Some days, like today, as I'm talking with one of my kids, a faint sadness begins to gnaw at me. Lovely Beautiful Daughter is venturing into new territory, living on her own and taking care of herself by working three jobs. She hopes to continue with her education at the university this fall. The obstacle in the way is money. Me being a single mom for several years combined with not receiving any financial help from the kids' dad made it nearly impossible to save any money for the kids' higher education. I know I could have not spent money on some things, like my bikes, my workshop, and my gardens, and I probably should have put off investing in these things. Hence my sadness. I feel like I've let my kids down. And I don't know how to help them make sure they get the education they will need in today's world.
This same sadness worked at me Sunday morning as Funny Delightful Son and I walked around a local pond, carrying our fishing poles, and hoping to find the bluegill hole where all the monster bluegill hung out. Funny Delightful Son talked with me about his dreams of one day moving to the country so he can hunt, fish, trap, and live off the land. He's become proficient with both a recurve bow and a compound bow. He caught a mess of bluegill Saturday evening, enough to feed us a fried fish and hush puppy dinner Sunday evening. He's always been drawn to all things country though most of his life he's lived in the city. I wish I could have given him a country life, what I crave for myself as well, but I couldn't make that happen. The only thing I can do now is help him make his dream come true.
Then there's Angel Baby. He's no longer a baby. He's no longer a little boy. He's very quickly becoming a young man, getting taller, his voice deeper. Today he had tears sliding down his cheeks, something I haven't seen in a very long time, and struggling to follow through on attending band camp. Camp days run 8 hours, so after just a couple of days under his belt, he's exhausted. He really wanted to stay home. I could see the fatigue in his eyes, but I knew he needed to go or he'd get behind and not know the routine. After a few minutes of talking, he agreed to go. Part of me wanted to tuck him back into bed, but I knew he had to tough it out.
It's kind of a strange place I'm in with my kids. They're independent in so many ways, but at the same time, they still need guidance and support. I'm trying to figure out how to let them find their way without helping too much, and like Angel Baby finding it within to do something he really didn't want to do, I have to find it within to hand over the reins and trust the kids in how they hold them.