Archive | December, 2013

A Difficult Mom Day

11 Dec

A Difficult Mom Day.

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A Difficult Mom Day

11 Dec

100_2608Today did not start well. My son and I both got up late so we were scrambling a bit to get him out the door on time. I happened to mention some hiccups in his grades that he was supposed to attend to, and according to the computer, he hasn’t done it yet. His attitude immediately changed from his normal tired, gentleness to one of obvious resentment. We have an agreement that he is supposed to maintain a certain academic level of excellence, and his grades have fallen below that. When that happens, he is subject to sanctions on his driving and social life. Perhaps because he went on a date last night, we were both feeling a little guilty for not living up to our end of the bargain. He isn’t maintaining his level of academic excellence, and I haven’t been vigilant in keeping an eye on it. In any case, he left the house full of resentment, and I was left behind feeling sad about being resented by my son.

The past few months with my children have been a series of ups and downs, often having nothing at all to do with what my children are doing or what I’m doing. You see, I found out early this week that yet another friend lost her college-age son over the weekend. Yet another mom will spend the holidays without one of her children, and it breaks my heart. I cannot imagine and hope I never have to what that loss must feel like. At the same time it makes me sad, it also presses a button I think exists in every mother in the world. It makes very clear and real the idea that your children can be here one day and gone the next. It makes you question what’s really important in life because even though we all want the best for our children, if they were to be taken away tomorrow by some accident or illness, what would a messy room or a bad grade mean in the grand scheme of things? It’s a crazy dance I do in my head trying to balance guiding my children to be the best they can possibly be and letting them go to make their own mistakes, their own messes and their own successes. Once again, I’m making a choice whether to live in faith or fear. I question my parenting skills, their inner guidance and connection to the divine, and my own faith that they are divinely protected no matter what happens.

Some moments, faith wins. Having my son call and say he will be a couple of hours late getting home from college because he wants to clean his apartment and come back to a clean slate for next semester bolsters my faith that my son is ready to step into the world as an adult. Having another son refuse to step into a feud at school because he understands both sides, yet he still maintains a friendship with kids on both sides deepens my faith that my children are learning incredible life skills, and are willing to take the right path even when it’s the more difficult one. Seeing my 13-year-old excitedly put together our stocking tree all by himself and then successfully assemble, light and decorate our Christmas tree, again all by himself, helps me realize even my baby is growing up into a young man I can be proud of. Each morning when they leave my home or I think about them during my meditation and prayer time, I surround them with love and light and ask God to watch over them, not out of fear, but through faith that they have a higher path and that the divine will help them get to where they need to go.

Some moments, fear wins though, like looking at grades and seeing missing assignments and wondering what my son’s work ethic really is; like writing out a note so that I can pick up my son at school and realizing he left it at home; like going downstairs this morning to do laundry and finding three garbage bags full of laundry that have come home from college and wondering how one person can create more laundry in 10 days than the rest of the family did in those same 10 days. There are other moments when I feel like I have to remind them of everything including taking daily medication, making their beds every day, taking their shoes upstairs at night and of course the weekly battle of taking the garbage out to the cans and then out to the curb. It feels like a battle of wills that I don’t want to fight anymore, but I know that I have to win to help them grow into the men of integrity I pray they’ll be.

Fortunately, they have to sleep sometime, and no matter how old your children are, or at least no matter how old my children are when I watch them sleep, I can forgive them almost anything. They seem to return to a moment of innocence I have adored since birth, when I snuggled them up against my heart and under my chin and we would sit in peace as I listened to them breathe. Even thinking about watching them sleep calms me more than I can say, and that’s when I remember the moms who no longer watch their children sleep because they have gone to their eternal rest. It’s when I feel the ache in my heart for a mother who would give anything to sit and watch her child sleep and hear him or her breathe again. It’s the moment that I realized that even the worst day with my children is better than any day without them. It adjusts my attitude. It makes me stop and pray perhaps the most honest prayer I have ever said when I ask the divine to bring those mothers whatever comfort they can find and the strength to live another day themselves. It’s when the tears flow and my problems don’t feel very big at all.

So for all the parents out there who will get annoyed with and irritated by your children during the holiday season, please remember and remind each other of what a gift your children are. In all honesty, the entire season is about the gift of a child. Each child is a gift to its family and to the world, and as the parents of these precious gifts, it’s up to us to love them and guide them with the greatest respect to bring their gifts to the world. Thanks for being you and have a great day.

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