My potatoes are teenagers! They’re almost to the top of my garbage can and almost done growing, or are they? It’s hard to say what they’re doing down there under the dirt; I can’t see into that secret world. I have given them a comfortable bed to grow in, nurtured them with water and food, and I have given them room to grow. I’ve done everything I can possibly do to help them turn out well. Pretty soon the dirt will reach the top, and other than occasional help with water and making sure they are in the right spot on the patio, my job will be done. I can only watch and wait to see what they do with all they’ve been given. It’s nerve wracking. I have put a lot of effort, love and hope into growing these potatoes, but in the end, I get no real say in how they turn out. I want them to do well, produce much and maybe make a nice hash.
Ok, so that’s where the metaphor falls apart. I really don’t want my kid to make a nice hash, but you can see where I’m going with this. My youngest is four. We’re still in the posting-on-Facebook-every-cute-thing-my-kid-says phase with him. The eldest is 15 and in the same phase as my potatoes. In three short years, he graduates high school. Wow! That blows my mind. I want him to go to college. I want him to have a good career. I want him to have a happy life. I want so much for him and I have put a lot of love, effort and hope towards that end. The next step, however, is completely up to him. The only thing I get to do is sit back, watch and give the occasional needed input.
I’ve heard it said that the hardest part of raising children is that if you’re doing it right, you’re raising them not to need you any more. He’ll always need me in his life, I hope, for the love I give him and for that precious mother-son relationship. He might even come to me for advice every now and then. But, if I’ve done my job right, he won’t need me making his decisions and directing all his paths. I sure hope I’ve done my job right.