|Cameron 18 yrs old and Me|
I am a mum to two children and it didn't feel right to say I was Cameron's carer when I was mothering him and nurturing him just like any other mother does for their child. I am his mother. I haven't done anything for Cameron that I wouldn't do for My Little Angel so carer didn't feel appropriate. I know other parents feel differently but this is how I felt and still do.
However this year has been different. It's been very emotional for me and the realization has built up. When school finished last year we slipped into the summer holidays just like we always had so everything felt normal. Then we got to the day before school started for this year and it hit me - Cameron is no longer a child, he's an adult, he's not going to school tomorrow and from now on it's mostly just him and me. I didn't want that day to end and tried really hard to make it last as long as possible. I was very teary.
As the weeks have passed I've adapted to Cameron's new routine, his new carers, his new activities and all that these things have brought with them. But one feeling has kept growing and growing - this is for the rest of my life. I'm living my own version of Groundhog Day. This can't be right.
Just in the last week I've been able to make sense of my own feelings and I can finally put them into words. - This is wrong. I shouldn't be dressing my son, cleaning his bottom, holding his hand, changing his wet bed, taking him to dancing, etc, etc. I should be worrying about him driving on the roads, I should be questioning his choices, I should be wondering where he is and if he is drinking. He should be at Uni or Tafe or enjoying the joys of earning his first wages in his first job. He should be spreading his wings, tasting independence and planning his future. This is all wrong.
I will always be Cameron's mother but reality is that I am now his carer. I am taking care of his personal needs, his physical needs, his emotional needs, his social needs, his daily needs, his intellectual needs and his happiness needs and I will be doing this until I can do it no more. Of course My Marvellous Man is going to be doing this all as well but I am the one at home each day with Cameron.
I don't begrudge him my commitment but I wish it wasn't so. I wish I was worrying about him at 2am because he wasn't home yet. I wish I was raising my eyebrows at the decisions and choices he was making. I wish I was having deep and meaningful conversations with him about the dangers of drinking and driving, drugs and unprotected sex, his future plans. I even wish I was arguing with him. I just wish it was different and not how it is. I'm sad and I'm depressed and I feel cheated.
It doesn't mean that good things aren't happening. I am delighted with how his therapy is going, I'm delighted with what's happening at dancing. I'm delighted that he is putting his lips on my cheek and saying mmmmmmm. I'm delighted that he is happy with his carers. But I can't deny my feelings and it's going to take a while to work through them and come to peace with them but I think the hardest part has been achieved. I've figured out why I am feeling so lost and emotional and now it's time to work out how to make this work so we both have a happy future.