Facebook Love

As a mom of 3 boys and a sister to 3 brothers I have always felt a kinship when I see other moms of 3 boys. I feel it with all moms, no matter how many kids of course. But this felt like we knew something about each others lives. I always wanted us to high 5 or do a knowing super hero nod to each other.

For this purpose I started a Facebook page a few years ago Mom of boys, there are others that are really closely named lol.  I’ve only had maybe 150-200 followers and I mostly post little memes that I find, little pictures.

A few months ago a fellow mom blogger asked me to write a blog post for them and they tied to to my Facebook account, and all of a sudden in the last 5 days I went from 500 followers to 5000! It was such a fun week to watch the numbers climb higher then I ever dreamed! I believe it is slowing down but I was so amazed! I’ve been responding to all comments and posting a little more often and even creating a few memes of my own to help be interesting. I don’t know if it will last , but it feels like a cosmic pat on the back.

This is the link to my page. If you go there let me know what you think!

Let it Go

I remember the night in the hospital when I held my first child, a son. I wrote graduation speeches, practiced wedding toasts. I was a little delirious from the drugs I admit. But I don’t think I’m the only one that begins to plan their future from the first moment

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Not many of my plans worked out very well. Turns out kids come with their own personality and this spawns ideas and plans of their own. Some days I love the ride and the journey of it, they are so much more then I could have ever imagined. Some days I feel like my heart is breaking from the pain and loss, to see them go down hard paths that won’t end well. When they blame you for everything, point out all your faults in detail. Those days suck.

I find it’s important to let go. Let go of the fantasy, let go of the planning, it’s practice for letting them go. I can’t believe my son graduates from high school in 2 short weeks! I can’t wait to be done with his life in high school! School with him has been difficult. He is very smart but not at all interested in sitting in a class room.

A few weeks ago our church put together a night to celebrate all the graduates. They asked the parents to submit photos of their child growing up and prepare a small speech about their child. I didn’t know about it until 10 minutes after it ended. My ex didn’t tell me about it and he was receiving all the emails and requests. He called right after it ended to casually mention where they had been. I have been the photographer of their lives, the keeper of the scrapbooks and photo albums. I have been waiting to show anyone my kids growing up. My ex sent in a few pictures he had on his phone and Facebook. My son had half the time the other kids had. I have had a really hard time letting this one go. I called my son and cried that I hadn’t been there and that I hadn’t known. He laughed and told me he hadn’t even wanted to go and didn’t know I wasn’t invited. But this is my child who has always been sensitive to things and people around him, I know somewhere inside it was another strike on him from the divorce.

Next week he gets his yearbook. I made his senior post and chose the pictures and the really awesome Tony Hawk quote (my son is a major skateboarder lol). I have that.

Fresh Scones

Tonight while I was watching one son compete in the state championship for gymnastics my other son called and informed me that he and his girlfriend were craving scones.

I love making scones, I love eating them with honey butter, or nutella or dredged in sugar and cinnamon… so yummy! When I was growing up my mom would make taco meat and we would fill the hot scones with meat, cheese and lettuce and it was heaven!

Now however I can’t have the gluten and that would be torture! But I wanted so badly to go home and make them scones. I want to be there making memories with him before he leaves for college in a few short months. However I was already at one event and the kids were at their dads house for the weekend.

So I told them where the recipe was and let them know I would help however I could. They called several times;

“What is yeast and where is it.”

‘How do you know yeast is rising, we’ve been watching it of awhile.”

“What is the sugar to cinnamon ratio.”

I loved it.  No, I didn’t get to be there making memories with them. What would have happened if I had been? They would have watched a movie while I made scones. So since I wasn’t there, what happened?

They learned. My son learned a new skill! He knows how to make scones, he learned that he can go find a recipe and make food! I’m filled with pride and excitement when I see the writing on the wall.

He’s going to leave me and the nest soon.

He’s going to be ok.

And that is my job as a mom. To teach them how to leave me and survive it, no to thrive!!

 

Mothering boys

Frequently as a mom I soar up into the stratosphere of knowing all and then I plummet into knowing nothing at all about parenting boys.

I was telling a friend about my oldest son who is 20 and has gone off and made many decisions over the past year or two that I didn’t see coming. Now my 18 year old is experimenting with sapphire blue hair. Meanwhile the 16 year old is doing his darndest to be the best version of himself he can be. I explained to my friend that some of the choices the older boys were making were not how I raised them to be. Her response was “didn’t you?’

“Umm no. I raised them to make other choices, more straight laced looking choices.”

She still disagrees. She explained that I have raised my boys to be who they want to be, I’ve raised them with courage to be different. With artistic gifts that I praised that allows them to branch out and explore their creativity.

It’s my feeling that hair is just hair. Mostly I have always cut my boys hair in a classic boy cut, a style that looks good on them. Ok except for the year or two I thought I could cut hair and those weren’t very classic, and contrary to my oldest sons memory I did not knick his ear with hair scissors once. But once when my oldest was in the last week of 7th grade he really wanted a faux hawk and I let him. It wasn’t my first choice, but it was the last week of school and it’s hair. It grows back. My other son loves his long blue hair. I personally think it looks a little like a My Little Pony mane and I want to braid it.  I know eventually it will fade, turn green and we can have it changed back to blonde.

My 3rd son is a level 10 gymnast at the age of 16. Some boys on his team quit a few years ago because they were teased for being gymnast. This has never bothered my son, I don’t know why. But he is strong and talented and has his own level of courage to be himself.

Isn’t this one of the most important things we can teach our boys? To be true to themselves. In a world that wants to change the way they act with drugs, shaming and fear. Hug your boys and let them spread their wings. There isn’t a one mold fits all in life. We need the doctors, soldiers, artists, dentists, garbage men, we need all of them. So love them, I wish I could go back and love mine more, to be less afraid of what teachers thought or strangers in grocery stores. I don’t remember teaching them to express themselves with tattoos, earnings or blue hair. And I hope some of that is temporary expressions of self, but I love them. Just as they are.

Parenting Blues

One of my sons is 18 and a senior in high school. He actually turned 18 about 7 weeks into senior year because the cut off in the state we live is Sept 1. Its both hard and nice to be one of the oldest in school. I think it was wonderful when he was in kindergarten and first grade when it was tough to sit still for so long, especially for boys.

Now that he is 18 and just dying to be graduated it’s harder. At 18 you are technically a man, and yet you live at home as a student.

So imagine my 18 man/child calls me with his girlfriend to say he’s going to dye his hair blue. This is my handsome tall, blonde son. I’m not a fan of blue hair, especially on boys. Honestly it makes me sing the “My Little Pony” song in my head, and I want to put pretty bows in it. But he’s 18 and it’s his hair. I told him; I didn’t think it was a good idea, its a tough color to really fix after, he’s about to have senior prom and all sorts of important things and lastly his dad will have a fit, along with his paternal  grandparents who live in the area. But ultimately it’s his hair, I just didn’t think it was a great idea.

So they did it. Bright, BRIGHT blue.

His dad, my ex, had a major fit. He called me quite angry that I didn’t tell our son no. I explained that I had said it wasn’t good idea and I didn’t want him to do it, but for all the reasons above I didn’t just say no. Because I don’t feel it would do any good, and at his age he can make decisions. I was given long lecture by the ex who is an attorney and can be very long winded. He picked apart all my wording just like I was on the witness stand.  And I ended it by saying when I told our 20 year old son no tattoos, did it stop him? No. When that same son wanted his nose pierced and I said no, did it stop him? No.

When I talk about this it sounds like I’ve raised some interesting kids, blue hair, tattoos, nose rings… lol and it wasn’t the way I raised them. We taught them to be pretty straight laced. I’m not sure whats going on. Other then they are strong boys with creative ideas and a desire to standout. Hopefully they will find even better ways as they grow and mature.

I don’t think I was wrong. I don’t think putting my foot down and forbidding him to dye his hair was the right thing. And it is just hair. And in 4 months he leaves for a service mission for our church where he will be very clean cut. I think he wants to get it out of his system now and I completely get it. Maybe I should remind his father about what he did to his hair and ears when he was a senior in high school… But would that do any good? No.

Post note, I saw a wonderful article on Huffington Post this morning about a  woman dying her hair blue. And I’m sure it was the universe talking back to me after I wrote this article! Wonderful read!

Bedtime in Fort Worth

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I have a love of sleeping and sunshine. Anytime I can put the two together I am in a happy place! After not sleeping for around 48 hours, seeing my hotel bed bathed in streams of sunset I was out for the count. I managed to mumble an apology to my son for going to sleep before 8pm and invited  him to rent a movie if he got bored and I remember nothing more.

Shout out to my amazing son

I have a son who is a level 10 gymnast. This has taken many years of working out 5-6 days a week for at least 4 hours a day. Learning how to stretch and contort his body in ways that on occasion hurts for me to watch. He does this because he loves it, he has loved it from the beginning and I drive him where he needs to be, encourage his growth and let him choose his path. I know he has hopes of college scholarships which are hard to come by and he hopes to help coach in the future. The hours and hours I’ve spent in the car supporting his dedication are worth it, I love being a part of his dream.

And this is where my 3 paragraph rant used to be about parents who don’t show up or bring the grandparents, uncles, aunts or cousins to the 1 local competition a year. Now it’s one sentence.

My brother and his awesome family drove 2.5 hours to come watch him compete this weekend and it meant so much to me and my son! I am so grateful for family! Of course now their 3 young children are bouncing and rolling around their house lol and thus begins the next generation of gymnasts.

 

 

Hugs and Goodbyes

IMG_2388When my oldest son was in the 5th grade he went through a faze where he wanted to hug me all the time. He was just tall enough that when he hugged me his face was exactly in my chest, and he would stand there and hug me for as long as I would let him. There were times I had lots of time to stand there, but other times I had to cut it short because I really did have to make dinner or walk to another room for something. I am so happy to say that someone caught a picture of him hugging me once at a lake so I have a beautiful reminder of what felt frustrating at the time. As a mom sometimes I really felt like I just needed a little personal space and so didn’t always appreciate it the way I should have.

Now that he is 20 and after surviving the last few years with him, I really feel as though some part of his heart, soul, psyche, something inside of him needed to say goodbye to me. Something knew what his teenage years were going to be like and he hugged me as much as he could. He is a very smart child, and he loves to debate, which actually feels like arguing. His father was an attorney and would encourage it and they would argue for hours. But this became very difficult as he choose to go a separate way from the faith that he was raised in, or didn’t stick with our values as a family. He became very involved with pot. So much so that he went to rehab once, which sounds silly considering now they say it’s not addictive and its being legalized. But he would use to it to such extremes that he had very high peaks and very depressed valleys that were hard on the rest of the family. I’m so grateful it didn’t evolve into harder substances but it was hard. I happen to have a extremely sensitive nose and we had several fights when I would sniff out his well hidden stash without even trying.

Now that I have divorced his dad he has another thing to debate with me. He enjoys pointing out all of his fathers good points, and all of the things his father really did well at as a husband and dad. He likes to underplay the difficulty he knew only parts of. He feels that because he is 20 he should get to know all the details of my defunct marriage so he can cross examine all the choices I made. Luckily I have been to counseling and the state mandated parenting class both of which taught me that my marriage and it’s problems are not to be discussed with my kids. I tell him over and over that I will always be grateful and love his dad for giving me our beautiful children but I won’t discuss my relationship with his dad with him, I will discuss my relationship with him as my son anytime. I don’t know if he’s just being a normal child trying to reconcile his parents or if he’s so happy debating that he knows every button I have and that the guilt I have over the divorce is a easy way to get me riled up. I also know that his dad, his paternal grandparents and his fathers siblings all feel that is it a great idea to discuss our marriage and problems and my percieved weaknesses with my children. So, many times when my son is debating with me I hear all the ex-inlaws voices and thoughts in his words. This doesn’t seem fair that he is getting one sided information, however I have been assured by multiple therapists that I’m am doing the right thing in not discussing my side and someday my children will know what they already feel in their hearts. Today was a particularly rough afternoon with my son,  I had gone out of my way to take him to lunch and spend time with him. I think I held it together very well, dropped him off, drove to Target and sobbed in my car. I was just so exhausted and bruised from his verbal barrage.

I hold on to the hope that someday he will grow up and acknowledge what I believe is in his heart. Until then I have a beautiful picture of my son hugging me, when all was right and innocent.