Father Stefano: School of Life for Families
"The expectation of meeting my son: The desire to see him... the fear of meeting him"
The expectation of meeting your son ususally generates two reactions:
1. A strong desire to see him.
2. You may experience fear, especially if you are seeing him for the first time and donít know what heíll be like
Youíve had your son many years at home, but one could say that "youíve never really met him". After a few months of Community he may be different and has understood something. You as a parent have also matured.It is therefore a new encounter, unknown to both parties. You both see each other in a new way.
Let us review the different stages:
When you first arrived in the Community you unloaded the "package" at the gate of Saluzzo. When you got out of the car you said: "Stay here and donít come home!".
For the first few months when the telephone rang there is a great fear that it may be us calling to announce the sad news that things have not worked out. These first months are not very peacefull. You are afraid because you have heard from the parentís groups that your son is weak person who needs the Community. This fear remains for awhile and ususally a month or two will pass before parents are reassured. I doní know if there is peace yet but it is the first step towards tranquillity. You begin to breath again and have peace in your heart. You realize that your son is staying and you begin to experience trust.
Then what happens? The months pass and you begin to feel a type of nostalgia. You have unloaded a heavy package, but in a way you see it every day.Then the litany begins: "I miss him so much, I really miss my son...".
There is a great demand for news: "Where is my son? Which house is he in, which country? "
The Community festival approaches and you wonder: "Will I see him or not". The monthly magazine arrives. You examine all the photos but you donít find his picture. You try to call the office in Saluzzo. You ask why he doesnít write: You say ďDoesnít he think about us? Doesnít he realize he has a family?"
You may begin to have doubts about the Community and think: "They dont give me any news, they dont let me see him, they dont let him write. Itís fine to be strict, but this is really too much!".
You often see friends who agree with you in thinking something must not be right and that itís not fair that he canít telephone once a month etc.
Then you begin to write to your son. I am really amused to read the postcards that you loving parents or girlfriends write. You worry that he is probably working under the sun eight hours a day. Maybe he is even is in Medugorje breaking stones and your postcard from the Caribbean arrives saying: "Only you are missing! What a beautiful ocean, what beautiful scenery!". These type of postcards I burn immediately, because I know where they will lead.
Please understand! You have lost the sense of what your son is experiencing and the effect such a postcard will have when you write: "we are having a lot of fun, only you are missing".
Then if the Community phones you to say that your son has left you begin to think a bit more about yourself. This happens because the center of life and of everything we experience is still him. At the parentís meetings you only talk about him and with your friends itís the same thing. The other children are not there anymore and they get angry with the Community, where as you are the ones who are unbalanced.
Why does this happen? Because it is difficult to pass from him to us . Finally someone at the parentís meeting helps you to understand that you are not here for your son but for you. You should not only come to the group to have news about him, but to share how you are, how things are at home, what youíve be