Some background you should know...I've caught hell from my family for how I've raised Jake since he was born. From not vaccinating (he is now, so spare me the silly emails), to unschooling and then homeschooling, to teaching him to not base his choice of who he loves on a set of genitalia, but rather on a person who treats him like he's the best thing ever and who makes him laugh, feel special and feel safe and who inspires him to feel the same....yeah, I've caught a lot of flack. But, the fact is, I knew early on he was different. No, not brighter or "gifted", I've never been one of *those moms because every kid is bright or gifted in their own way...no, I've just chosen to embrace his oddities instead of trying to pretend they don't exist. He's 20 now, and I'd not change a bit of that. I won't ever have a kid with some big title or retirement plan, but I've got a kid who knows he's free to dream as long as he works hard to make those dreams real and you know what? I'm happy with that.
Tonight, this morning, whatever you want to call it, at this very moment, Jake is at the Vampire Ball, performing his original music. He's been swarmed by fans (lol, albeit it probably less than 100), had many photos taken and is signing autographs. He's living his dream, even in small form. Would I love him to go to college or do something to further his education someday? Of course I would, but not now. Not at the sacrifice of what he's having tonight. There's time for that later but this? Won't wait. How many of us can really, honestly, say we've lived the dream we had at his age? I can't. My parents insisted I be more practical and I gave up my dreams but swore to myself I'd never do that to my kids. "They" say we always want better for our kids than we had and I do...I want him to have nights like tonight and am so very, very proud of him that he's worked hard enough to have even this much.
Someday, when he's older and has more responsibilities in life, I hope he can look back on tonight and feel good about himself. I hope he can not have resentment toward me or what he feels he could have been, had he just had the support. I hope the rest of our family can someday, somehow, realize that for *him, I'm doing the right thing in not forcing college or (God help me, *never) the military on him. I want him more for Jake; I want him to have no regrets. I want him to live his dream.
Lol, he looks scary tonight, hmmm? This is not the kid in blue velour pajama pants I usually have running around the house drinking apple cider vinegar in apple juice because he's read it's healthy, playing with the cats and watching Dancing With The Stars with me (he's rooting for David Arquette)...looks can certainly be deceiving, can't they? Yet, it is the same person. I hope people read this, see him, and realize that.
I'm so, so proud of him right now. Always. And I have no regrets about how I've raised him, even if it's hasn't been "normal" and even if he's not what's considered to be "normal". More power to us both for flipping off "normal" and being *real. And mostly, let's just hope he keeps an eye on his drinks tonight. Argh!
** Edited this morning to add: Welllllp, he learned a harsh lesson about following dreams last night. After all that, the venue had scheduling issues and several performers, Jake being one, didn't get to perform. He's so upset and I am for him, but it's still a good lesson. He might even appreciate what he *did get to experience in, oh, 20 years. ;-) **