Sunday, March 9, 2008

My son returns...

My son, Scotty, is in his Senior year at High School and about 5 months ago he decided he wanted to move out. He wasn't happy, he had been quite hostile at home and very difficult to manage. So, on his 18th birthday he told me I couldn't stop him and he was moving. He broke my heart. He was my first born and I have always had an incredible connection with him. I was proud of the boy he was and took such pride in raising him and teaching him all I could to assure he would be the best man he could be. I have always loved sitting back and looking at him and knowing that I had a part in making him the great kid he is. Everything I did and everything I tried to teach him was a conscious attempt to help him learn everything I thought he needed in life, to protect him from any harm, to help him understand and learn the things that I thought I didn't learn growing up. And now, he had rejected me in the way that hit me the hardest~not only did he want to leave me but he was highly critical of me as a mother.

I couldn't stop him. He moved out and headed out on his own. I tried to get information from anyone I could, counselors at his school, friends I confide in, to figure out how to be a mother to him in this new way. I wasn't sure how to make sure he was o.k. and how to care for him when it appeared he didn't want anything to do with me. I found myself in a position where I had no control over what he did. And...how do I do this with my heart broken over this child I love so deeply. I was in terrible pain. I questioned whether I had been the mom I thought I was or maybe I really was flawed as a parent.

I took it slowly. I checked in every now and then and tried to find out from teachers and school counselors how he was doing. Gradually, over time, he began calling and texting me to say hi. It was hard to get him to come over and visit. I think he really wasn't ready at that time. A few months later I began initiating contact a little more frequently just to check in on him. I was trying to develop a new relationship with my son, one of friendship and less of a mother~son relationship. Over the last 5 months, we have come a long way. We are probably more close now than we ever have been.

Last week, Scotty called and said he wanted to move back in with me. He said that he has learned so much while taking care of himself and he feels like he has grown up. He is trying to finish high school (finger crossed here everyone!), he is working at a job he likes, he saved up enough money to buy his own truck and he feels really proud of himself. He then told me that there was so much that he resented when he was at home with me, like having to pay his own cell phone bill and car insurance, that he thought I should just do for him and having a sister with special needs. He said that he understands now that if I hadn't done that with him that he would have fallen flat on his face when he moved out. He said he didn't know it at the time, but he knows now that he has one of the best mom's anyone could have. He said he understands everything I have tried to teach him and why now.

He then told me a story. On one of his very first days at his job, he didn't know anything or where anything was and a man came in and needed help finding things. He said he didn't know anything but he ran around helping this man. Just recently that man came back into his work and he recognized Scotty. He said, "Aren't you the kid who helped me the last time I was in here?" and Scotty told him yes, that was him. The man turned to the woman who was cashiering and told the woman how helpful Scotty was when he was in the last time and how much he appreciated it. The woman said, "Yes, we hear that a lot about Scotty." The man then turned to Scotty and said, "I want you to go home and I want you to tell your Mom 'thank you'."

Scotty told me at the time he didn't understand why the man said that. He said it went right over his head. But as he thought about the statement more, he understood what the man was saying to him. He told me that it was then that he realized how who he was has so much to do with everything his mom has tried to teach him. He was able to think back to everything that sounded like a foreign language to him over the years and the things he resented and he was now able to make a connection with it.

This child of mine...oh, he made me break down into tears. These were tears of pure joy though. Oh how I longed to hear my son say these things to me. I just never thought it would be now, at eighteen. I expected it to be years down the road.

My son, he is my greatest accomplishment in life. I believe he will be a great man, a great husband and a great father. I look at him and I have such joy in my heart. I have done a good thing and I get to be his friend.

14 comments:

Suzanne said...

Oh Carrie, what wonderful news! Wonderful that he is back home, safe, and that he has learned a valuable lesson. You ARE a great mom, and you will be a great friend to him as he matures. Hugs! :-)

Terri said...

And that, my friend, is what motherhood is all about!! I'm sitting here in tears & am so thankful your Scotty is back home & most importantly - that you are friends as well as mother & son!!! {HUGS!!!!!!}

Thank you so much for sharing this with us!! XOXO

Robin (Tqmnurse) said...

Carrie,
My son did the same thing.....after 6 years, we still have a strained relationship, but after about 6 months he did call and say that he never knew how hard it was for me until he was out on his own.....My DS lives 900 plus miles away and I see him sometimes 1 a year...but we treasure the time together now....and like you...I am very proud....congrats on raising a wonderful son....and for doing all of the right things, no matter how difficult

Debbie, a/k/a scrappydeb said...

Awwww, your story made me cry!! I think that boy of yours has done a whole lot of growing up in these past few months. You have done a great job!

Anonymous said...

What a touching story Carrie. How difficult it must have been to let Scotty go out on his own but knowing you built that solid foundation in his life, he came back and look what he realized about the decisions you made as a parent! He sounds like he's an incredible person...he's going to make a great dad some day!! I'm glad you 2 are communicating and building back that strong bond you have! Big hugs! Shell O.

Colleen said...

Carrie, job well done. Sometimes it does take them out on their own to realize that mom did know what she was talking about. So great for the way you handled this situation, it is never easy when they decide they are big enough to be on their own. Big hugs to you and thanks for letting us see more of Carrie.

C70 said...

Carrie, you are a great mom!! Thank you so much for sharing your story with us! I am glad that things are better for you and hope that your relationship with Scotty will continue to grow! {{{HUGS!!}}}

Chrys said...

Wow, it's amazing that he's come around so well in just a few months! And at 18 too!!!! Praises that your relationship with him is on the mend and will continue to flourish! :) HUGS!!!!

Jackie said...

Carrie you are a great mom and a very lucky mom, it usually takes them a bit longer to realize it. Thanks for sharing your story.

Karen said...

Carrie, thank you for sharing that story. Don't ever doubt for a moment that you aren't a great mother. I just hope that my boys realize all that I have tried to teach them, too.

Anonymous said...

WOW! That was touching. I am so happy this worked out for the best. That's what MOM's are for!

Lisa Turley said...

Carrie -- thanks so much for sharing such a heartbreaking & heart fulfilling experience. I'm so sorry you had to go through those rough times with you son - but so happy for you that he is able to see what a wonderful mom you are. I pray your relationship will continue to grow & deepen!

Regina said...

Thanks for sharing such a special story with us. I am sitting here in tears. You are such an amazing mom. I am so glad he has realized it and come home!!

ScrapAloha said...

Carrie, I am so happy for you and your son. WTG for being exactly the Mother that he needs! Sending you lots of hugs and good wishes. Miss you all at Scrapdango. {{{hugs}}}