught them to be honest and ask for what they need. I have no choice but to respect their requests. It won’t be easy, but I know it is necessary so they can be the men our Creator has designed them to be.
Stay tuned and pray for me,