Friday, August 16, 2013

Seemingly Meaningless

To passersby it would have been nothing. They may not have even noticed. If they had, they may have thought, "Oh, how sweet." or "That's nice." And then moved on with their day, never giving it a second thought. To was everything. It was hard. It was exciting, nerve racking, heart melting and scary, all at the same time. Some of you will get it. Some of you will think that I am being silly. I'm okay with that.

I asked my oldest child, he will be fifteen in a couple of weeks, to take my three and a half year old daughter to the park for a bit so that I could get the dishes done. This was his first time taking her out of the yard, all on his own, and into the big wide world. He did not hesitate. She literally jumped for joy. I try not to place my insecurities upon them. They don't have a clue how I was feeling about it. And how was that, you ask? "Eek!" about sums it up.

My son is very responsible and kind. He is aware. He is trustworthy. My daughter is outgoing and sweet. She can also be very temperamental, sassy and at times, down right defiant. I knew that my son was ready to try and I really needed the help. So, I watched them walk away, hand in hand, down the hill and out of sight, happily together. And I am just fine. Full of mixed emotions, yes, but still just fine. So what's the big deal, Ginny? What are you rambling on about? Are the things you are thinking, I'm sure.

I know it is normal for older siblings to watch younger siblings. It will not be the last time that I ask him to. I also know that I love all five of my precious children more than I could possibly ever describe to you. They are my whole life. When I ask my son to watch my daughter, I will not take for granted what is truly happening. One of my beloved children is keeping the other out of harms way. Not only will he make sure she gets to the park and back safely, probably without falling or getting too badly hurt on the playground...he is also, in a way, putting his life on the line for her. He is keeping her from being struck by a vehicle or snatched by a kidnapper. He would probably place himself in harms way in order to protect her. He would take a bullet for his sweet baby sister. To me, this is a ridiculous thing to ask. Sometimes the feelings inside of me are just too much. I love them both very dearly and I don't want either one of them to be hurt or wronged or taken from me.

When I go out for the evening and my oldest is in charge for a little while, were the house to catch on fire, he would try his hardest to save his four younger siblings and get them out to safety. Deep down in my heart I think, "How is this fair?" and "What about him and his own safety?" He is just as important to me as the rest of them. As a parent, I have to let go of these fears. I have to decide that these thoughts are not going to cause me to shelter the children more than necessary. I can not stunt them because I am afraid. And if, heaven forbid, something ever were to happen on his watch, it would be up to me to make sure that he understands it isn't his fault and to never hold it against him. If the house burned down and he couldn't get in to save them or made the decision that it was too dangerous to try, I would have to trust his judgement...because by leaving him in charge...that is what I am asking of him. His judgement.

I know, I know. These are ridiculous thoughts. The chances of these things happening are very unlikely. But the truth is, I am a mom. Moms worry too much. We over think. We drive ourselves a little crazy when it comes to the love and safety of our cubs. And then...we let it go. We slowly cut the strings and send them into the world to try.

So, the next time you see a kid walking down the street, taking his little sister to the park and then out for ice cream (with his own money, too cute), please know that it is not "nothing." To a mother, out there is absolutely everything.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

You Might Be a Super Mom If...

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You have only one child.

You have multiple children.

You are pretty sure you like the children that you would just prefer to poop in private every once in a while.

You breastfed your child for a day or a year or even longer.

You made the choice to not breastfeed your child for personal or medical reasons.

Sometimes you wonder why you ever decided to have a child.

You feel bad that thought just crossed your mind and deep down you wouldn't change your life if you even had the chance.

You make it to every single school, sport or extra curricular function your child ever participates in.

You make it to the performances that you can and let your child know how much you wish you could see more.

You walk around with poop smeared on your arm for hours before your husband gets home from work and asks what it is.

You cook a balanced healthy dinner and sit around your dinner table every single night as a family.

You order pizza or stop at McDonalds on the way home instead.

You choose to be a stay at home mom.

You choose to have a career because you love it, need it or just have to have it.

You can make up elaborate stories and songs on the spot that your child insists on hearing over and over again.

You can't come up with stuff like that under pressure so you read them a book instead.

You are single and doing it all on your own.

You are raising your child with your village.

You spend all of your time fulfilling your child's day with crafts, learning and fun activities.

You take a little time for yourself and blog or play Candy Crush while the kids fend for themselves a bit. (Damn you Level 33!!!!)

You never go out at night because you want to be home with your child, need to be home with your child, or don't have the funds to go out for the evening anyway.

You get a sitter and head out for a night on the town regularly.

You allow your child to bang the back of your hand with a toy, no matter how much it hurts you, so they will lay still just long enough for you to change their damn diaper.

You live in a big beautiful home that you own.

You live in a tiny apartment or a shelter or in a basement of a family member or friend.

You get out and get a haircut or manicure regularly.

You haven't had a haircut or pedicure in you have NO idea how long.

You have a cocktail (or four) with dinner.

You are not a drinker.

You are following all of your hopes and dreams.

You have lost sight of all of your own hopes and dreams because you are focused on those of your child.

You conceived, birthed and carried your child.

You got pregnant by accident.

You adopted, inherited or otherwise acquired a child not from your womb.

You gave up your child for adoption because you knew that was best for them.

You had an abortion or made the conscious decision to never have a child for your own reasons, knowing it was best for the unborn child.

You loved every moment of being pregnant.

The thought of ever being pregnant again sounds like as much fun as being dragged from the back of a semi down the highway.

You love your child no matter how furious or disappointed they can make you, at times.

You home school.

You send your child to public or private school.

You have no idea how to help them with their math homework because it is nothing like the way you used to do it when you were a kid.

You travel with your child and show them new and exciting places around the world.

You have never even left the state with your child.

Travelling with children scares the ever living s#!t out of you or sounds like pure parental torture.

You run a "tight ship" and everything is scheduled and in order.

You have no schedule.

You keep an immaculate house.

Your house looks like a hurricane blew through it or you hire someone else to clean it for you.

You are tired a lot of the time.

You drank three Red Bulls to get you through the day.

You are a machine and need no substances to assist you!

You make s#!t up all day long, sometimes to the point of exhaustion.

You can see where I am going with this. We moms are as unique and beautiful as snowflakes. We know our children and our families and what is best for them. We all do things a little bit, or a lot a bit, differently. Our ultimate goals are the same, though. We are raising children to the best of our abilities. We can be so critical on ourselves with each decision, no matter how simple, hard or superficial they may seem. We can only do our best. As long as we love them unconditionally, there will forever be hope in our successes.

You are doing a good job. How's that for a daily affirmation?!

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