Growing Up

As usual, the Universe is working (you must get tired of me saying that!) After a long day yesterday and a grumpy post, I read the FB stream this morning and saw a note about joining a 30 Days of Creativity Challenge! Exactly what I needed! A boost to my creativity that always brings me happiness! What a great way to get going again!

So, here is my first day, September 1, a poem about my two youngest:

Growing Up

Tomorrow, another year of school
I steal a glance at the two
Heads bent together, concentrating
So close, they are, sometimes

I have a picture of those same faces
Side by side, deep in thought
Long before these school days
What became of those chubby cheeks?

Gnawing away on those “suckies”
One playing with his hair, so sleepy
His sister right by his side, best friends
Fresh from a bath, winding down the day

Now though, 4 long legs stretch out
Fresh and clean for the new school year
She brushes and combs her hair herself these days
And he doesn’t need me to turn on the shower

I blinked, you see, my eyes were shut tight
And suddenly, they grew, it seems, overnight
From soft, cherub cheeks to pre-teen angst
Wait my angels! Don’t leave me behind!

Smiles, a wave, and if I’m lucky, even a hug
And off they will go, somewhere that I can’t follow
But, despite my tears, my heart will swell with pride
I will remember, I will pray; that they are growing up.

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Change Mother’s Day to September

September, in my opinion, should be the month for Mom’s.

It’s the sweetest and the toughest month for us. I thought a lot about moms over the past couple weeks.

First, there were my mixed feelings about my children going back to school (and not). My darling daughter headed off to middle school and suddenly seemed to be so grown up. My youngest was actually annoyed that I wanted to take him to his classroom. He ditched me on the playground 😦 ! My oldest, well, he’s done with “regular” school and is in the school of hard knocks – real life!

Another day, I smiled and nodded understanding of a friend’s heartache as she struggles to be a single mom and sending her baby off to Kindergarten. Such a tough week for both the Kindergartener and the sister left behind. Mom is tired from working and the kids are going through so many changes. Mom is being way too hard on herself for not having the patience she thinks she should have.

My best friend is struggling with a young man who is trying so hard to be a young man that he forgets who he is stepping on along the way. Testing all those limits, not thinking, not wanting to face consequences, generally, pardon the phrase: “being a dumb ass!” I know exactly what she is going through, I had one EXACTLY like that. I cried so many tears over it. I understood why some animals eat their young! And the guilt – because I felt that way. How can you love your child, yet want to strangle them at the same time!??

I saw mom’s leaving their college students for their first time away from home. Wanting to protect them, wanting to set them free, most of all wanting them to please, please, don’t make the same mistakes they did! I saw the sadness, yet the pride in those eyes. And I understood how my mom must have felt each time she took one of us to College/University for the first time. It never got easier.

I thought about how each and every mom I have ever known has questioned herself. Over and over again, she has beat herself up. Has thought that she should have done this, should have said that.

“Am I doing the right thing?”

“What if she can’t find her classes?”

“Is he wearing clean underwear?”

“Am I too protective?”

“What did I forget to tell him/her?”

“Am I a good mom?”

Honestly, I don’t know how many times I have asked myself that. I know for a fact, my friends have asked me that of themselves. Why do we do that to ourselves? Who do we think could do a better job?

You are your childrens’ mother – no one is more suitable to the task. You have a precious gift – you are MOM!

No one else has that title for your children! Each and every day, you get up and you don’t think of you – you think of them. I know you do! You get up and say to yourself, “just for today, I will be the best mom I can be!” And each and every day, you ARE!

Is it an easy job? Good grief! No – we’d be called “Dad” if it were easy! 😉 Just kidding! Had to get a dig in there to tease those dads!

Seriously, no one ever said that being a mom was an easy job – it is the hardest job on the planet! The most underappreciated, the most heart-breaking, the dirtiest, the smelliest, the most annoying, but………..the most rewarding.

We get to hold that special place in their hearts. They will remember the good things that we did! They won’t remember the mistakes we made! We just need to focus on the great things that we do every day:

Remember all of those nights you stayed up with a crying baby, exhausted and tired, but knowing that he only wanted you.

How you read her favorite story “just one more time”, memorizing the pages so that you could just look at her face when you get to her favorite part to see her beautiful smile.

How you cheered for him at the football field, even though secretly you wished that he would never get anywhere near that stupid ball and get crushed beneath “boys” that you were sure were men that just never graduated from high school!

How you wiped away those tears as she cried about her first crush that inside made your own heart break, knowing just how bad she felt and that you couldn’t make it better.

How you got that late night call from him asking for advice, asking for money, asking for a ride, just wanting to talk. Annoyed that he woke you up, but all the while proud that he thought to call you first – because he knew you will always be there.

How when she became a mom, she looked to you for advice; she compared herself to you, she wished she could be just like you. She understood what it meant to be a mom.

I thought about all of these things this month. I was proud. I was scared. I gave advice. I asked for advice. I wished they wouldn’t grow up so fast. I wondered why they weren’t grown up yet. All of those thoughts have gone through my mind. To me, this is the month that should have Mother’s Day – this is the month where we need it the most!

After all that, I turned to my mom and she gave me the best advice:

Don’t be in such a hurry for them to grow up. It is in their eyes that you see yourself and who you really are. You will know that you are “the bestest mommy ever”….

I have to add another song for you: The ultimate mom song in my opinion – it applies to both daughters and sons: