For the Boys

One of my biggest joys in life is being a mom to my three sons. And if you want to make an enemy for life, mess with either of them. I’ll make a career out of anyone who messes with these guys. 🙂

I have a son who just turned 31. He’s a working musician. He’s probably the single most talented person I know, and I know some talented people.

My second son (a child I really didn’t think I’d have) is 18 and a recent high school graduate. This boy is a natural academic AND a natural athlete.

Then there’s the 7 year old. (I definitely didn’t think I’d have this one!) He was born addicted and in foster care at 6 weeks old. I was his great aunt, sister to his grandmother. He came to our home when he was 8 months old. His adoption anniversary was in March.

Each of these boys have made me a better person. They challenge me and frustrate me and uplift me every single day. I am thankful God allowed me to be their mother.

Motherhood has many stages. First time moms with new babies are often sleep-deprived and unsure of their parenting skills. By the time the next one comes along, those moms are seasoned veterans who likely feel as though they’ve spent time “in the trenches”. Eventually you get to (finally) become friends with your adult children. (Remember all those times you said, “I’m your mother, not your friend”?

I’m in that last stage with the older boys. One is just now at this point. The oldest has been there for a while. They’re both in relationships with lovely young women who treat them well. The oldest is actually engaged.

Side note: I started collecting a few pieces of nice jewelry some years back, with a goal of gifting these things to the boys for their future wives. So when he told me he was going to propose, I took him to the safe where he “shopped” for an engagement ring. She loved it!

The teenager lost his favorite high school teacher to COVID19 in September. He had this teacher all 4 years of high school. They also worked together (along with my son’s best friend) at a local golf course. They were very close and my son is crushed.

He and his friend felt like they really needed to attend the funeral service, which was about a 3 hour drive into another state. Boy, was I nervous! It was all for naught, though. They made a good plan, arrived safely, and honored their teacher. They both also spoke at the memorial held by the school. Brave boys to let others see their hurting hearts. I’ve never been so proud.

Then there’s the little guy. He’s on the spectrum and we’re learning as we go. He’s very high maintenance—there’s everything from keeping the meds straight, arranging various therapies and appointments, and entertaining him. (Because everyone knows it’s a mother’s job to entertain her bored children.) (Just kidding!)

He struggled with virtual school last year. I honestly felt like he wasn’t learning anything. So, after the holiday break, we prayerfully decided to send him back to in-person school.

He has some sensory issues, so I worried he wouldn’t wear his mask. He was getting a new teacher and he doesn’t handle change very well. He has asthma, so he’s vulnerable to illness. I was scared to death. But I knew it was the right decision for him.

Unfortunately, since coronavirus arrived on scene, he’d learned almost nothing. I spoke with his wonderful teacher and asked what she thought of potentially having him repeat the first grade. She agreed that it was the best option. The main issue was that he couldn’t read.

This awesome teacher agreed to have him in her class again this school year. (She’s definitely a candidate for sainthood in my book!) Thataway, he didn’t have to acclimate to a new teacher and classroom. He comes home daily and shares something he learned. He’ll say, “I know what’s 10 plus 10….20! He can now also read enough to make calls from my phone’s contact list! (Often to their dismay!)

Wherever you are in your motherhood journey, just know that it’s worth it. You will survive, but you might need a little help along the way. And when you have the opportunity to see the good people that your children have grown into, take a minute to pat yourself on the back, because YOU did THAT.

Big love to you.

Time Marches On

It’s been a while. And lots of things have changed since I last wrote. My mother died. A global pandemic happened, with over 350,000 Americans dead this year. Hundreds of thousands more sick. We bought a house and moved (during the pandemic–no easy task!). My oldest got engaged. My youngest (7) was diagnosed with an eating disorder. My husband, Tony, finally (!) got glasses!! I was a little bit afraid he’d forgotten what I looked like. 😉 But he stuck around, so I guess he wasn’t too disappointed.

We had several high profile deaths at the hands of the police this year: George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile, and Tamir Rice, to name a few. And people protested in record numbers. And, in November, an incredible 81 million people voted for HOPE and Joe Biden will be sworn in as our new President on January 20 with Kamala Harris, our first female Vice-President, at his side.

Mr. Biden has a lot to contend with. His biggest challenge will be getting Covid-19 under control, but with a couple or three newly minted vaccines the hardest part now seems to be distribution. The real challenge is going to be getting the economy back on track after the shutdowns and partials shutdowns caused by the virus. Biden has committed, though, to being a President for everyone. And I believe him. He speaks kindness and faith, and that appeals to me. It calms me and makes me believe better times are ahead. We’ve had enough hate and division to last a few lifetimes.

In our little world the Christmas decorations have mostly been put away and high school basketball is about to start. The late start is due to the virus. This will be Bailey’s last year playing hoops. He’s been playing in some form or fashion since he was 3 or 4, maybe. We scrolled through photos last night at dinner, trying to decide which to use for his “Senior Board”. So many teams, coaches, uniforms. So many memories. I wonder if he has any idea how many times his teammates trusted him to take the last, game-winning, shot. Or how much faith it takes to pass the ball when you could take that last shot yourself. I hope he knows.

I asked him if he was ready for it to be over. He said he wasn’t sure. I know it’s been a lot. Six a.m. practices. Two a day practices. Always having to consider the team first. School ball, AAU ball, summer ball–it’s definitely enough to cause burnout. But, I’m not ready. I’m not ready for Senior Night that’s rapidly approaching. I’m not ready for his last uniform. Or his last coach or his last game. I’m not ready for it to be over.