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.