Growing up.. thoughts on his last year…

Do you know what this is? This is a photo and a mother hugging her son after his last high school football game he will ever play. Standing by the bus to tell him I know he will miss it… but he has big things ahead of him. This is a mother who is giving her son a hug after watching him for the past 11 years go from flag football to middle school football to tackle football. This is a mother whose heart is breaking and at the same time is swelling with so much pride she doesn’t know what to say to her son. This is me. 

I am not wanting to wish things away.

 As you can see I have been pretty much absent since this summer. I am 100% positive this is because of the fact that I have a senior at home and I am wanting to enjoy every minute of his last days under my roof before we send him off for college. It’s not that I do not like to blog, and it is not that I don’t have topics I want to share… but it is more the fact that when I am not cheering him or his younger brother on from the stands at their MULTIPLE sporting events I am enjoying every moment of having him at home.

 We have done all the mandatory things parents of seniors need to do. Senior pictures have been taken, ordered and picked up. College visits done (I really should do a blog post on that!) a college has been chosen and his housing deposit has been sent in. I am on his prom planning committee and prom planning is full on in the works and is going forward full steam ahead.

I have been told many things as a parent of a child leaving the nest. I have been told the junior year is the hardest. I would actually agree because I think you spend the junior year worrying about what is to come and knowing that everything is the “last” of each event. Whereas the senior year you actually spend time enjoying it because it is their last of each thing.

 I have also been told that God in all his infinite wisdom prepares you for this next step by making the child spread his/her wings a little and they end up pushing back. This pulling away prepares you to give them a push. I would agree with this too. My son is becoming increasingly more independant in his thinking, in his actions and in his mindset. He is pushing back more than he ever has and in doing so… makes it easier for me to say “it is time for you to go”.

My mind set is shifting. I am seeing myself start to prepeare for weekend college visits to take my son to Target for essentials and out to eat. I see myself mentally shopping for his dorm and moving his old bedroom upstairs so my other son can have the coveted “basement bedroom”. I see myself shifting my mindset to “will he call?’ vs. “you must call”. I know the power is shifting into his hands. He will no longer NEED me to make decisions for him anymore. They are his own.

 Don’t get me wrong- I wish I could keep my kids at home with me forever. But I know that my job is to raise them to be smart, respectful, capable human beings. I know that I have to let go…. eventually… of the past little boys and girls that I have in my mind. Gone are the days of match box cars and sticky fingers, sippy cups and Teletubby videos. I have to force myself to look at my son as a young adult and not as a young man. But it is so tough to let go sometimes.

 So I apologize for my absence. It will get better I am sure when my time is not so focused on enjoying every moment. Until then hold your kids tight, tell them you love them and they are capable and enjoy the moment. It goes so very fast.

 Until next time-



What I see when I look at my sons….

I post a lot about sports. Let’s face it, if you follow my Facebook or my Twitter page I post about sports on almost a daily basis. This is not because I’m overly athletic, this is because I have two sons that are overly athletic. I’m proud of them, I am proud of their hard work, I’m proud of their dedication.

Nate and I following his Homecoming game this past weekend. We lost…but he is still smiling.

My oldest has had one of the toughest football seasons of his football career. He is a high school junior. He started playing football as a flag football player when he was in kindergarten. He loves the sport. He played every year through flag football, little kid tackle football, and now in high school football. He has always been a lineman and has always played center.

This year in the first few weeks of football, he has lost most of his teammates to injuries. I’m talking most of his varsity teammates, not the freshman and sophomores, not the little guys, but the big guys who have been playing the sport as long as he has. Despite it all, he has continued to play. He played although he has lost every single game except one. He played although he came home with jammed fingers and bruises all over his arms, and an overwhelming and incredible sense of loss.

He has continued to get up early every morning to lift weights, and has gone to bed late at night after doing homework so he could get back at it in the morning and practice after school.

He has run miles when asked to… lifted pounds when he was asked to, hit his opponents harder when asked to hit harder and reassured those other teammates (those younger teammates) when he was asked to. He continues to prepare himself for his wrestling season while still trying his hardest to complete his football season. Despite all the pain, loss, and frustration, he.has.played.on.

Then I see my 8th grade son. The son who has always been watching son #1.  He has copied him, respected him, wanted to follow him. He has been in sports his whole life. He has played basketball, football, ran track and attempted baseball and wrestling. He made a traveling team in basketball last past year after trying out for the very first time.

I know everyone has an opinion on traveling teams, don’t get me started on that. What I see when I look at him is a child who pushes as hard as he can and pours his all in what he does……. to do the best that he can Without fail.

Tyler on a tip off- #15

He played last weekend in a basketball tournament for two days. He played the entire game of every game, he ran until he was dripping with sweat and it was running in his eyes. He was hit and pinched and kicked and everything in between trying to fight for that ball but he did not quit.

What do I see when I look at my boys? I see perseverance, dedication, hard work, commitment, pride. I see two people who will never give up no matter how hard they are asked to try. I see two people who are proud of themselves and their commitment. I see two people who acknowledge they’re worth is not in the win or the loss but in the effort.

I see two brothers so tight that when one is up the other is up and when one is down the other is down. I see two brothers who know the value of hard work and know the value in the effort they put into the game.

I see two teachers for my own life. I am learning more from watching them then they are learning from me. I see them modeling for me the value of hard work and seeing something through. I learned to commit myself more fully to everything I do because of how they commit themselves. I learned that my value does not come from others but from within myself.

I could not be more proud of my two sons. I could not be more proud of who they are becoming. I am watching them grow into outstanding young men.

For some, the value comes from whether or not a team makes playoffs. For some the value comes from whether or not they have a winning or losing record. For me though, value comes from the heart and the perseverance and the dedication put into the game.

I cannot stress enough to my children, their value as an adult will not be determined from the record they have now. Their value as an adult will come from the lessons they have learned in the process of playing. They have learned teamwork as well as commitment and this will take them far in life as they grow into responsible respectful adults.

Have my children experienced wins? Yes. Have they experienced losses? Yes. I literally would have it no other way. It is in both the ups and downs in life they have learned how to be successful.

So for me, I consider it a privilege to share a little about my sons. I consider myself so lucky to have been chosen by God to be their mom. How blessed I am.

Thanks for reading.