Friday, December 05, 2014

It's not worth it.

Many people ask me, "How do you do it?"

How do you let your son go off like that?

Let me remind you, my son was in the IDF for 5 years.
I learned not to ask questions that I knew he couldn't answer. Wouldn't answer.
If I wanted him to speak to me about anything, I needed to learn to accept that he would tell me things when he wanted, and not make a big deal, otherwise, he wouldn't tell me a thing.
Which he basically didn't!

Let me also remind you, my son is now a 25-year-old man. He has his own money and can go and do whatever and wherever he wants.
While he was a soldier, I learned how to let go.

It wasn't worth it not to.

While DB was in the IDF, my mother always told me that having a son in the army would prepare me for being a mother-in-law. She said, "You can have an opinion, but who cares. You can want him to come home. But too bad. You can want him to tell you what is going on in his life, but he probably won't."

So I learned, it's not worth it to get upset, or worry. Just to accept the new normal.

I trained myself to know what questions to ask. And not react to his answers.

If I want him to tell me things, it's not worth having a strong reaction.
I nod.
I say, "Okay."
I ask another basic question. And I take his answer as if it's normal.

So when he told me he hitch-hiked from Honduros to Nicargua, with an ex-drug dealer. And then stayed in his house for a night or two.
I nodded.
I said, "Okay."
And I took that as if it was normal.

When he told me he's been traveling with a 20-something year old Austrian girl and sharing a room in the hostel with her.
I nodded.
I said, "Okay."
And I jokingly asked when the last time he took a shower was?!

And when he told me he went scuba diving in Belize with sharks. And he was so close he could have kissed the shark.
I nodded.
I said, "Okay, cool."
And asked if he saw any pretty fish?

So, you see, it's not worth getting upset, or disciplining him, or criticizing, or begging him to just come home! He's on an important journey in his life.

As I see it, I have two choices: Either worry and be nervous about him and the things he is doing. And spend my days wishing he was home.
Or let him go. And accept that he is not coming home anytime too soon. He is having the time of his life. He is consciously not living by any rules but the ones he has decided to put upon himself. He is experiencing things that most of us only dream about.

And frankly, I'm envious as hell!!

So that's how I do it.
I just do it.


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