Our youngest son Alexi is leaving to New York this summer to attend culinary school, yeah I never saw that coming either, the kid who would starve, because there was nothing ready made!
While as a mom of the heart, I feel a sense of sadness to see our baby go out the door and into the real, big wide world, the adventurer in me kind of wishes I could tag along.
When Alexi was growing up he struggled with school work at times and he struggled with trying to fit in and doing the right thing.
This struggle even resulted in Alexi putting his needs and feelings behind the desires of others. He was the perennial peace keeper and just wanted everyone happy, even at the expense of his own well being. Alexi struggled at times and made mistakes and some were kind of bone-headed, but he somehow forged ahead.
Some time during his sophomore/Junior year Alexi, discovered Alexi. Not the Alexi I wanted, or his dad wanted, or his team mates wanted, but the Alexi that did what was right for Alexi and stuck to his beliefs.
I was so proud of the fact that he could go the path less traveled, quietly doing his bit to help the world, further his learning and understanding of life.
I know at times because of me being gone so much during his last year and half of high school, due to our daughter-in-law's illness, he might have felt that we did not notice his path.
That's the funny thing about being a parent, just because we are not holding you up while you walk, or pushing the stroller to keep you going, we are still there.
I was there in spirit when he received his MVP award even though I was 600 miles away. I was besides him when he, along with his art class, painted a mural at the homeless shelter.
I was with him in thought at the soup kitchens, and various non profits he volunteered to work in, during school vacations.
I am even more proud of where he is going, off to a new exciting city, to follow his dream. I am even more pleased because he did this on his own.
Alexi was true to Alexi by picking the school, looking for his own housing and never refusing to give up even when challenges arose.
What Alexi might not know is that as his mom from the heart I will be there on his first day of class, I will be there when he is alone in his new little apartment for the first time, I will be there when he ventures off into that big city to discover new people, places and adventures.
I would have loved the opportunity to have lived in a big city when I was a young adult, but I chose a different path.
Now as a parent I have the unbelievable opportunity to live it through Alexi's eyes!
I get to share in his joys, triumphs, disappontments and courage.
So even though soon, there will be none left at home, I am so blessed to have been given the chance to be Alexi's mom of the heart and most of all I am even more blessed because Alexi let me in, and made room for me in his heart, and as such I will always be with him no matter how far he roams.
Ahhh, can we hope for paris, or Italy next??
Wait can I be your official food taster?? Yum Yum!!