My oldest son has been struggling with his relationship with his girlfriend lately.
He told me they never seem happy anymore and that they always seem to be miserable around eachother. Gone are the days of having great conversation and cuddling time.
They just celebrated their one year anniversary and I know in his heart he wants this relationship to last forever. He really really loves this girl with his whole heart.
That's just the kind of guy he is. The kind that would do anything for you, love you to pieces and fall apart every time something goes wrong. He's also the kind of guy that will beat himself up for not being happy or being able to make someone else happy.
So yesterday the day began with a little pep talk in the kitchen over a nice long hug. He was distraught thinking this girl was going to give up on him and wasn't sure how he was going to get through the pain of that loss.
The mother in me doesn't want to see him hurting. The realist in me wants him to learn now (instead of later) that all of the happiness in the world depends on whether or not he wants to feel it and accept it as his to have and experience. Not on someone else's acceptance or rejection of him.
So we talked about the choices he could make, the choices he is currently faced with and which choice will potentially take him down which path. We talked about how every relationship is a chance to learn something about our capacity to love and accept others and more importantly our capacity to love and accept ourselves.
And as I'm sure it is with every mother of teenage children, I never know if my words are heard or if I'm simply putting a band aid on the situation to get him through another day.
He confirmed for me last night that my words were in fact heard. And not only that, they were felt as well.
He welcomed me after school with a big hug and a thank you.
When I questioned the "Thank you" part (since I hadn't made him his favourite meal...yet!) he said "you helped me so much this morning. You know when you hear something that your ready to hear and it just clicks? Well, when you told me about my choices I thought about it all the way to school and something inside of me just clicked. I get it, I get that I am in charge of my feelings, not someone else, and I can be happy even when things aren't going the way I want them to go because it feels better than not sleeping and not feeling good".
I couldn't stop hugging that boy. I didn't want to let him go, I don't want to let him go and grow up.
He is though without even thinking he is turning into a very very wise young man.
Something my heart always knew would happen.