Becoming a mother was the most beautiful and perfect day of my life – all three times. Motherhood is my calling and I cannot imagine my life any other way. My greatest joys have come from my children.
And my greatest worries.
I was blessed with very healthy kids. They’re also incredibly clever – which may sound great but is in fact a two-edged sword. Gifted children need as much support as those who struggle but this is rarely recognised in schools. Or anywhere in the community. They are expected to coast through, mastering academics with ease but never learning essential lifelong skills of resilience, hard work and dedication. And gifted children who are particularly sensitive in nature, can feel ostracised and bullied by their obvious differences.
This has been the case for my highly sensitive, highly curious, academically gifted son. He always learned lessons the hard way, and combined with inheriting his father’s risk-taking personality, now finds himself on the wrong side of the law.
It pains me to say that. I feel judged – even though it’s not about me. I didn’t make poor choices, and I don’t support or encourage those choices. None-the-less, there are those who would judge me and my family. There are those who would say ‘throw away the key!’ without knowing a single thing about him. Without understanding why he exercised such poor judgment, or considering the most amazing amount of talent and passion he has to offer. He is a young man who made an idiotic mistake and spent the past year learning the consequences of trying to fit in with friends who aren’t there when the going gets tough.
These are tough lessons at any age. These are tough lessons to learn when your entire future hangs in the balance.
Today the court appearance was adjourned. Again. It wasn’t until I was told about the adjournment I realised how incredibly anxious I am. My heart keeps pounding, my eating disorder is out of control, I’m avoiding people, I’m constantly burying myself in anything to avoid listening to my thoughts. I have incessant thoughts about self-harm and suicide (I’m totally safe – they’re just thoughts!) I KNOW this isn’t about me, but I want it done so we can all move on! I see my beautiful boy putting on a brave face and pretending he doesn’t feel stressed, when I know he is. Every ounce of me intuitively understands every ounce of him – I am his mother. I know he wants this behind him. He wants to know the outcome, accept it, deal with it, move on. I want to know the outcome, accept it, deal with it, and move on.
Patience is not my virtue. It never has been. I have endless patience for other people – but none for myself or things that impact me. Limbo is a special kind of hell. And now the limbo continues.
It is so easy to be proud of children when they do the right thing. So easy to feel proud of things that have nothing to do with me – intelligence, personality, looks, achievements. It is so hard to deal with the consequences of youthful inquisitiveness. Perhaps we will look back upon this time and be eternally grateful for the intervention of the law – that taught him lessons the hard way. Which is how he has always learned. And he DOES learn. He may make stupid decisions, but he is not stupid. Clever and capable and curious. Young and impressionable. He will learn the lessons. He has learned the lessons. Curiosity caught my kid, and the consequences are unknown. The anxiety is overwhelming. For both of us.