Tag Archives: families

Interruption – A Tribute

This week marks 3 huge events in my elder son’s life:  high school graduation, his 18th birthday, and his receipt of Eagle Scout.  I had to stop the progress of my little series on parenting to honor one of my own.

IMG_2660

As you might know, years ago I chose to homeschool my kids; therefore, I can speak from first-hand knowledge that this son was a fantastic student.  He is one of those students that never rolled his eyes in complaint about a subject assigned, he didn’t negotiate to get out of school early, he always had a good attitude, and he was very smart.  His main fault when it came to his education process is that he had such a full sense of humor that he was forever making us all laugh.  I can’t imagine school without him interjecting his humor and laughter to our process.

IMG_6337

Today this amazing young man turns 18.  He has been one of those kids that makes their parents look amazing.  He converses well with adults, being respectful and articulate.  He is inclusive of younger kids, being willing to step away from the grown-up conversations to help little ones feel special.  He is self-controlled and well-grounded when it comes to his peers, always making the thoughtful, responsible choices.  I couldn’t ask for anything more.

On top of all of that, he has recently earned his Eagle Scout rank in the Boy Scouts.  Some of you may know how difficult and rare this achievement is; but very few of you know how incredibly difficult his journey to this achievement was.  Remembering that we just made a cross-country move, what that meant to his Boy Scout career was that the hours and hours of work that he’d invested towards getting his Eagle project completed in Connecticut was lost. He had to start over in Texas, not just on developing a new project and the myriads of paperwork and decisions necessary to see it through to completion, but also relationally, building respect and trust amongst his peers and their leaders.  Add to all of this that the troop that he joined rarely awards Eagles, and has never, ever awarded one to a transfer scout.  He has had to work and work to get things accomplished, he has had to swallow his pride when he was misunderstood, and has had to stretch himself well-beyond his comfort level to navigate complicated relationships.

58553_135065326678493_1386323921_n

IMG_6146

IMG_6196

547342_135071023344590_14668959_n

With the help of one exceptional scout/friend that committed his time and effort to seeing Josiah succeed, the contributions of those who believed in him and were willing to help fund his project, and his siblings who relentlessly cheered him on, he got all of the requirements necessary checked off yesterday.  His Court of Honor, where he will receive his award, is a few months off, but we in the family are celebrating this accomplishment.

So today, I stop to honor my son as he graduates high school, turns 18, and accomplishes his Eagle Scout rank.  Quite a bit for a day’s work!

 

2 Comments

Filed under Education at Home, Family and faith, Parenting

Confession: I didn’t bond with my baby right away.

As I discussed in my last post, there are myriads of definitions that parents have of what being a parent means.  The more experienced you are at parenting, the more you realized that those definitions typically don’t hold much weight when you’re staring the down the barrel of reality.

As I was talking with a mom-to-be friend of mine, I heard in her words several of the “good mom” statements that I had said myself, before I actually held any of my children.  I thought it would be a good use of time on this site to explore some of the most commonly held expectations and deal with them honestly.

Confession:  I didn’t bond with my baby right away.  Maybe I should restate that:  I loved my daughter immediately, but because of what I’d heard from other parents about the magical, instant connection between mother and child (you know the one…where heaven parts, the angels sing, rainbows descend into the hospital room, the baby looks dreamily in your eyes, and you instantly know what their every need is and how you should respond) didn’t happen with me.  In fact, I must admit that even after a few days of being trained in the arts of nursing, bathing, changing and swaddling this baby, I still brought home a virtual stranger.  I remember looking at my husband with the beginning edges of panic joining with my words as I asked, “What do we do with her now?”

BabyIII

Over time, as I began to be able to read her sounds, create a workable schedule, and learned to appreciate the wonder of who she was, I relaxed and gracefully stepped into the long journey of parenting.

BabyII

Two and a half years later, when we repeated this process with my son, I found myself crying in my car one evening, terrified by the fact that I didn’t love both of my children at the same time.  At least that was the way it felt.  At times, I resented my new son for infringing on the special times that I was creating with  my daughter, and other times I resented my daughter for stealing time away from the pure joy of caring for my new baby.  I really thought I was either going crazy, or somehow lacked the “mother” gene that I was supposed to have to make room for more than one child.

MeJ

J2

MJ

J

MeMaddieII

And what made it worse was that no one around me was talking about this phenomenon. I had no one to either commiserate with me, or put my mind at ease, and no one to tell me that I wasn’t going crazy.  In reality, what I really needed were the magical ingredients of time, fellowship, and sleep.

2KidsII

2Kids

I can only imagine what it must be like for moms who suffer with postpartum depression, or moms who adopt a child/children that take extra grace to bond with.

We’ve got to take down the walls of perfectionism and isolationism to reveal the healthy and normal varieties of experiences found in bringing our babies home, and rearing them through all kinds of situations.  We’ve got to be willing to be real with those around us so that we destroy the myths of the ideals that we expect.  Sure, there are some absolutely ideal situations that we experience with our families.  Those should be shared freely.  But with equal candor, we need to share the days that we find ourselves at a complete loss, the days spent in tears, and the days that it is only by the grace of God that we don’t climb into our beds, vowing not to get out until the kids are in college!

1 Comment

Filed under Family and faith, Parenting