Tough Love and Its Rewards

I am one happy momma bear.   It’s been a long and bumpy couple years for my son.  Through it all I’ve been on the side lines, cheering, supporting, admonishing, setting boundaries, drawing lines in the sand, encouraging, worrying, resigning myself, throwing in the towel, being hopeful, ecstatic, letting go and letting God, picking it up again.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

It’s tough for the millennials/failure to launch generation.  Work can sometimes be scarce and the cost of living is not what it used to be.  Now more than ever, kids are either living at home past the age of 21 or returning to the nest after a failed attempt at going it solo.

Although raising him as a single parent was not easy and money was sometimes very tight, encouragement was always abundant.  Post secondary education was expected of him.  It took him a while, but he finally went back to school after getting a taste of what working for peanuts is like vs the cost of living.

This past November, the prodigal returned home.  He and his long time love decided to call it quits.  He was not working regular hours because he was finishing up trade school, was miserable in a relationship that according to him, was going nowhere.

He moved in with her and her folks two years ago on the heels of an argument with me.  I was livid.  I felt this was just running away from problems, but sometimes you’ve got to let your kids make their own choices.  Add the fact that they are adults to the mix and you’ve just officially made it to the “mind your own business and bite your tongue” club.

So, when he asked to come back home, what could I do?  Yes, I had taken a smaller apartment to accommodate just me , but it does have a second bedroom.  Yes, it could have been easy for me to say “I told you so”, but I didn’t.  Did it put a cramp on my living space? Absolutely.  Do I remember what it was like when I was kicked out at the tender age of 18 and literally lived hand to mouth.  Yup.  Will never forget that.

That’s why my door has always and will always be open to him, no matter how miserable he has been in the past.  No matter how miserable he might be occasionally. Family is family.   I just want him to have a good start in life.

That start seems to have finally made an appearance.  I’m so happy to say that he is now working at one of Montreal’s largest and well known firms for masonry and restoration.  He’s cutting his teeth with them for a guarantee of 150 hours, is unioned up, and loving what he does.

I think I can finally exhale.  Here’s a pic of my one and only pride and joy.  He’s had to shave off his beloved beard for work.  Didn’t even complain about it once.

No beard!

He’s been freaking handful, especially as a teen, but he’s turning out to be a fine young man.  My momma’s heart is so proud and grateful.

What are your thoughts?  Have you had a difficult child or family member in your life?  Have you seen a 360 turn around in them?

PS – if he knew I’d posted his pic, he’d flip, so shhhh!


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