motherhood

From Here on Out

The worst part about having teenagers isn’t the unpredictable moods (mainly my own), its the damaged self-esteem having become the shortest member of my household.

I hate being the shortest.

However, this was what I prepared for, this moment in time when I could no longer intimidate them by being bigger.  I did all I could to earn their respect.  I carved rules into stone and quashed revolt to the best of my ability.  It’s all led to this…I genuinely enjoy them as humans.  

This has pushed me into a new precipice of parenting. While I am still a quiet, constant support in their lives, what they do with them is no longer up to me. I will serve them best if I keep my opinions to myself.  I’ve had my shot at being a teenager. I gave it my all and it’s not up to my boys to fulfill any of my unlived dreams.  And, anyway, I feel like I’m just getting started. 

I plan to appreciate wherever my one, wild, and precious life takes me.

The point of all this, and yes, there is actually a point, is that I want to declare that my boys are in charge of their destiny from here on out.

I want Full Speed to choose his college (if college suits him) and career path based on his own criteria.

No limits.

From what I can see, he is thoughtful in his musings about his future. I trust him and I trust life to take him wherever he needs to go. As long as he is following his curiosity, the answers will come.

As for T. Puzzle, who at this stage remains committed to verbalizing the least amount of words possible on any given day, I support this endeavor. Who I am I to know what he needs? Maybe my penchant for feeling-based talks aren’t the answer to everyone’s problems. What works for me may not work for him. I did recently ask him to at least alter the inflection when he says “good” or “ok” just to give me some auditory variance.  If he decides not to, that’s fine by me, too.

The greatest superpower a parent has is their ability to witness the incredible, pure essence of what makes each of their children awesome. This will help see you through the conflict particular to raising teenagers.  

And remember, the best way to get them to listen to you is to say as little as possible.

I think T. Puzzle is really on to something there.

motherhood

Spelling the Way to New Horizons

It’s been a minute since T.Puzzle competed (and won!) his school spelling bee.  At the time, he was a fifth grader and required my help in preparation. You can read about that here:

How Do You Spell Amazing?

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As an eighth grader at a new school, we were pleasantly surprised when he qualified to participate in his school’s bee. The process was different from our past experiences. He initially wasn’t given a list to study from and there were challenges to find this list. Once in his possession, we talked about a possible study schedule but the beauty of his age (now 14), is the responsibility of studying was all his.

Having teenagers has its perks.

It was surreal to watch him up on that stage not only because of the masks and pandemic safety protocol symbolic of the year 2020, but to see and hear him as a nearly grown man with a baritone voice. He seemed to tower over that microphone.

Not so three years ago:

Do moms ever really see their boys as men? I guess I’ll have to wait and find out.

The first rounds crept by but gained speed towards the end. He breezed through each of them and when it hit the top five, I had a feeling he would win the whole thing.

Now, it’s on to county. He’s only mildly happy about that. The competitor in him loves to win, but the teenage boy in him hates to study.

Whatever happens, I’ll be there.

Always.

motherhood

New Year, New You

First of all, don’t go changing on account of the New Year.  You are much too fabulous for that.

Stay you, stay true.

In the midst of our holiday break, which is whizzing by, the boys got new glasses.  This may seem insignificant but it isn’t.  Due to their unique and complex prescriptions, we have sometimes waited up to a year (a year!) to get new glasses made.

These new frames arrived less than a month after we dropped off the prescription. That has never happened in all of our days of taking boys to eye doctors.

Not once.

Keep in mind T.Puzzle started glasses when he was six months old and Full Speed at twenty months:

It’s been a long haul.

The one thing that has remained constant is how incredibly handsome my guys are in their glasses.  I didn’t think they could improve on this, but they did.

I am choosing not to comment on how much older they look in these new frames.

Is denial a viable resolution for the New Year?

If so, I am already crushing it.

Take that 2019!

Here are the before and afters:

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Check out Full Speed’s take on the College Football Playoffs:

Championship Chatter

children, family, motherhood

Reset

Unfortunately, as our children grow towards adulthood, life starts handing them more complex challenges.  Gone are the days of kindergarten-fixes which were mostly comprised of a few snuggles and a chocolate chip cookie.

It isn’t all bad.

The best part is watching our children’s personalities solidify into more of who-they-are.  They get to start defining more what matters to them.

Weirdly, that doesn’t always align with what mom and dad deem important.

As I continue to let my boys go off into the world to discover what is most true for them, I must go and do the same for myself.

Mothers and caregivers tend to take a giant pause in their life when it comes to raising a family.  This pause becomes so second-nature, we often don’t realize when it’s time to hit the reset button.

We are not meant to figure everything out in one day.

In fact, I believe we never figure everything out completely.

Life moves forward for a reason.  Sometimes it makes sense and sometimes it doesn’t.

Either way it’s moving.

We can either join in or sit back.  Maybe both?

Even if we don’t make every right turn, the fact that we are on the journey is bound to lead us somewhere wonderful.

Especially if where we’ve been has already shown us such great love.

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children, family, motherhood

Three Weeks

This summer has me so overwhelmed with change that I feel like part of me has shut down to cope.  I am operating more in logic and less in feeling.

The feelings will have to come later.

Before we knew we were moving to a new state, we signed Full Speed up for a three-week academic class held on a college campus.  Even then, while I was thrilled for him to have this unique opportunity, I was not particularly happy about him being away for three weeks. Throw some travel and our family changing addresses into the mix and I am surprised I am still standing.

The most unsettling part of this process with Full Speed was how extremely collegiate it all felt.  We had to make sure he had linens and towels.  He also needed shower shoes and a caddy for supplies to be used in the dorm showers.

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Mad Dog and Full Speed unpacking and organizing his dorm closet.

Once we arrived at his dorm, it continued to take on a surreal quality.  A feeling of yes, he is only thirteen, and yes, he will return home, but also a feeling of what our future without Full Speed may look like.

It’s not great, folks.  Not great at all.

The positive is we obviously love our kid and should be grateful that we are missing him.

It would be rather telling if we broke out the bubbly and celebrated his departure with a joyful clink of glasses.  There was no toasting.  Only a sinking sensation that Full Speed is well on his way to carving out his own life.

I cannot tell you the willpower it took to not cry when we left him at his dorm.  I held it together.  I don’t know how, but I did.

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My goal is to stay focused on the present moment and be mindful of what will feel supportive to him in terms of how much I communicate with him.

Unfortunately, him live-streaming his day to my phone is not an option.

Weird, I know.

Instead, I sense he is consumed by new routines, meeting new people and mastering the intensive curriculum ahead.

Texting his mom should not be a priority.

I get it.

I don’t have to like it, but I get it.

I have always known that my children have never really been mine.  The most ‘ownership’ I can claim over them has maybe been the nine months I carried them.  Once they arrived in the world it has been my one of my greatest honors to walk along beside them as I do my best to let them go.

Now, more so than ever before, it is time for Full Speed to walk ahead alone.

I love you, Full Speed.  I am so proud to be your mom.

May this opportunity open your eyes to the infinite possibilities of life.

And remember, I am only a phone call away.

Three weeks.

You’ve got this.

Me, too💕

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For the record, I can neither confirm or deny if T.Puzzle is missing Full Speed.

Ok, I lied.

I can confirm he totally does though he would never say it out loud.

And, I thank my lucky stars to have this one-on-one time with him.

He is a funny dude and makes me laugh … a lot.