Dear Ask Ashlee,
I am sure you’re aware that it is graduation season and some of us parents are not ok. I am one of them! My eldest son is leaving the nest and just like any parent I am full of excitement and mixed emotions. Recently, I have been paralyzed with fear because my son just told me that he is not going to the college we both agreed on, but instead he has chosen to go somewhere about 12 hours away! I want my son to have so many experiences, but I want him to do it safely and somewhere close enough that I can get to him without question. Like you, I am the mother of a black son and we all know that brings its own set of problems and worry. I am not trying to be overbearing but that is my baby and I just don’t want to let go too much and it hurts him more than it helps him.
Dear Good Mom,
So here’s the thing, allowing him to fail forward in life is always going to help him, because he will have the chance to learn what not to do when you aren’t there to save the day and pick up the pieces. I won’t lie to you and pretend like it is going to be easy because it is not, but you both will grow from this experience together. My advice would be to keep some sort of emergency fund stash so that you are always one call, one flight, one uber drive from the airport away and will be there when he needs you. As our children grow into adults, we have to trust the lessons we have taught them and pray about everything else. His independence as a young man will continue to grow and flourish; focus on being more positive and guide him along the path he has chosen for himself. If you feed into your worry and fear, it will drive you insane. I hope this helps!
Love & Light,