Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Letting Go

There are many parenting blogs and a lot of them relate to babes in arms. As much as I love to read about this time in your lives (as it doesn’t feel that long ago my youngest son is now two.) I thought I would like to share some of my feelings towards my eldest son Luke.

Luke will be seventeen in a few weeks time and in many ways I feel I am well practiced at letting go, or at least I’ve made a few steps in the right direction.

One of the biggest steps since starting school, sleeping over at friends or staying with a relative for a few days was that Luke decided he wanted to live with his father full time. Although many people said this must have been really hard for me the truth is, that it wasn’t. Luke would only live a few miles away and I knew that it was what he truly wanted, he had always been so very close to his father and he had found our parting a few years previously difficult. I also knew that he was going where he would be loved and cared for and he could always come home whenever he wanted.

Another step was when Luke started sleeping out. Amongst his friends here in Devon it is popular to ‘camp’ out or party! Again this step felt natural, I was confidant in Luke’s ability to camp sensibly and respect the area in which he used. He had been a member of Woodcraft Folk for many years. Yes there are the dark thoughts of them drinking or dabbling in substances, but again I really believe this is apart of growing up. As long as you are open, give plenty of up to date information and make it clear that it’s OK to contact you and talk about it that hopefully the darkness of this area will not take over.

‘So what part of letting go worries you?’ I hear you ask. Well even though Luke is growing up, he has left school and attends a local college, now he needs a job! When I was feeling strong and positive and I was able to give him an opportunity that would be so very exciting. A chap I knew ran market stalls at the festivals and he needed staff. Luke was to join a team and be paid for his trouble; Luke was overjoyed his first working destination is to be Glastonbury!!
The biggest music festival in the UK, one of the most famous festivals in the world, tickets sell out in hours, the site is as big as a local city, and Luke is on his way.

The good points to this experience, is that it is an amazing experience for a young man who loves music.
He thinks his mum is cool for organising it.
He will be earning money to save for the Apple Mac he needs for his music course.
The likelihood is that he will be able to do this summer work for years to come.
Festivals are wonderful places to be (Luke is no stranger to this environment).

But on the flip is a mother finding hard to let go.
If you have been to festivals, you will know there are always ‘casualties’ and I would hate for Luke to be one of those, having over done it feeling lost and alone.
Working away from your home environment can be hard.
What if rains all the time (this is a high possibility), my mothering instincts to keep him warm, dry and fed are all left at home.
Festivals are where people feel free to act in the extreme, I hope he cope with this on his own.
I hope his boss will look after home well.

Although I am immensely proud of my son and have actively encouraged him to do this to me this is the hardest part of letting go I have experienced yet.

So this time next week Luke will be at Glastonbury festival. I wish him luck and love, I hope he works hard has fun but comes home safe and with stories of adventure.


Deb said...

Charlotte - I was moved while reading this. My best wishes are with you while Luke is away working (and having fun) - and I feel confident he will return to you all the more wiser for the experience.

Letting go and giving our children room to become themselves is such a challenge .... one I hope I am up for as my eldest daughter moves onto high school next year - the next chapter of her journey.

suzanne said...

Hello Charlotte

I know this feeling oh too well..I feel like the only paranoid parent in the World. I think when one takes Mothering so seriously, making everyone happy, safe, warm and secure then we just find it so hard to let go. I hope all goes well. Thanks for visiting my blog and please let me know how your visit to (mowzel) village goes. I really would love to visit England one day so, I am searching for the best spot to stay.

A Happy day to you
Warm regards