If you have ever owned an animal, then you know that it can take up to a year to really get to know them. We have a little dog who is afraid of the dark and won't go potty at night unless you go out with her. During the day she is a wild adventurer. She is a man's dog. She loves to rough house, the rougher the better. She loves to pick fights with our other male dog. She is like the kid in the commercial who almost touches his sister with his index finger while saying over and over, "I'm not touching you." Our little dog just scarcely touches our male dog's tail and I can see her little happy self saying, "I'm not touching you." She loves to cuddle but only to a point and then she's done and wants to go off and have her own space. She is not a morning dog and likes to sleep in longer than anyone else, both man and dog, in the house. She loves it when you call her a "good girl" and will come in as long as you say, "where's my good girl?"
It took time to learn what each of these behaviorrs meant. It took time to be able to tell when she was whining at the door to potty and when she was just wanting to go out and play. It took time for us to trust her and for her to trust us.
I have this new and different son, now. He is a sober evolving young man. It is just so bizarre. I've really only known this addict for the last several years and now there's this stranger. I think that we are strange to him too. I think that he doesn't remember us in the same way either. Hopefully, we are evolving too. I don't know his new mannerisms. I don't know if he's having a hard day. I don't know what his thoughts might be. I know very little about this young man that I gave birth to many years ago. With my daughters, I can read their body language and tone of voice. I find myself looking at him and trying to read him and I really just don't know at all what is going on.
At first, this just scared me to death. I thought his need to separate him self was something personal. Now, I know that he is just working very very hard on himself. Every now and again, I get these glimpses of this new young man and I am so impressed. But, many times, I am just still afraid and am trying to figure things out. You see I haven't totally let go and it will be a hard lesson for me to really learn and practice. But, I"m gonna try and try and try. I am so thankful for these new gifts however small that God is giving us, because deep down, I just know that these little gifts are gonna snowball into something magnificent.
Mother Teresa is one of my favorite christian models. She is a saint already in my eyes and heart. I love her because she was a simple woman with tremendous faith. She used to say that she was God's pencil. She believed that He would write with her what he wished her to be and do. Her faith was so big that she was willing to push many of her superiors and various priests to do what she felt that God was telling her to do. She would be told to be patient and pray and when she would still have those feelings to push forward, she did, no matter who she had to push....all to follow the will of God. She was so courageous in following God's will. I could never have her strength and courage, but if I can just try to take a lesson from her in my life today and let go, let God and see what He writes with my son and his recovery, then maybe I indeed, will see something beautiful for God.
I can't wait to meet my son, each new day, as he becomes the man that God wishes him to be. Each little glimpse into this new person he is becoming is a little seed of faith that makes it easier to let go. This newness is so much better than anything, that I could have "fixed" or dreamed.
I am still afraid every day. I am afraid of relapse always and especially early on, but each day gives me some encouragement too. It's like when you're little and learning to dive off the high dive and you get on the board so high in the air. It feels soooo high. You think of all of the possible problems and they overwhelm you and make you shake to the point that you have to get off. The next day when you get up there you are already aware of the problems but they still scare you. You keep getting back up there and start facing one fear and then the next until you finally you can make a move.
Today, I'm praying for the courage to let go just a little more. I also have a prayer of thanksgiving for his new growth, and the example of Mother Teresa's courage. I pray for my whole family to work on their individual needs so that collectively we can be become a family that is something beautiful for God. And, as always, I will pray for Henry.