Failure to Launch or Protect

A few years ago, I watched a movie entitled Failure to Launch, starring Sara Jessica Parker and Matthew McConaughey. In this movie, a therapist (Sara) assisted parents whose sons refused to leave home, to put them on a path of independence. Matthew’s character, one of these thirty-something men, spoiled by his mother (Kathy Bates) his entire life. He never felt the need to move out on his own. It was a comedy, so Sara resorted to some crazy shenanigans to successfully, unbeknownst to these him, boot him out of his parent’s basement.

Recently, I had an interesting conversation with a friend, the author of the amazing book, “A Broken Heart Made Whole”, Minister Stevetta Temple. We talked about how we as mothers, tend to be easier on our boys than our girls. She is a mother of seven, and I am a mother of two. She made me really think about my relationship with my son. When it comes to motherhood, we don’t tend to correlate parenting to mortality. But in reality, as she pointed out, our adult children should be able to survive successfully on their own if, unfortunately, something were to happen to us.

At this very moment, I must admit that I worry if both of my children would be complete successes in their lives if I were to, Heaven forbid, pass away.

Not because they are incapable, but because, one, I believe Knowledge is power, and they both dropped out of college. Two, they never had an ideal relationship with their father. Three, his absence left a void in them and an inability to reach out to others. Four, the effects of my secluded childhood trickled down onto them.

I always encouraged them to figure out their passion in life and go after it. I never want them to live paycheck to paycheck stuck in a job they hate instead of being successful in a career they love. My daughter was a pretty cheerleader and in color guard in high school. Popularity followed her. Now, she is married with one child and has aspirations of becoming an esthetician. Hopefully, she will return to the University of Alabama for a degree.

My son was the complete opposite. He was bullied in school, has social anxiety and does not like to be around people at all. He’s had one job while in high school but has preferred to work at home with his sick uncle for the past two years. He hated high school and did not enjoy his brief time at the University of Alabama. He aspires to be a writer. He has talents in writing incredible short stories, gaming, computer programming, creating cell phone apps, IT, and computer technology.

I’ve coddled him his entire life because I felt, as my son without his father in his life, he needed the extra attention.

I was sick during their childhood and tried desperately to make up for missing out on physical activities with them. I didn’t realize until he was grown that I could and did mold him into a loving, kind, courteous individual but the things he needed to possess inside to become a man, I could not give him. I feel that piece of him is still missing and he will struggle his whole life trying to fill that void.

He suffers from depression and his constant state of sadness, saddens me. When he was younger, I took him to therapy or got him the things he enjoyed, such as game systems to put joy in his heart. But now, I don’t know how to help him. I don’t know how to reach him anymore. Because he doesn’t go to school or work, it’s easy for people on the outside looking in to say, “Put him out!” It’s easy to say give him an ultimatum; work or go to school in a month.

My son is not a street kid. He may surprise me, but my fear is if I put him out, I’ll be burying my son within a year due to suicide, something he has tried twice in his young twenty-two years. Just like with my daughter, his life, his success, his dreams are important to me. I pray over my children, maybe not as much as I should, but I will increase so they can increase. He just needs one person to believe in him and I believe!

But, I can’t help but give Minister Temples words much thought. Where would they be if I were gone tomorrow? With my daughter married, I worry less about her and I know she will do what is best for her life. With my son, his state of mind makes him different. I have to be careful with him. So, do I encourage him, guide him, listen to him, and love him as long as it takes for him to become independent on his own or chance cracking his foundation and destroying our relationship to force him to be independent. What would you do?

I thought that I had to feel comfortable about where my young adults were in life. But as hard as it is to admit, it’s not about me. I can’t live their lives, nor make or correct their mistakes for them. I have to stay prayed up and believe that my small village and I raised smart, good-hearted people who will do well in life. Besides, it’s not necessary for both to fly at the same time or in the same direction. Their wings work, and eventually, they will soar.

Pray. Love. Teach. Guide. Believe.

Thanks for reading,

Love, #vfurrmstheblogger

#failuretolaunch #protectyourbabies #StevettaTemple #ABrokenHeartMadeWhole

Read Stevetta Temples Book “A Broken Heart Made Whole” on Amazon or contact her on Facebook @StevettaTemple.


Valerie Collins
Valerie Collins
Valerie Collins was born in Tucson, Az, the last of six children. She has loved writing since a child but decided to pursue a career in Orthopedic nursing. Shortly after her marriage and birth of her first child at the age of 22, she was diagnosed with the chronic pain disease, Fibromyalgia, its subsequent conditions, illnesses, and syndromes. Once the disease disabled her in 2001, she revisited her passion for writing poetry and short stories and has accumulated over 100 poems and spoken word pieces over the years. She became a member of the International Society of poets in 2002 and The International Who's Who in Poetry in 2006. She currently is a member of Realistic Poetry International, Who's Who Among American Business Women, and Women of Facebook Create. Her accolades include 2005 Poet of the Year. She was awarded both the Outstanding Achievement Award in Poetry and the Official Commemorative Poetry Ambassador Medal while serving as a Poetry Ambassador associate in 2007. She wrote a play entitled “Fix Me Jesus” in 2012 for Alabama 1st COGIC State AIM Youth Convention Competition drama category which was awarded second place. Currently, she is in rehearsals for her second stage play for the local playwright, Shawna D. Moore which will be on stage in August 2019. She is in the process of compiling a two-volume poetry book entitled My Poetic Life: A Memoir of Love and a book detailing her life with Fibromyalgia, entitled Behind the Walls of Silence. In July 2018, she created her first blog site My Poetic Life (The Book) as @vfurrmstheblogger to act as a launch for both books and it has taken on a life of its own. She also owns a small crochet business, Val's Gifts of Warmth, where she sells her handmade crochet items.

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    • Thank you Larry, I have to stay strong for him. Praying for a resolution that will lift him up and bring him to where he needs to be.

  1. Valerie, thank you for sharing your story… it took me back quite a few years to when I was a young father myself. Admittedly, there are few roles in which we feel deeper inadequacy than our role as parents.

    Even as we carefully and prayerfully consider what God has given us, we see His wisdom. He may not have given us all we want, but He has lovingly provided all we need to be successful fathers/parents.

    Soon after I became a father, I quickly learned to enjoy my children. Parenting has plenty of moments of exasperation and discouragement. As much as we love our children, oftentimes, we can grow weary of them and grow weary of the task of raising them. But we need to learn to find joy in them, even when they are at their most difficult. Instead of provoking them to anger perhaps by our parenting enthusiasm, we need to find alternative ways to encourage them and celebrate them. Many older parents will tearfully tell you just how quickly the years went past, how they regret their exasperation, and how they wish they could return to the days when their children were young.

    The best opportunities for encouraging them, and for raising them into maturity, comes in the informal, everyday margin of life.

    Be confident that God is at work in your children through your efforts, however meager they may seem.

    • Jonathan,
      Thank you. I do often feel inadequate, as if I don’t have it in me to help them. Sometimes all he needs is an, “I love you” and other days complete silence. I am grateful for this forum where I can get advice because I do not know how to help him except to pray and put his life in a Gods hands that he does not believe in. ?

    • Dear Valerie, I am sure that he can feel your genuine love for him, not only by the words you share, but also with your presence, and by your countenance. My prayers are with you all. Stay blessed.

  2. Dear Valerie

    I’m happy and sad about life. When you cannot change life you have to try to survive it. The people who believe in tuff love may be right or maybe wrong. A human life you created is in need of help. You never turn your back when you can not change the harm that life has done to your child. Life is not fair to many people. You have to have love in your heart and peace in your soul, and faith in God to survive every day. Praise the people that overcome the internal tragedy of self-harm.
    Bless and love a child of yours and God will give them the gift of love and we will pray they will never feel alone.

    Sincerely Bob

    • Thank you, Bob,
      I appreciate your response. I can’t turn my back on my son. I may not be giving him the boost out into the world others may see he needs. As his mother, I know he needs acceptance, love, and support and that starts with me. Yes he is grown but he is also in need of more time to spread his wings. I know in my heart he’ll get there in his own time and right now, thats more important than pushing him out the best.
      Thanks for understanding my point of view.