My son

>> Friday, June 9, 2006

Change is inevitable, most especially when it applies to teenage boys. Over the past several months the changes in my 14-year-old son, Nathan, have been quite dramatic. Literally overnight it seems he has transformed from an awkward, gangly, boyish adolescent into a tall, strapping, handsome young man, and with those changes come the changes in his needs.
Only two years ago, after I obtained emergency custody of all three of my children, Nathan was the one who clung to me the most. The damage inflicted upon all three of them from a physically, mentally, and emotionally abusive step-mother seemed most pronounced in him, although the girls were obviously damaged as well. It took Steph and me a good year of tender and consistent parenting to reverse the adverse affects of three years of that woman's abuse upon all three of them. In Nathan, the abuse revealed itself in numerous ways--he was clingy, cried easily, was unable to concentrate for long periods of time, he was insecure, moody, and lacked confidence. He also suffered from stress induced anemia, a chronic condition of chapped lips brought on by a nervous compulsion to lick them, and chronic fatigue.

Over the last two years all three children have healed and blossomed from insecure and damaged kids, into healthy, happy, beautiful young women and a handsome young man. And although the girls have entered a time in their lives when their needs for their mother are more pronounced, it is Nathan who seems to have grown to the place where his needs for constant fathering outweigh his needs for constant mothering. His father, having divorced the woman who abused Nathan and his sisters, now lives in Wichita, Kansas, about 100 miles from here.
So today marks another transition in my life. My son is moving out to spend the last four years of his childhood with his father. Last night was a little difficult. I went up to Nathan's room to see if he was nearly done packing, and of course I was met with the usual pig sty. He was indeed nearly finished and I couldn't hold back the tears. As I stood and cried, Nathan gently held me in his arms. (He's over a head taller than me now!) I told him that I understood that this was the best thing for him, that he needed to go and live with his dad right now, but that it was hard. He said he knew it was. I told him that I loved him. He said that he loved me too. I made his favorite for dinner last night--cheeseburger macaroni, (homemade, NOT Hamburger Helper), and then he came in our room and cuddled up to me on the bed watched a movie with me and talked with Steph and me. He will leave with his father late this afternoon, after I get off of work.
I know this is the best thing, but I can't help but be a little sad.

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