Monday, July 30, 2012

Loving Lessons

Staring at them, I feel my heart swell.  No other trophy, medal or prize has ever given me as much satisfaction as my children.  I am humbled to be the mom God chose for these two beautiful babies.  I give them each one last kiss good night without waking them, and drudgingly head to what awaits me.  Dishes, laundry, a moody husband, and the dreaded drawer I have been putting of tackling all summer that is full of pretty much everything.  I read somewhere that you should always do the hardest task first on your to-do list, so here goes.  I make my way to the drawer of doom, and I can’t even open the darn thing without some receipt jumping out at me.  I grab the trashcan and start to dump.  Broken pencils, pens that have seen better days, and have written their last words fill the trash bag like a piƱata.  Forgotten journals, decorative notepads, and legal pads line the bottom of the drawer.  I notice a red Steno pad that has “personal stuff” scribbled across the bottom.   Not being my usual choice for a journal, too plain for my liking, it intrigues me.  I tentatively flip it open to the first page, and gaze at the title:  “Things I want to teach my son.”  A list of some of the things I wanted to teach my unborn child in my belly stares me in the face.  I run my hand across the page, and my eyes fill with tears as I playback memories with my beloved son.  From the first time I found out I was pregnant to his latest report card.  Every since I knew I had a child to care for growing inside me, I had no doubt I would dedicate my life to his well-being.  I read the list through blurred vision:

1.     God, family, everything else. (In that order)
2.     Never hit or disrespect a girl.
3.     God loves him
4.     He is precious.
5.     He can be anything he wants to be.
6.     Reach high because even if he falls he’ll land among the stars.
7.     Never give up.
8.     Don’t be shy.
9.     Say hi to everyone.
10. Can’t is not in a man’s vocabulary
11. If at first you don’t succeed, try and try and try and try again.  If it still doesn’t work, try harder.
12. Work hard.
13. Listen to your parents.
14. Respect your elders.
15. Open doors.
16. Say please and thank you.
17. Thank God everyday for what he has and has not given you.  Be grateful.

I continue with entry by saying how there is so much more I want to teach him, but being pregnant, I am too tired to write more.  I add how excited I am to be a mommy.

I sit back. 8 years later.  So much has happened since that idealistic young momma first wrote that list.  This woman is different.  Life has thrown some curveballs, and what’s left is a stressed out, emotionally worn down woman.  The thought makes my held back tears finally spew out like a faucet.  Amazing how choices I have made, and decisions my husband’s made have affected my demeanor and attitude so much. How my unmet expectations have transformed me into someone I didn’t want to be.  I pick myself up off the floor, and creep into my son’s room again.  I can’t help but smile to see my son’s own face lit up with a smile.  What is he dreaming about I wonder?  What project is he creating in his mind?  How many goals has he scored in this dream?  I realize at that moment, that I am still the same idealistic young momma.  I still want nothing but the sky for my son, and now also for my princess sleeping in the next room.   The list created by that young mom, still remains as things I would like to teach my son.  With the addition of a few:

18. He is his father’s son, but he is NOT his father’s choices.  (or his mother’s)
19. Happiness is a choice.  CHOOSE IT!!  Regardless of the curveballs.
20. Life is such a precious gift.  God gives it to you.  Along with the talents that you have.  LOVE LIFE!  Use your talents to honor God. 

I bend down, yet again.  Give him another kiss on the forehead.  Walk to my daughter’s room, and do the same.  This time, the walk to my still-waiting-to-be-checked-off to-do list feels lighter.  I look forward to having the opportunity to check things off, but even more, I look forward to the love lessons I, myself, learn everyday.