This fall, my son will turn 16 and be a junior in high school. Lately, I’ve really started to think about how time is nearly up with him. I couldn’t be prouder of him; he has exceeded all my expectations and desires for his life, allowing me to bask in the privilege of being his mother.

But I have a secret fear, the type only a mother can feel: is he really ready? Have I don’t enough to prepare him for the world?

With only two years until he is an official adult, I have come to realize that I have to let go a little more. I have to trust that I raised the boy to be the man God intends him to be. If I never let him fall down, test the limits, and make mistakes, I am failing him, because how else will he learn?

This man child I have grown to respect and see on a different level is not my little boy anymore. He has ideas and opinions of his own. Actually, one of my favorite things about him growing up is being able to have intellectual conversations with him. Truth be told, sometimes I think he is wiser than many other adults I know. I gave him the guidance and tools to be a productive member of society and he proves himself daily, so it is me who runs the risk of holding him back if I unnecessarily place my fear and doubts on him. 

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Our time being up does not mean that I don’t get to continue to guide or parent him; it means I need to have faith in how I raised him.

He has established himself as his own person. His actions and many of his decisions are his own and I am not able to control every aspect of his life.

As a toddler, he was dependent on me for nearly all things, but that is not the case anymore.

He needs me a little less each day, and that is exactly how it’s meant to be.  

He will always be my baby and I am forever his mama, but it’s time to realize God has plans for him that do not include me.

My oldest hears the calling for his own life, and I hear the call of my youngest to raise him up in the same footsteps. I will go forth and cling to the verse in Proverbs 22:6—Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

Autumn Brooke

I am a single mother of 4 wildly wonderful sons and an aspiring novelist. Growing up a military brat and spending several years as an active duty member myself, I developed a passion for travel, coffee, wine and chocolate which often come to play in many of my writings.