It ended so fast. Yet it took so long to raise him. In one swift kick, my son ceased to exist on earth and my purpose as a parent was yanked from under my feet.
I couldn’t help but reflect on all those nights we stayed up with Charles when he couldn’t sleep, the plays I went to, the costumes I sewed, the carpools full of boys I toted to baseball practice, the noses I wiped, the fevers I treated.
I endured fart jokes, loud gaming sleepovers, and copious amounts of Axe body spray in middle school.
I invested everything in my children’s lives. Time, love, money, worry, heartache and joy.
Raising a child takes work. Raising Charles took more work than the average kid. I thought there would be a reward. For me, that meant seeing him thrive, maybe get married or have a family of his own.
That question, “What will he be when he grows up?” played in my head so many times over the years. I was so curious because he was so fascinating and frustrating at the same time. He was unusual, creative, funny, and enormously popular. I was proud of his creative genius and I was sure he’d be famous one day. He was sure he’d be famous one day.
But the premonitions of his future were always fuzzy and milky and I struggled to see him as an adult.
When that phrase “Your son Charles has been found…” replays in my head, I can’t help but think about all the love and hard work that went into raising him. And I feel selfish for even thinking that way but I can’t help but dig into that life and reflect.
I’ve been thinking about this phrase today because two moms I know just got the news I got on June 5, 2015. And I ache for them.