There is no greater affection than that of an investment that pays off over and over again.  It’s the gift that keeps on giving. 

For most of my son’s 23 years, I have been a single parent.  I watched over and protected him like a mother bear protecting her cub.  At any given time, I would have taken a bullet for him.   Some have accused me of spoiling him, while others have accused me of being ridiculously strict.  We parent as we see fit, no matter what anyone says.  It’s a learning process for everyone.  The fondest and most heartfelt memories of my life (even before he was born) all involve him.

Last night, during dinner, my son gave me details of an opportunity he’s being recruited for at work.  As he recapped the days’ conversations with his Manager and Director, I couldn’t help but notice the confidence in his voice and the pride on his face.  His first “real” job after college graduation, only being there for a tad over 9 months, he feels good that he’s being recognized for his skills.    This position is sought out by thousands in the company, with only about 10 – 15 positions offered out.  Whether he gets it or not, the fact that he is singled out and recruited is a huge confidence builder.  He went on to give me the specifics he had about the opportunity.  I almost felt like he was looking for a reaction when he told me he’d have to relocate for three years.  All he knows is he wouldn’t be leaving the country, but the company training program for this job requires the candidate to work at different facilities, training under different top-level management, for a period of three years.  It was a pivotal moment and I knew it.  One wrong word, or wrong body language sign would leave him torn and weigh heavy on his decision, should he be offered the job.  I got up to bring my dish to the sink, just to break the awkwardness, and to give myself a minute away from his stare.  It was at that moment I realized my boy was a full-grown, able-bodied, intelligent and independent man.   Other than his 4 years at college, he’s never lived away from home.  I remember how depressed I was when he left for college.  It was a right-of-passage for both of us.

I turned to him and told him this was a fantastic opportunity that only a chosen few get.  Clearly he had the attention of upper management, and since he was debt free and unmarried, I told him I thought he should absolutely take advantage of it.  He may be surprised and end up somewhere close by in a neighboring state where he could drive home on weekends, or something.  I know he’d want to come home as often as he could because he has the most wonderful girlfriend (we all love her!) that he’d miss terribly.  I then told him this would be a good test of the heart.  Being divorced twice, I try not to give relationship advice.  I mean really… I wouldn’t even listen to me.  But I did say I thought his girl would be supportive and understanding.  After all, this is a perfect time in his life to take on something like this, and it would only enhance his future.  I knew his head was reeling in a thousand different directions.  His hard work is starting to pay off with options in front of him.  As he morphs from boy to man, I couldn’t help feeling proud of him and for him.

When everything else in my life fails, I selfishly take pride in all of my hard work, sacrifice, love and attention I’ve spent nurturing my boy.  He is, by far, my greatest accomplishment…