LEAVE ME ALONE: A Deeper Dive.
Updated: Jun 7
At a family gathering, my conversationally limited son boldly said words that he had never said to me before: “Leave Me Alone.”
My ears are still stinging.
For the past few years, we have been working with him to develop better independent skills. Keying in on cooking, safety, and communication, we have been trying to prepare him for success in the future.
After his recent comment, I am realizing that the future may be now.
Together my husband and I have 5 children. Those “children” are all adults now. That beautiful chaos that once screamed through the house and scribbled page after page on our family calendar has gradually faded. I can hear the clock tick now, the dog is bored, and the refrigerator currently has a half gallon of milk in the back with a date from 2 weeks ago. (That’s conservative. It’s probably more, but no one here cares.)
I’m not the only one who thinks about the 4 milk drinkers who have taken a thriving flight into the world. There is, yet, another lingering here who has noticed. The oldest of them all. Though he cannot yet say it, he seems to have a quiet understanding of their absence. Though he was never a fan of their mayhem, he was a fan of their camaraderie.
If you have ever watched “Little Women,” (the best one with Winona Ryder as Jo) you might recall the heartbreaking scene in which Beth is failing. I cry like a baby every time, and probably more so since my sister died a few years ago. On her sickbed, we see Beth weakly reminisce about her sisters leaving to go do amazing things in the world without her. With some of her last breaths, she shares:
“I love being home, but I don’t like being left behind.”
No one likes to be left behind. This includes our kids who require more care. This includes our kids who will need extra support in the future. This includes my son.
With one resounding statement, with his OWN words, he has awakened this mama-heart.
Frankly, we have been investigating options for him. I don’t like ANY of them. But it seems as though we need to press into digging deeper, sooner rather than later.
My heart is getting rope burns from this tightly held and emotional "tug of war." Inching my son out into the world more and more is so difficult.
If you follow Carrie Cariello, you may have seen her post about her son falling prey to scammers while he was away at college. The what-ifs are endless, even for a well-prepared child. Those what-ifs are endless, even for a highly communicative child. We are neither
I try to give myself grace by saying that we have been taking steps toward independence, but I’m feeling his pull intensifying. He’s trying to feel his way forward.
This is one of the hardest things that I will ever have to do and I’m not quite sure where to start. Yet, simultaneously, I know the best place to start:
“If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get His help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way…” James 1:5-8a The Message
*Feel free to check out, “Leave Me Alone,” on my Instagram account @jjlevawriter.