Image by Vivadança Festival Internacional Ano 5 via Creative Commons License
I’ll be a parent forever.
Of course, my children will always be my children, but I will have a child at home, living with me, dependent on me, relying on me to keep him safe and housed and clothed and fed until the day I die. He will never grow into an independent adult, leaving me to pursue his own way in the world, independent and self-reliant. I will carry him with the same level of care as I did when he was a toddler. And the thought exhausts me.
I could, I suppose, work to find housing and social services for him, to put him in an assisted living facility or monitored housing with food stamps and SSI. But as much as the thought of having a child I need to parent in my home forever exhausts me and, frankly, saddens me somewhat, the thought of that child left to his own devices and risking relapse, loneliness, addiction, and homelessness is absolutely completely unacceptable. I cannot let the son I love risk even coming close to that kind of life. This is my life. Carrying my son, forever. And I accept that.