Letter to a teenage son

Letter to a teenage son

It's the open door to your room to remind me that you're not there. It is always wide open when you leave, and always closed when you come back. At the beginning, but I couldn't even say when it started, I experienced it as an exclusion, and I was sorry, I confess. Now, it's not that I like being left outside, but I think I understood that it wouldn't even be right to go inside, unless you want to, and let's say it doesn't happen often.

The door that closes marks the end of a path, the beginning of a new one, and I'm learning that at this point accompanying you means no longer holding your hand, but following you beyond the intertwined fingers, out of the reflection of our shadows, maybe even beyond the gaze, but never far from the heart.

I don't like it when we quarrel, I don't like it when we raise our voices; but you know, I would really like not to give up being a mother. I try to understand your reasons, to respect your positions, but I realize how difficult it is to transmit values to a person who “as a rule” seems to take rejection as the only one. And this person is you, of course, with your "no, I don't care, but what are you saying, it's ridiculous..."

As your father says, we are your fans, who sing the praises when you score a good shot, and who can also whistle when something is wrong, but it’s only because we love you, because we care about you.

Now, it is good that you know that...

I don't want to stop telling you that you don't have to be late at night for fear of fighting.

I don't want to stop waiting for you, maybe reading or sometimes napping, to say good night, even if it is already daytime.

I don't want to stop repeating you have to tidy up your room, to prevent it from turning irreversibly into the realm of chaos.

I don't want to stop discussing our ideas, apparently so different, to help you recognize and evaluate all the views and their validity.

I don't want to stop telling you that I don't agree with the lyrics of certain songs you listen to, even if it means sacrificing a good dose of my pride at the altar of your pitiless satire on my musical tastes; I try to awaken your critical spirit.

I don't want to stop stealing one of your hugs before leaving, taking you by surprise, perhaps taking advantage of your distraction, because it's beautiful to keep your astonished gaze all day long: a real mix of complacency and annoyance.

I don't want to stop following your steps, even if I know that I have to do it by staying one step further and further, because it's time to fulfill 'that bringing into the world”, which started 15 years ago.

I don't want to stop being a mother, I don't want to stop now, I don't want to stop ever.

I respect your autonomy, and I would like to continue to support it, if you would give me the chance, as I have done since you learned to walk. I don’t like imposing rules that you don't like, it is hard for me -you don't even imagine how much- but I will continue to do so, trying as much as possible to be rigorous and consistent, even at the cost of appearing rigid and inflexible in your eyes.

I know I can't protect you from making mistakes or from suffering, but I wouldn't forgive myself if I dropped an important piece of advice for the sake of avoiding the conflict. The rules are limits, I agree, but also boundaries: they draw criteria, they help to define paths. And I hope that you can realize your life goals, and, while searching for meaning, you find the direction to get to the authentic truth.

I am not perfect, but I try my best. And I know you keep thinking that the problem is that I put too much effort in everything and you see it as unbearable intransigence.

Learn from my limitations, strengthen yourself with my fears, and forgive me if I sometimes insist. I don't want you to depend on me, just as I don't want you to depend on anything else but your decisions, decisions that should be free and responsible.

It's nice to see how determinedly you protect your freedom from any imposition, but I really hope that you can put an even greater passion to defend, from any conditioning trend, the freedom to realize your dreams.

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