The Sweetest Things

It has been a rough week. As much as I fight it and try to make life perfect, I have to accept the good with the bad. I am going through some tough lessons, and I’d really like to stomp my feet like a child and refuse to listen. But lo and behold…I am a grown up. Whatever.

I talk about motherhood a lot. Im pretty sure it is obvious why I would. It is 99.9% of who I am. To those of you who knew me well while growing up, I know you are still shocked and uncertain if I myself, becoming a mother, was a good idea. No worries – turns out they are raising me while I raise them.

I am passionate about encouraging moms. If I encourage a dad along the way, I am very cool with that. I just can’t claim to understand what a father thinks and feels. But to the worn out, drained, trying so damn hard to give those kids everything you’ve got kind of mama…I get you. And to the single mom? I’d give anything to bring each one of you dinner tonight and a week long vacation alone. However, sitting here in my flannel pjs, in front of my computer – all I can do is share my heart and hope I connect with you and make you smile today. And more importantly, remind you, you are not alone.

No matter your place in life as a mother, as long as you are a fairly normal, decent human being, you probably strive daily to make your small corner of the world perfect for your child/children. We cheer them on when they are learning to walk, make their favorite, boring foods over and over as they begin showing their dislikes, cry when they leave for kindergarten, or cry when they don’t if you homeschooled, (lol just kidding), and buy them over priced shoes so they can fit in during those horrid teenage years. Then they grow up, without our permission, and we cheer them on at their new job, cry at their wedding, hoping we did our best and they will make it. If you are so blessed, you will watch in awe as your grown children become parents and now you experience a new love with a grandchild.

More special and important, beyond the favorite foods, new shoes, and everything else we provide, there are the smiles every time you make eye contact. One of my children recently pointed this out to me. He said I never look at them without smiling. I never thought about it. It is just natural. No matter my mood, if one of my children walk in the room and our eyes meet, I smile. It makes them smile. It’s a beautiful thought really. The love between mother and child is so natural, it is impossible not to smile when that love of your life catches your eye.

So after all of this investment of time, money, sacrifice, and pieces of our hearts, still, their worlds aren’t always perfect. Try as we may, we live in an imperfect world. As much as I’d like to wrap them all in bubble wrap and make them stay inside until they are 30, we can’t. It is illegal and creepy.

I took a break from writing my earth shattering post this morning, after receiving a call from the school to come pick up my child, who has a bad headache and is feeling nauseous. They are literally dropping like flies around here this week. As much as I’d like to hide under the covers and drop along with them, I can’t. I am too busy wiping tears, handing out cough drops, putting buckets beside beds, and toughest of all…keeping an eye on a teenager who is struggling all around with life. You are only as happy as your unhappiest child – how very true.

Then the sweetest little things happen. I may have had a little bit of a crying jag a couple minutes ago. My 13 year old came down the stairs to tell me he is feeling much better. He caught me crying, which they don’t see often. I really hate crying. It stuffs me up, gives me a headache, and ruins my mascara. But there I was, in that state of mind you don’t want your children to see. I still smiled of course. He asked me what is wrong, and I said I read a sad story. I don’t want to burden a 13 year old with my concerns. He is my empathetic child, and I should have known he wouldn’t buy my lies. He gave me as much of a smile as he could muster when a child sees mom crying, put his arms around me and said, “Whatever you are worried about mom, you are doing a good job.” He just said that to me, like an angel.

And that’s why we do what we do, right? Those little moments….those little glimpses into their sweet souls, amidst their sometimes cranky, messy little selves. It reminds us we are  doing a good job, as my son just said. We’ve heard the phrase, “The nearest thing to heaven is a child.”  I believe that.

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My sweet 13 year old, James
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