I know my son's life is his own. I know he has to make his own mistakes, and learn his own lessons. But it is painful to watch. And it is agonizing to be useless. In some ways, I long for the days when I could pick him up when he falls, brush of his knee, kiss his bruise, and make everything okay. At least I felt like I could help back then. Now, I can't do a damned thing. Even if he wanted my advice, or my help -- which he most emphatically does not.
It's his life. These are his lessons. He can't learn from my experience. I can sit back and be here. I can love him and let him know it. I guess that's enough.