In my on-going reminiscence, here is another blog I wrote two falls ago while Micah was “on the lamb!”
So, we found my son after a month’s absence. In his words he was having “The time of his life!” He’d first lived on the streets of NYC with the starving artists, and then joined the Occupy movement in NYC and D.C. By the time we found him he was quite an internet celebrity having been on Michael Moore’s website, NPR and US News and World Report for being an AWOL solider against the war. He did try to turn himself in, twice. But once it was after hours and the base sentries told him to come back in the morning. Then he tried the next day and it was Columbus Day so they said, “Come back tomorrow.” But he didn’t come back tomorrow. A lawyer told him that being sent away gave him 30 more days AWOL. We don’t know if that’s true.
Many people find him an inspiration and call him a hero. As a mother, I think it’s an easy thing for them to say to him because they are not the ones that will have to go to jail, he is.
I used to do the MOPS circuit, speaking at Mothers of Preschooler groups all over town. One of my favorite talks was the parenting talk in which I held out my hand as an upturned fist. I said that parenting was an art form. When the child was first born you held it tightly in your hand. As it grew it would begin to push against your hand (around two when he or she started saying, “NO” with gusto.) And slowly, your hand would open, giving more and more space to your growing child until at eighteen your hand would be completely open and they would walk out into the world.
Inspirational eh? Both my kids did that, my daughter went off to college, my son joined the army. The problem with this scenario was in thinking that if I got them safely to eighteen, my job was done. What I’ve since learned is that kids can make choices in their twenties that affect their lives forever! My friend has a son who recently took up bull riding. He’s broken the same arm twice but just loves the sport. Meanwhile her hair is turning gray. I have another whose son is moving to the most dangerous city in Mexico. Yikes! And then there’s mine, my daughter who went to Burning Man and came home married and the conscientious objector. No one ever prepared us for this part of parenting. How did Mary feel when Jesus headed for the cross? How did Elizabeth feel when John was off eating Locusts and honey in the desert? And what about poor Mama King, when Martin was getting beaten, jailed and bombed. Forget diapers, dating and driving, how do we parent through the twenties?
I’m trying to learn to let go, to trust God, and to love without condition. That’s my goal anyway. I’ll take any advice though. I’m new at this.