Monday, May 12, 2014

Being Mom

Happy Mother's Day!  I know it was yesterday, but I get to celebrate an extra day because it's my youngest son's birthday!  He was born the day after Mother's Day and I've always said he's been the best Mother's Day present ever!! He's such a sweet little thing.  I asked him this morning if he could do me a favor and stop getting older.  He said no.  He told me I would't get any older either, as if it was a threat.  I'm all for that! Can we start now?

I'm not normally one to obsess fret worry dwell on past decisions but lately I have been doing just that.  Why do I do this to myself?  I can't change it.  I have no control over these decisions any longer.  They are past.  Done.  Finished.  Except the repercussions continue to effect my life to this day.  These decisions have not been negative; on the contrary, they have been enormously positive!  So why would I possibly be worried about anything?  Because I'm the mother of two very special boys.  I take care of them.  The breadwinner.  The emotional constant. Everyone's cheerleader.  The fixer of things.  Mom. The biggest job title in the universe.

It's an enormous obligation to be responsible for the development of kids.  In my case, not just my two heathens, but dozens of other kids throughout the last 14 years.  Many of those kids  I have maintained contact and relationships with.  You don't just separate yourself from them when the school year is over, despite how many times you wish you could. Like I've said before about our basketball teams, these kids become a part of our lives and our families.  I've been to high school and college graduations, weddings across the country, bought baby gifts for first borns (and second borns), and I've witnessed far too many tragedies and loss.  You do your best to boost their confidence as well as academic skills.  My job has always been in a support setting- special education, reading instruction & intervention, and as a professional school counselor.  My role is more about instilling confidence and developing character than it is in developing academic skills.  Academics fall into place once they have the confidence in themselves to try.  I usually have one to two years to do this with my students.  It's an enormous task and one I don't take lightly. It's exhausting and emotionally draining. I go home devoid of feeling or emotion more often than not, with nothing left for my own boys. That is one thing I forgot about education when I jumped back in this past fall. I was just looking for the familiar.  A "safe" place.  

I look at my own boy's sense of adventure and willingness to try new things.  They are fearless.  I'm envious.  My self confidence seems to be lacking as of late. My faith too adult, too narrow. Fear sneaks in and takes over too easily. I let myself get pulled down by the what if's, the what's safest, the excuses that someone won't like it and will be mad if I do it.   Am I willing to stay in a place where familiar, albeit uncomfortable, or take a leap of faith?  Is it more important for me to mentor these lost kids even though it leaves less for my own? Am I willing to exercise my faith? I look at my boys, admiring their spontaneity.  It leaves me wondering how they learned this fearlessness.  Did I pass this on to them?  Am I passing on the skills they need to overcome rough times and emerge stronger from them? How did I get so blessed to be their mom?

Sometimes it's difficult to have faith that the decisions you have to make will be the right ones.   The kind of decisions that will continue to mold your kids into the wonderful people you hope them to be.  The kind of people they are when you aren't looking.  The kind of wonderful, compassionate, fearless little beings, full of faith that all things happen in due time, for a reason, make us stronger; the kind of people they are now.  It's not easy being a parent.  I am forever grateful to God for giving me these little boys, testing my faith each and every day, reminding me that life is not just about me.

My sweet babies :)

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