Yes, that’s right. I said what I said. I don’t want my son to be proud of me and there is one very specific reason. To explain, I have to start with a story.
I recently felt the calling to return to school as I felt led to go into the field of social work. Specifically, I hope to work as a medical social worker. I want to work with families and help them through things similar to those we went through when my son was born with complications.
I was determined!
I went through the process of applications. I was first accepted by a school, but held out hope I’d be accepted by UT, AND I WAS! It was much to my surprise and a very proud moment. I started the final arrangements; I met with people from the College of Social Work and was preparing to put the non-refundable deposit down. I wrestled with the idea of the high cost and time spent away from my son. Then, I started thinking ahead to after graduation when my job would take me away from him, especially when he is off school in the summers.
Then, as if on cue, life happened, as it always seems to do.
My son began having some problems and new struggles arose. I was riding in the car with my mom telling her how I didn’t think it was the right time for school and through tears said, “I had this vision of me graduating and [my son] being there to watch me, and him being proud of me.” My mom responded with the words that led to my realization. She said, “You do so much for him, he will be proud of you.”
That was the moment in which I realized that I don’t want my son to be proud of me, not if that’s the reason.
As parents, it is our job to take care of our children to the best of our abilities. I love my son and will do whatever I can to give him the best life I can give him — he deserves it. I never want my son to feel guilty for the things I have done for him. I have watched this scenario play out with someone I am close to. I saw a mom tell her grown son, “I am your mom. I have done so much for you, you should…want to spend time with me…do this for me…” I have seen the effect that has on a grown man. It truly bothered him. Why would I want that feeling for my child? I have also seen how that grown man used similar words to his spouse. After she had a hard week with the kids, he would say, “I have worked so hard all week, I don’t know how you’re not happy.” I know that causes hurt and I would never want to see that hurt in my child.
So, I suppose my post title is a bit misleading. Of course I want my son to be proud of me, but I want him to be proud of ME and not feel guilted into feeling pride because I tell him all the things I have done. Even if it never shows as pride, I want my son to know how loved he is and that his mom and dad always tried to give him the best life they could.