“Ma, what do you see in me?”
The question came out of the blue, in the midst of driving home from therapy, after some random not-therapy-related conversation, over the sound of the Christmas carols coming from the radio.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, why go through all this stuff. What do you see in me? Why is it worth it?”
Oh, Lordy. My heart dropped to my toes. I listed some of the things I love about him–his big heart, his humor. I told him I see a lot of myself in him–and a lot of my father, too (sidenote–this both pleases me and drives me CRAZY). I told him that the night before, when we had been at our local high school for a meeting, and I had seen a poster with dates for seniors to get their cap and gown measurements taken, I had fast-forwarded to his graduation, what he’ll look like in that cap and gown, and how grateful I am that I’ll get to see it. I told him all the potential I see in him, how excited I was to see the adult he’ll become.
We talked again about how being a first-time parent to a middle-schooler is not easy, nor what I had planned, but that something about him had nudged me from the beginning. I told him I tend to follow those nudges, believing they’re guidance from God, and that there had been other times I followed a nudge even though I thought God was crazy–like my call to ministry.
I love him so much. This conversation demonstrated that my hunches are right–he still thinks he needs to be perfect, or better. He still thinks I won’t want him if he has a meltdown. He still wonders if I’m going to give up on him, or trade him in for a younger, smarter, better-behaved model.
I hope someday he’ll get it. That it’s worth it, no matter what, to be his Mom. That HE is worth the time commitments and crazy schedule and money worries and piles of laundry and arguing about chores. He has worth, and value. Forget looking forward to seeing who he’ll become–he’s a great person already (I told him that, too). And I love him, forever.