Sunday, February 26, 2012

Little Girls, Young Ladies, and Women

As I was looking through the updates on Face Book this morning, I saw where a friend of my oldest son Joshua was having a birthday today. I still talk to her all the time too. She's now all grown up and has two beautiful children. Gwendolyn (Gwennie) has since moved away, but I love being able to watch her life continue to unfold in stories and pictures here on Face Book. As I posted a Happy Birthday to her this morning, I added a picture, a prom picture, of her and Joshua, to my words of wishes for joy. Then of course, my mind began to wander back to all the young men and women that had remained a part of our lives.

Amanda Burdick (Mandolyn) and Justin Alday still live here in Quincy, and they now have a beautiful, sassy little girl. Amanda was one of my sons very best friends in high school. His friend and protector. She came to our house many times. Stayed with me a few weeks after moving out, then I helped her decorate her first Christmas tree in her own first little home. She and Justin helped Zach and I move from our old house to this house on Lowe Street, and helped paint the inside of the house from end to the other.

Kimberly Colomb (Kimmie) has a handsome little boy and is about to get married! She too made visits to our home during their high school years.

Aliza is busy traveling the world and seeing everything she can possibly see. I got to see her again two years ago when she was stopping through on her way to Australia!

Stacey (Doodlebug) Mills Cossins who is married now to a wonderful young man named Shawn. They live in Jacksonville and actually came to see one of our youngest sons football games when we played there this past Fall.  I still get to see Stacey on holiday occasions and through chit chat on Face Book. 

Tracy Hall Johnson just married the love of her life and had beautiful little baby boy in addition to the bonus daughter she gained when she met her wonderful husband Grayson.

My youngest son is forever asking me why I am friends with all his old girlfriends?!  Why do I still talk to them? Why do they still feel the need to talk to me? I tell him, I don't see what's so strange about it. I tend to get attached to most of them. He has good taste in his choices of girlfriends, so why wouldn't I still communicate with them when they are no longer dating? Whatever their reasons are for no longer dating have nothing to do with me. But I think I mostly attach myself to the girls, because I don't have any of my own.

Mollie Edwards so graciously accompanied me to a show of "So You Think You Can Dance" several years ago. Katy Jo Helm and I have been to the movies, out to eat, I've seen her dance, and had dinner here at our house to catch up on our lives. And I think Miss Kay Fletcher is Mims' favorite of all. He still calls her our old daughter in law! Sara Green was not necessarily a girl friend, but she is one of Zach's friends that I have grown very attached to over the past few months. She's my walking partner and my teenage voice of reason. And of course, I love all the girls of Zach's class, I've known most of them since they were little girls and I have absolutely loved to watch them grow and change into wonderful, beautiful young ladies.

Maybe because I'm his Mama, it's hard for him to understand why any of these girls would "like" me? I would guess because I am NOT their Mama, and they can talk to me, laugh with me, in a little bit different fashion. He forgets about how much he tells me he likes Miss Denise Fletcher (the sweetest ever), who he helped do yard work and I can't get him to take out the trash. Miss Donna Sirmons (whom he LOVES), that he will sit with at a volleyball game, but won't speak to me as he passes me by on the bleachers. Miss Holle Boykin (gets the coolest Mom vote), whom he would do ANYTHING for, she just has to ask. And now Miss Susan Pichard, who he says is really sweet and nice.

I am so privileged to be a part of all of these girls lives, then and now. I wouldn't be able to put a dollar value for my memories or past conversations. I'm so excited to be able to watch them become mother's, wives and one day grandmothers. I don't know how much of that I will be able to personally see, but I intend to enjoy every minute of it while I'm here.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Walk In These Shoes, Then We'll Talk

Is it really our jobs, our place to take on all the blame of the world? Is it really our fault/responsibility when the children we raised, to the best of  our known ability, go awry?  Therapists and psychiatrists all over the world, make millions of dollars a year, based on "the mother" theory. Well I for one am not buying it.  I know who I am and I know what I did. I'm not a perfect Mother, but I'm damned near it. While children everywhere can take into account what we didn't do right, let me tell what we DID do.

1. Sat up with you night after night when you were sick, didn't want to sleep, or were coughing so badly, you couldn't lie flat. Then she crawled out of the rocking chair where she had sat up all night long, rocking you, and went to work on less than two hours of sleep.

2. Sat for hours in endless emergency room visits for colds/fevers and infections that only seem to strike on the weekends when regular doctors were not at work.

3.  Made sure you were always clean and fed. That you had a nice warm room to sleep in with all the right colors for comfort and mental growth.

4.  Read to you for hours, doing all the sounds and best interpretations of Brer' Rabbit a human can possibly do.

5.  Worked for an absolute maniac for years, so that as a single parent, she could provide her children with everything they could possible need or want. Gave them a nice home and nice place to grow up.

6.  She reminds her children of every birthday, Mother's/Father's day (for grandparents) so that no one ever feels left out, gets their feelings hurt, or thinks she didn't raise her children to be respectful.

7.  She neglects her own health and well being to run here and run there trying to be everything for everybody at one time.Which never seems to be enough and someone always seems to be left out.

8.  She stays with a drunk too long, because she cannot financially raise her children on her own yet, but she does everything in her power to make sure, neither one of them are ever left with him alone, once he has proven he cannot be a proper responsible father.

9.  When you are picked on at school and made fun of, she goes to unheard of lengths to make it stop. She has no pride and will not be stopped, when it comes to protecting you.

10. When she cannot afford it, she somehow still makes sure you have what you need. No matter what it takes.

11. When your grandparents want to meddle and "advise" too much, she intervenes and pulls them off of you and into her direction so that she can take all the heat and aggravation. 

12. She is THE BEST middle man between her children and their Daddy. She takes the brunt of his anger, irritation, and basic ranting. Many times over nothing, but just the same, she takes it so you don't have to.

13. She won't always say what you want to hear because that's not always the right answer. She will not sugarcoat the perils of life, because she wants you to be able to live on your own one day. With knowledge not ignorance. 

14. We hocked our lives and souls for snare drums, go karts, and electric guitars because that's what you wanted more than anything in the world, at that time.

15. She listened to you cry and watched your hearts break, over girls and boys we already knew, were never worth your love.

16. She feels guilty over what she couldn't do, shouldn't have done, and never did, even when she shouldn't. She will never see it, but she is not to blame for everything that does not suit you or go your way.

17.  She drives to Walmart on a Wednesday night at 9pm, after working her behind off all day, cooking supper, and in the middle of washing clothes, because you just remembered you have a project that is due the next day, and you forgot to get three poster boards. And oh yeah, you will need her to help you build a model of a ship before tomorrow too. Shoot Mama, don't be so mad, sorry, they forgot.

18.  She is washing your football jersey at 11pm because you forgot to get it out of your gym bag, even when she asked you at 7pm if you had anything that needed to be washed and you said no.

And lastly, no matter what you think, your mother will love you more than any other human in your life, can possibly love you. That goes for dads, boyfriends, girlfriends, wives, husbands, life partners and best friends. She will always be at your beck and call. She will always answer the phone and listen to you cry, whine or fuss, at any time of the night or day. She will always take your side, albeit she will also try and gently point out the other side as well.  She will always think you are the prettiest or most handsome human being alive. The smartest person God created. The most talented person God ever perfected. And when you are not chosen for this life event or another, she will always know, there must have been a mistake. Your mother is the biggest Fan you will ever have in your life, and you, her biggest Hero.

I can honestly say I have no regrets. Anger outbursts and ugly words are all a part of real life. Bad decisions and less than stellar judgement calls are real life. If I could have been any better, any different, I wouldn't be called a Mama, my title would be an Angel. And Lord knows, I am not an Angel. I'm still human and I'm still the best Mother you could ever have. On that, I give you my word.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

A Different Spin on True Love

Do you believe that our lives are pre-destined? Do you believe our whole lives, from beginning to end are already planned out for us? Do you believe that there is a master plan for us all?

As I sat on the front porch swing with my youngest son, I listened as he asked me those questions. Somewhere between one girlfriend breaking up with him and him finding another and that relationship ending as well, he decided he believed. He decided he needed to believe that there were reasons for the awful things happening to him. He has always believed, as have I, that everything happens for a reason. Therefore, he simply says, he made a direct correlation from one thought process to another.

He said that he decided, that if it were indeed true, that our destiny is decided, that he wasn't going to fight it anymore. Wasn't going to worry about it. And certainly, wasn't going to get all caught up in the if's, why's and why not's of relationships and why they do or do not work. He said he was never going to allow that kind of crazy pain to take him over again. Like he had fallen into a black hole and couldn't climb out. That if it was meant to be, then it would be.

He said he sure wasn't going to worry about all of that right now. He had too much to do. And if his time ran out, and he didn't get to do it all, then so be it. Because whether he leaves this world at 52 years old or ninety, it's not his decision. He can live right, eat right, and be healthy, but when it's time to go, it's time to go. And he needs to get as much done as he can, every day, since he never knows when that will be.

He went on to say, that he was even applying this new life theory of his to his schoolwork. He said, last school year and some of the years prior, he spent most of his time fighting the system. Said he knew the work, didn't really see some of the relevance in doing it and or in proving himself. But this school year, after his summer revelation, he decided, why fight it? I know the work, I understand the work, and I'm good at it. Why not just do it? Keeps my grades up, my folks off my back and I need to see the bigger picture. I need to do what it takes to get into college, paid for by scholarship preferably, and it takes little to no effort for me. I know this about myself he said. I know I'm smart and capable. I was given a gift and I need to use it.

Then he came back to me. As if he had just realized that I was still sitting next to him, he said, do you see what I'm saying, do you believe that? I said well, my first answer is, I'm not sure. I don't think He would have agreed with some of the choices I have made, meaning, they would not have been His plan for me.  Zach said, but it is, because it was never His plan to make all your decisions, but to guide you through life, under his master plan. He said you always say, no matter what, without our real dad, you wouldn't have us. And without WD, you wouldn't be happy and have love. He said, and I know, that without my real Dad I wouldn't be here, and without WD I wouldn't be the man I am today. And because of you, I have both.

He wound up his part of the conversation by asking me didn't I see what he was saying? That by not fighting the system, the system that has already been set in place, it makes his life so much easier. Worry free, and uncomplicated. If he has a girlfriend, fine. If not, fine. He's not chasing, begging, playing games, or inviting the drama. He doesn't have to, because don't you see, if you belong to him, belong with him anyway, you just will. One day.  That he should be trusted because he's trust worthy. If he tells you something, that's the way it is, and if you care about him, you would do the same.

Where was a kid like that when I was in high school and dating? Where was the guy who didn't fold with the system, succumb to his peers, and made up his own mind about what/who was worthy of his time and heart. Where was the guy who could exist on his own, without a female to make him feel complete? And more than that, where were the females who didn't need a male to make them complete?

If you have a girlfriend or boyfriend, husband or wife this Valentine's Day, then that's wonderful. But even if you do, I'd like all of us, single or taken, to make a conscious effort to just be comfortable with ourselves. Just love yourself. Spend some time with yourself. Apply some worry free philosophy to your lives. There is no way we can ever be truly happy with anyone else, until we are satisfied with ourselves. And as Zach says, "Just do your thing, to the best of your ability, and let life and the world rock on around you".