Dear Teen Son
I blinked and you are becoming a man.
A beautiful kindhearted Jesus loving man.
There is nothing I can do about it.
I can’t go back in time to you asking me to “put on a princess dress & come dance with you”
I can’t keep you from doing stupid things, falling in love, or getting hurt.
I can’t keep you from thinking I’m a moron or not taking my advice.
This is your journey to walk.
These are your decisions to make.
These are also your mistakes to learn from.
But, I can whisper truths that I pray you will always hear in the back of your mind.
You are loved beyond measure.
You are seen and known.
You are valuable.
You are not defined by the number of a test grade or a sports score.
Your character is not intertwined with athletic achievement or academic credit.
Your character is instilled within you and comprised of your moral values.
You are a child of God.
You are tenacious and do not give up.
You are resilient and get back up.
You are committed to your passions.
You love selflessly.
You empathize deeply.
You stand strong in your convictions.
There is nothing you can ever do to separate you from my love.
There is no mistake great enough for your Jesus to turn his back on you.
You will undoubtedly take the path least traveled as the Leader you are.
When it gets rocky and you stumble, remember that you don’t have to walk it alone.
So go now. Stand up tall. Grow into the Man God is calling you to be.
Go dance with the girls in princess dresses, remember that chivalry is not dead,
and, don’t forget to kiss your Mama!
To that Mama scrolling through Facebook today, seeing everyone's beautiful family pictures and celebrations, while struggling to find your own joy, I see you.
Last year, I was on the other side of the world, multiple time zones away from my kids. I had Mother's Day dinner in a restaurant surrounded by everyone else's family celebrations. I hadn't seen my kids in 13 days. My heart ached. I felt so incomplete and empty, and wanted nothing more than to hop a plane and go home to see their smiling faces and hug them. And, it made me think about those Mamas out there who struggle every Mother's Day. Those who can't scroll through social media today because it makes them feel so very empty and incomplete.
To those Mountain Moving Mamas out there fighting for your child's very life, I see you. To those Warrior Mamas who have suffered unthinkable tragedy and lost your children, I see you. To those Overcomer Mamas that have fought through Hell and back for both you and your children, I see you. To those Survivor Mamas whose womb has never been filled, I see you. To those Fighter Mamas who may not have a relationship with your children right now but won't give up until you do, I see you. To all the Mamas out there who can't look at the picture of my smiling family on Mother's Day without your heart breaking in two,
I SEE YOU.
I don't for one second take it for granted, nor do I post without considering how painful this day may be for each and everyone of you. I see you and I love you. I'm aware that tomorrow, those of us celebrating today will go back to life as we know it. We'll rush kids out the door and off to school, yell at our children to stop picking on their brother, and shuttle kids to baseball practice, gymnastics, cheer, etc... And you, will continue life as you know it, a life that none of us can imagine and pain that none of us have experienced. I wish there was more comfort I could offer you. But, for today, know this. I SEE YOU and I LOVE YOU!
"Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all."
~2 Thessalonians 3:16
We're going through a rough season over here and I think some of you out there may be as well. While I'm not really looking for advice, I feel like I should just share where we are right now.
Let me start with this disclaimer: I am a freaking awesome mom! Like the absolute best there ever was! I'm on top of my game.... June Cleaver ain't got nothing on me! And..... I fall asleep most nights feeling like I'm somehow failing at this Mom game and could have done so many things differently that day: i.e. Not yelled, gotten off my phone and paid attention, listened more, held them more, not cursed... I mean..honesty..
But, right now, is an unprecedented season in parenting. I'm not sure that I've felt so unsure or out of control since the little one was a newborn that didn't sleep for the first 17 months of his life, required to be held/fed for 22 out of 24 hours, and I literally thought I was losing my ever loving mind... Thank the good Lord for creating grapes or I may not have survived...
But, we've rounded this bend, kids are getting older, and with that, developing into their own human forms that also have their own personalities and mind sets... I was a strong willed child. My husband was a strong willed child. We're both incredibly strong willed adults..... *as iron sharpens iron*. And, I have absolutely no doubt that my youngest will be a successful entrepreneur who goes on to lead legions of people and quite possibly rule the world. It's in his DNA and I thank God daily for making him strong enough to be a leader that God needs in his army. However, it's that space in between where we're struggling.
We're struggling with him not taking responsibility, not listening, arguing constantly with his brother, talking back, and basically.. doing whatever the heck he feels like.... It's not that he gets in trouble or has a track record. He actually has a great repertoire with his teachers, Sunday school workers, other parents, etc.... He just pushes our/my buttons & loves every minute of it.
Tonight while saying prayers, I very candidly prayed that God would "Help Mom to be more understanding, more patient, communicate more, and follow God's will in raising witnesses for him." There may or may not have been a line about God helping mom to not beat/choke the children... thrown in there...
Listen, I know my kid will SOAR & do amazing things in life! God planted him on this earth to be a leader and I love his little squishy cheeks that I want to kiss on a daily basis! But, I also know that we all struggle with different seasons and this is just where we are right now. So, please send up a prayer for me that he will make life a little easier right now and let me know how I can pray for you as well!
To the mom whose baby went off to school today, I see you. I remember the gut wrenching sadness of knowing that someone else would have my baby for 8 hours a day. I remember knowing that my children's safety was turned over to someone else for the majority of the week. I remember thinking that they would now spend more time in the care of others than with me for the next 13 years. I remember thinking that I wish I would have held them more when they were home every day with me. I remember thinking that the last five years had been the fastest of my life. I remember hoping and praying that I had done everything right. I remember praying that I had taught them to be kind to others, to wait their turn, to use their manners, to wash their hands after using the restroom and before they eat, to not drink from the water fountain. I remember hoping and praying that they would be a light to others that they come in contact with. I remember praying that they would remember their personal boundaries and use their voice if that was ever violated. I remember praying that they would not learn about things that would violate their innocence. I remember hoping and praying that they would not bully or be bullied. I remember hoping that their teachers would love them and they would feel cared for. And, thanks to some incredibly wonderful loving women they had just that.
But, most of all, I remember feeling lost. I had invested 8 years of my life with kids at home I had spent every day having someone that needed me. I wasn't ready to not be needed daily. I remember begging my husband for another baby and him telling me that I just couldn't keep having kids every time one started school... I remember thinking how fast it had gone with my step-son and that I would blink one day and these boys would be leaving for college. I remember going to the grocery store that morning & the cashier asking where my buddy was & breaking down in tears unable to speak.
Just know that you're not alone. I see you and feel you. Know that this is a new chapter. You've done your job and they won't forget that. They will come home excited to tell you about all they've learned & the friends they've met. Know that there will be time now to work on you, to get back to who you were before becoming Mommy. Know that there will be time for lunch with your husband, uninterrupted. Know that you will be able to find time for pedicures, yoga, lunch with friends, self-development. Know that now is a time to find yourself & reignite your dreams. Know that there is life after the baby goes to school. And, know that if you need a friend to have lunch with and... *gasp* a glass of wine in the middle of the day, I'm your girl!
Hi! I'm, Brandi, founder of The Power Project, and I'm so glad you're here! I have this crazy belief that we can all do anything we set our minds to! Sometimes, you just need to hear it from a stranger on the internet. But, we're not strangers anymore. We're friends now. Welcome Friend! I hope you find some inspiration, encouragement, and empowerment here.