My Kids . . .
But more importantly, my kids . . .
Bring out the best in me.
It’s all worth it.
Reposting …. because I need to reread this ….
Originally posted on And That's My Reality:
Most parents would do just about anything for their kids. I’m no different. If it’s in my power, I want to make it happen. I love giving my boys new experiences they enjoy, as well as seeking out opportunities to expand their thinking. Recently I found an abundance of additional opportunities in our area for my oldest son. Excited, I tackled each one like a woman possessed. I found requirements, application deadlines, dos and don’ts. We were ready. And then I stopped for a moment, and reviewed this monumental list. And that’s when it hit me. I have to prioritize for him the same way I do for myself.
So far this year I’ve done a good job of not over-extending myself, and using one of the most beautiful words in the English language … “no”. But when it came to my baby, I was placing no limits on what…
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It was subtle, I’ll admit. I called it other things … anger, frustration, staying informed, being aware, and just plain out wanting to know what’s going on. That’s what I could see. But what I didn’t realize was happening, taking root like a weed inside me, was a pervasive feeling of fear.
Like many of you, I’ve watched the painful coverage of the shootings then lack of indictments in the cases of Mike Brown and Eric Garner, as well as watched George Zimmerman walk after shooting Trayvon Martin. I prayed. I hurt. I cried. And I hugged my babies tighter. Inwardly, I resolved to do all I could to fight the feeling of powerlessness attempting to plague me. Though my boys are young, I slipped in nuggets of wisdom regarding dealing with police and presenting yourself in public. Things no parent of color wants to say. Yet things that must be communicated to our children.
I realized how deeply I’d been affected when I discovered a couple of pricing tags my son had from the store. To him, they were nothing more than something to play with – pricing tags that had fallen to the ground, not attached to any merchandise. They were like the coupons he gets from the machines for me. To me, it screamed unfair and unsavory accusations of theft, accusations and potential punishments. And in essence, I lost it. Instead of giving him a good, thorough understanding of why these items have to remain in the store (he’s only 7), I started talking about stealing, and how people won’t see it as an innocent mistake, and how you can be punished and taken away from us. I came close to crying. He did cry. I wasn’t trying to scare him. I was scared.
Scared of losing him. Scared of him being misunderstood. Scared that such an innocent mistake would be viewed that way were the child white; but for my son, surely someone would try to label him. Or worse. My son is an exemplary child. He’s smart, kind, loving, giving, and knows right from wrong. He was picking up a pricing tag off the floor, he reasoned, not merchandise you have to pay for. And while it still merited discussion, it didn’t deserve my tirade of sorts. I couldn’t believe fear of how I thought others would react to what my son had done, purely because of his beautiful brown skin, made me act.
My husband talked me through it. I went back to my son. I apologized, hugged him, and told him I loved him. I explained things the right way. And while I can’t pretend these feelings will immediately disappear, I’ll continue to pray – and focus on faith – instead of fear.
Last year, right around a certain birthday, smaller writing became more difficult to see. Seriously, I was like, is there some internal clock that makes readers necessary at age 40? However, I was vain, maybe even in denial. I’d always had perfect eyesight. Maybe if I just focus on different things, not look at the computer screen for hours at a time, it will get better. Anyone else believe that besides me?
It wasn’t until a year later, that I was driving down an unfamiliar road at night, no lights besides those on the approaching vehicles, that I admitted it. I needed glasses, just like the doctor prescribed. Lights were fuzzy, I felt disoriented and driving was miserable at night. Off to grab a pair, I went.
Our lives are like that a lot of times. You may notice something is out of whack. You seem to always “just miss” a good opportunity. Or maybe others don’t seem to give you a “fair chance”. Perhaps there always seems to be someone who can “do it better” than you can. And you say it’s not your fault; you’re just not being fairly valued, and your worth isn’t appreciated. But is that really it? Or is it that your performance isn’t up to par, you’re always looking for an excuse or a way out, or you just aren’t willing to put in the work to be successful? It’s okay, you can say “ouch”. You can get mad. You can even decide you won’t read this blog again. As long as you admit it to yourself … and decide to do better. Make these last few weeks of 2014 a time to admit the things you need to change, and areas where you need to improve (we all have them). Then commit to doing just that.
As I reflect upon 2014 and look towards my goals for the upcoming year, inevitably I want to be a better mother. What mom doesn’t? Too little patience, too much yelling, not enough hugging, too much rushing, not enough money … and the list could go on and on. But moms, we’re often way too hard on ourselves. And who better to show that to us, than our kids. Check out the reactions of these moms to what their kids really think about them ….
He’s 7. He loves her. And I’m glad.
My 7 year old son excitedly handed me his math work. “Read the test first” he said, excitedly. So, I turned to the test, to find it covered with “I love you” and “I love (insert girl’s name).” Hmmm.
Sure it was cute. But of course my heart skipped a beat. At this age? Really? Do I have to start dealing with this now? So I talked to him about it.
I must admit, it was adorable. He smiled. Gushed, actually. My heart melted. It’s not your usual crush … she’s much older. It’s adorable nonetheless.
Although my mommy heart is aching, I’m thrilled with this development for several reasons.
1) He not only told me. He WANTED me to know. And instead of getting all weird about it, I simply talked to him. I agreed that the object of his affection is pretty and sweet. I said she may be a little old for him to “court” right now.
2) We established open lines of communication. He saw that I understood his feelings, and wanted to talk more. I was also able to “sneak in” some more mature thoughts about relationships and how exciting it will be when he gets to start courting the woman he’ll marry. Subtle, but I put it in there. ;)
3) He sees I am approachable. And genuine. I didn’t say he is too young to be thinking about girls that way (he is don’t get me wrong lol). Seriously, I let him know I understand his feelings and by engaging him, let him know his feelings matter to me. My prayer is that I am setting the ground work for the future.
So continue to write your little hearts and scroll those precious notes. As long as mom can see them first. :)
Although tomorrow is the day we celebrate Thanksgiving, truly we have so much to be thankful for every day. Life, family, friends, and health are among the most valuable things that God has blessed us with. In honor of this day set aside to focus on being grateful for the grace and mercy of God in our lives, this article is perfect to share to get a jump on the holiday. May your day be filled with love and laughter. Happy Thanksgiving.
The latest installment in the Champion Kids Nuggets blogs from Andthatsmyreality.com . . . Kids Are Watching You
A friend’s new website
A focused conversation
An informative webinar
Kind words from a stranger
An exciting offer
A story of triumph
Inspiration. Where do you get it?
I planned and was purposeful,
My attempts to create
Opportunities and options
Joys I could equate
I rushed here, I rushed there
Dotted “t’s” and crossed “i’s”
Proposals and queries
But disappointments did arise
No offers. No interest.
And what came I turned down
Convinced it would not fit
As my busyness abounds
I’d given up, was losing hope
I was tired of trying
I felt like my dream was slipping away
And inside, I was dying
So I surrendered. It’s all I could do
I said God, You have to show me how
You created me to want this
The problem is, I want it now.
This is my energy, my passion
But I can’t make it work
My heart, my desire
Now a burden, in my heart lurks
When I gave up, then the phone rang
Opportunity knocked – and so loud
Interest .. incredible interest
Of my work, I felt so proud
It’s a life lesson I keep learning
Why can’t I remember it so easily?
When I say Your Will, Lord, not mine
That’s when You’ve always blessed me.
Moving forward … onward and upward