This is a point in my life where I want to freeze time. John is a senior now and is having a wonderful year in football. Maitland is now in the high school and a Dorian. Elizabeth is spending time with her friends and Dean is my Dean. I call him my labrador retriever. He is happy all the time and will do just about anything I ask. He got hurt in his first football game of the year and is unable to play right now. That is hard for him because he loves the game.
Motherhood is a miraculous thing. We as mothers work endlessly to raise our children to be responsible, kind and just plain old good kids. We start early to instill discipline. We encourage them to mind their manners, be kind to others, and just simply behave. It comes with a lot of time outs and for some kids spankings. The times I tried to spank one of my children totally backfired. She was just too strong willed for it to have any effect.
I look back and try to remember when I just took some time and enjoyed them when they were younger. I was so busy shaping their character. Everyone always laughs that you finally get to enjoy your grandchildren not your own. I remember always being “on”. I do recall sometimes just sitting back and enjoying them. But I remember always ready to “teach” them the rights and wrongs.
All that work has paid off. If I do say so myself, I have raised some pretty good kids. They are not perfect and have each messed up some. But they know right and wrong and have learned from their mistakes. They are teenagers now (almost all of them). Teenagers can be surly. They were pretty surly about a year ago. Now something has changed in the past month or so. They come to me of their own accord and tell me about their days. They have been coming out of their rooms, doing their homework with me in the den and talking. They tell me funny stories about their friends and what is going on in school. I have not asked one question except to get a clarification on what they are saying. It has been glorious.
It is John’s senior year. He didn’t play football last year. I think coming from a 3A school to 7A was overwhelming. But coach called him and asked him to join the team. He is having a wonderful year. I tell people with younger kids who are sitting on the bench that John was a bench warmer until his Sophomore year. Moving in the middle of high school was hard on him. Having this experience has really helped make this year memorable for him. He has also formed some amazing friendships that I know will last forever.
I guess just right now and these past few weeks and the upcoming months, I want to freeze time. I have all mine under the same roof and they are essentially all getting along. The snide comments are few and far between being replaced by gentle ribbing and a lot of laughs.
I posted on FB about not being a helicopter mom. I just don’t have the energy to stay on my kids 24/7. Right now, they have to be able to stand on their own, make some of their own decisions and learn from their mistakes. Now, I have their back every step of the way but I figure if I am on top of them all the time, they are more likely to sneak around. I have to trust them enough for them to want to come to me when they are having trouble. Right now this has paid off because they are coming to me. I wouldn’t change these moments for the world.
I also realize that if my last attempt had been a success, I would never have these moments. I am so grateful for this time with my children. I love them so much it hurts. But the pain warms my heart.
This was my devotional at the prayer group for mothers of football players Friday morning. I thought I would share with all the mothers:)
“Children are a gift from the Lord” Psam 127:3-5.
Philoteknos is Greek for loving ones’ children, especially mothers. According to Titus 2:4, As mothers we are called by God to love our children Titus 2:4. It is a strong call. God doesn’t request things lightly.
I am a mother of four and far from perfect. I am an even less perfect mother when it comes to raising teenagers. I am out of my element. I have tried to read “how to” books on it but I just end up wanting to throw them out the window when the first tough situation comes up with my own children. When they were toddlers I was the master mom. They were dressed well, their manner impeccable to me and others. I had a tight reign and they seldom dared to escape my tutelage.
The teenage years have the terrible twos beat by fathoms. Your limits are tested daily and by much stronger willed minds. They are testing their wings of independence and it is hard to let go. It is hard to let go and let God when it comes to raising children at this age.
But I am reminded that God demands us to love them; even when they mess up. I think we all know from experience that they mess up. They are testing their wings and make mistakes but all we can do is love them and lead them into a different direction so that they learn from their mistakes and approach the next iffy situation with a little more experience under their belt and hopefully make a better decision. And an even better understanding of God’s love.
Sometimes I don’t like my children. I will be honest. But I will always love them. Maternal love is a scary thing because you love them so much your heart hurts. You want to take all their pains away and catch them every time they fall. Unless we lock them in their rooms 24/7 that isn’t going to happen. But we can be there for them when they fall. We can be the shoulder they cry on. We can be their rock of Gilbralter and we can be their North when they are trying to find their way back home. They will always find their way back home as long as we do what God asks us to and love them.
Because we sit here today as a group we are showing our boys and each other that we love them. You gave us these boys as gifts and our spiritual gift is to love them unconditionally. Thank you for these gifts and guide us as we show these boys who are turning in to men the right path.
Today is a day to revere. It is looked over by many but everyone is affected by this day. Everyone of you is related somehow to someone who took their life or attempted to.
As a suicide attempt survivor I look on this day as one more day I am alive to celebrate my life and those lives of the people I love. I get to spend one more day with those who mean the most to me. And I didn’t always feel this way.
Last night Harry Miree spoke at Crestline Field. If you missed him I am sorry. I know this is a busy time of year with children’s activities taking over every night of the week these days. But, if you were there you were blessed.
Harry said something that struck home with me. Before his attempt, he looked at life as if anything he tried to do, he would rather be dead than fail. Now, he looks at life as if trying and failing is a whole lot better than being six feet under. There is a sort of pre suicide and post suicide attempt look on life. Maybe it is with anyone who looks death in the face and survives. You get a do over and you will work to make your goals without the feel of failure.
I have some hurdles to jump over soon. Big, scary ones and Harry reminded me to go at it no holds barred even if I stumble and fall. I can get right back up and make the next hurdle and ultimately win the game. I don’t have to come in first, I just have to stay in the race. That is half the battle right? Thank you Harry.
I am almost at full recovery from my surgery but it is still hard to type so this one is short and sweet.
If you know someone who is hurting, hug them tight through the scary black parts. They don’t want to hear platitudes, they just want someone to stay beside them even when they say they want to be alone.
P.S. Hugs your children and tell them you will always love them and be there for them. To those who suffer at a young age, that is HUGE