TODAY I MADE A DIFFERENCE
I had a phone call today from a young woman I admire greatly. She is a mother in a loving and happy marriage, living a busy and productive life, with a large circle of friends. She is highly respected in our community, and runs a very successful company.
She rang because she is worried about her soon to be 18 year old son, in his last year of high school. I have known this boy since he was maybe three years old who always delighted me with his humour and confidence. Now, he is doing what lots of teenage boys do when they are ‘finding out who they are’, and his parents are naturally very worried about him.
I could hear her concern that she has done ‘something wrong’ as a mother, and her “what if’s?” and “if only’s”. I could hear her anguish, her downright fear that he may ‘do something rash’ as teenage boys can do, which must be the ultimate fear of every parent. I could hear her confusion and all the questions around “What do we do?” I don’t know that I said a great deal of anything she didn’t know already, but as our call progressed, I could feel her relief at her ability to offload some of her doubts and thoughts and fears. How reassured she was to hear that my own, now grown son, did all of the things she was describing to me, and my son ‘turned out’. We all need someone to talk to, someone we can trust, someone who will reassure us that what we feel is normal, someone who will honour what we have said and hold it in a safe place. Someone who will not dramatise or lecture or minimise, or try to offer a solution - but simply Be There. I listened, and I think that is the greatest gift we can give anyone who is in a challenging situation.
She thanked me so beautifully and said “I called you because I value your professional opinion, and because you are a mother of a son. But I called you mostly because I think you are the wisest person I know in our community, and I knew you would help. I feel better already. Thank you so much.”