Today marks the first year that Aaron has not started school since he was 4 years old. I asked him if he was upset, depressed, or sad about it. He does what Aaron does: looked down, looked back up in deep thought, then looked back at me and replied, "I'm a little sad." My heart ached for him, but I hid it. We talked about what's next for him, his journey of full time employment. As in all Spectrum affairs, it will not be easy, but we have come to expect it and roll with the punches.
This summer's experiences have had me more reflective than usual. What did I miss? How did I not see he needed more or less of SOMETHING? What could I have done differently to help him? How much have I enabled him? I asked these questions of myself because deep down, I blame myself and no one else. I think I pushed and enabled Aaron at the same time, creating a perfect storm of sorts.
So now, Aaron starts a new leg of his journey, with us in tow. I'm learning to back off more, let him make the mistakes that young adults make, and help only when asked. I realize after all these years of planning and fighting that's it's time for me to stop. Part of me doesn't want to; fighting for Aaron is all I know. But the other part of me knows that in order for him to mature and be the man God wants him the be, I have to fade into the background.
What will I do with myself? I need not worry. I have a very active 14 year old that's keeping us busy.