There is much I could muse on this Monday Morning. Our experience in the natural beauty of the mountains, the wonderful visit from family, perhaps the overwhelming task of unpacking our shipment from India.
Yet in the midst of, well, life really, we were recently compelled to make a vital decision; a decision which Bruce and I just knew in our hearts was right.
Let me back up.
In Monday Morning Emails, Jo and I were honest about the challenges that our children have experienced. Often, the messages sent to us privately ask, ‘How are the ‘kids?’ In truth, they are young adults, and we both knew it was important to share their journey of depression/anxiety and struggles with identity. Why? With the hope it might help other families experiencing similar issues and as a parent, you are never truly at ease until your children are well.
My story in MME began with our middle son, Matt. His struggle echoes other millennials and both Jo and I have friends who also have a twenty-something searching to ‘find their life’.
Matt’s situation brought him to India where he lived with us for a year. Not permitted to work, he instead volunteered and, living in the family home for the first time since he was sixteen (boarding school), he gained confidence and gradually healed.
When we left India, Matt, after a stint of travelling, chose to make a start in Vancouver. ‘Van’ is where our youngest son studies at UBC and on our return to Canada a month ago, we all shared a week together filled with encouraging conversations. It gave us hope that Matt could confidently embark on this next stage of his life. Yet when his bid to re-enter university was unsuccessful, his job-search burdened, and his expensive sublet room amidst strangers stifling, he became overwhelmed.
Back home in Kimberley, Bruce and I sensed that he was struggling and when communication became infrequent, we knew that indecisiveness and loneliness were his worst enemy.
We were certain. We needed to bring him home, there were just too many steps for him to achieve on his own.
We rationalized that there is a college only thirty minutes away, that he can easily work part-time and that there are many engaged young people in this close-knit community. It didn’t have to be forever, we agreed, but this is a good place to build a foundation.
“He needs support and structure,” I told Bruce, “he needs our love.”
During a telephone call, we put our proposal to Matt and immediately sensed his relief.
“I just don’t know if I can do it on my own, without you two,” he admitted. But he also voiced fear that this would feel like failure.
“Remember that message I gave to your brother when he was at his lowest point,” I reassured him. “‘Don’t look back, you’re not going that way’. That will be you Matt… it’s alright, we’re here.”
And so, he is home. He’s already enrolled in college. He’s happy. He’s starting the next chapter of his life. And I am so very thankful, we’re here…
7 thoughts on “Monday Morning Musings #10 – When You Know to Offer Them… Home”
It feels so good to hear Matt is there with you both..,he will flourish being home …..watching him become who he really is….
It is also so very good to have you and Bruce as his parents who support listen and encourage him as he steps out….xx
Thank you Carol, being a parent is often trusting your instincts and we really felt it was right in the this case. Of course there is always the guilt for us that he doesn’t have a home town to return to so let’s hope Kimberley becomes that for him! x
Providing the safety of a home sanctuary for a while is a wonderful gift to a family member. Time to find feet back on the earth, a calmer mind and in time a path to follow. I know from experience – both ways as a ‘child’ and a parent.
I really appreciate that you have that prospective from both a child and a parent; ‘sanctuary’ certainly is an appropriate word. It seems the least that we can do and my fervent wish is he finds his path and maybe, just maybe he’ll finally have a home town.
I sense a calm and more than a little relief to this MMM and can now breathe out. Yes, our private messages to each other were rarely without queries about each other’s offspring and yes, I already knew about this situation before the Internet because we are still writing Monday Morning Emails! May Matt heal in the mountains and may his presence bring you and Bruce the grounding you need right now. You are all three of you in transition.
True Jo and I was also referring to how many other people who have read MME, want to know how the kids are doing. There is an empathy parents seem to have and I as I wrote in the book, ‘be very thankful if your kids are well’. I am very thankful that Luke and Andrew are, and you are right in saying that Matt’s presence can help ground Bruce and I as well. I am having my good and ‘bad’ days still… transition indeed.
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