When Bailey ventured into the workforce, I had no idea how the landscape would look. Yes, he works at a local high school where my youngest attends. Yes, I know a lot of people there and he occupies a safe environment. But, the first Christmas party he attended with his coworkers two years ago, had me a little off balance. You see, I didn’t know how a mother fit into the life of a twenty-something young adult with Down syndrome.
History shows that I occasionally hover. Unsure of what I am suppose to do or how involved I need to be. When I dropped him off the first year to celebrate the holidays with his coworkers, I went in to “check it out”. I texted his boss during the party to inquire how he was doing. I worried that he would leave the building and no one would be aware. Last year, I let him walk in on his own, but I went inside to pick him up. Not sure of my motives, but there was a level of insecurity that resides within me. Both times he was totally in his element. Annoyed that his mother was in the shadows lurking like some lunatic. But, this year, something changed. That something was me.
Yesterday, before his brother dropped him off at his party, I asked him if he had his phone, wallet, and the desserts that he had signed up to bring. I reminded him to text when he was done, so that one of us could pick him up. My level of comfort was at an all time high because I have grown to trust him and the people who have embraced him at his job. At some point, even with him, I need to cut the cord. I can’t be consumed with “what ifs”. I can’t walk through life in a permanent state of fear.
Oh sure, we still have areas to work on before he is able to move out on his own. He will always have me hovering, but maybe, it won’t appear as if I am smothering him. God is showing me that the less I monitor, the more he blooms. It appears that both of us are gaining our wings. Sometimes, I just need a reminder.