Proud … 

If I had to describe this past school year I would describe it as CHALLENGING. It started off as any other year had … and then craziness ensued. Getting sick is one of the most selfish things I could have ever done to my kids, my family and my friends. It derailed all of us.

Do I really believe it was my fault?

No. Of course not. But I still feel a tremendous sense of guilt especially when it comes to my kids. They needed me and there were days when I could hardly lift my head. My heart broke each time I couldn’t do something for them. I was angry when they had to struggle without me. They had to step it up and do so much on their own. Things that I normally would do for them or with them. They missed out on our talks. Moments that they used to deflate from their day or share their excitements. They handled stress and problems without me. Again. It broke me.

Today my son George graduates from high school. Goodness I love this kid of mine! He is gentle, kind, compassionate and brilliant. And throughout this past school year he grew into so much more. He matured naturally but also because he had to. He didn’t fight it. He never acted out. He wasn’t bitter. He just went with it. He helped so much. He took on so much. And he accomplished so much. As painful (and wonderful) as it is to admit this, my baby boy grew up in what seems like a few short months. He had to.

Today feels surreal. I want to cry because it’s over and cry from a sense of relief. This was a tough school year but George did it. He finished despite the curve balls life threw at us. And he somehow managed to thrive.

If we are lucky, as parents, sometimes we get a glimpse of reassurance that our kids are READY to take on the world. They get it. They can do this. Those moments when we see clearly that they are exactly what God meant them to be in this time and in this place. I gratefully had many of these moments this school year. They came as a result of time and nature but also out of pain and need. I don’t believe anything happens by chance so I cannot look back on this school year bitterly. All the events that unfolded have delivered us to this day. My baby boy’s graduation day. He got here precisely how he needed to and in a way that has left him better and more capable. What an amazing young man he has become. Indeed.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are proud!!!

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A bed hog …

We left yesterday on a little trip to Northern California. G3 was recently accepted into Sonoma State University and he has a tour scheduled for later today. Although he’s still undecided, it’s all very exciting. I’m sure I’ll have plenty more to write about this subject later today, so I will keep this entry about my attempt at sleep last night.

When we travel Reese sleeps with me. Being in an unfamiliar place she wants her mommy close by. I totally get it. And it’s quite sweet. Well, for the first few hours anyway. Then she becomes not so good at sharing. Not. At. All.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you aren’t a bed hog!!!

My happy place …

Yesterday we headed up to Ventura County. We moved from there 10 years ago and I’m still in mourning. I’d move back there in a heartbeat so I appreciate these little trips there abundantly. Today we spent the day visiting our old stomping grounds and took a second trip the CSU Channel Islands. G3 received an acceptance letter from the university last week so we felt a visit there was also in order. It was such a nice day. My favorite part, if I had to pick one, was heading to the beach to see what a local artist, Juan Manuel Cisneros, had created. It’s a nativity made out of rocks. I included a picture but it honestly doesn’t do it justice. It’s absolutely amazing. If you’re a local or are passing through the area it’s definitely worth seeing.

Anyway, if you can’t tell, I had a great day. There’s something about this little part of the world that speaks to my heart. It’s a place that has a special place in my past, that is still utterly enjoyable in my present and hopefully will be a significant part of my future.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you get to visit your happy place!!!

  

A wonderful gift …

My son, G3, received his first college acceptance letter yesterday. It was a total shocker since we were told by all the universities that we should not expect to hear anything until after the new year and as late as March. I’ll be honest, I know I’m more excited than he is! And not just for having so much to look forward to. But his really takes some pressure off of him. He knows that no matter what, he’s going to a university that he chose. A place he thought would be a good fit for him. Somewhere he could spread his wings and become the man he is dreaming of. That’s pretty darn awesome if you as me. And having him be notified earlier than we ever expected goes perfectly with this holiday season.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you were given a wonderful gift!!!

I wouldn’t want it any other way …

Nineteen years ago if you were to tell me that the most emotional part of parenting wouldn’t happen until my children’s senior year in high school, I would have never believed you. But it’s true. What I experienced with Sidney has started all over again with G3. I am a wreck … and I’m elated.

Since August I have been abundantly aware that everything we share can either be a first … or a last. First college application completed. Last high school registration day. Both lists seem endless. I oscillate between utter joy and complete sadness. And the questions … oh … my … God … the questions! Will he be close to home for college or will he be faraway? That’s just one! So much is up in the air … but yet somehow everything seems set on a course that is moving so fast that it’s overwhelming. It’s all so good. Yet it’s all so sad.

When I look at G3 I see a strong and brilliant young man. He is tender and kind. A true gentleman. And I couldn’t be prouder of him. I have no doubt that he is ready to take this next step in his life.

But as a mother I can’t help but also see the little baby that I held in my arms for the very first time all those years ago. I see the little boy who held on tightly to his Thomas the Train everywhere we went. I remember his sweet giggles as I read him his favorite book, Green Eggs and Ham. I hear the first time he said, “I did it!”. And it all breaks my heart.

I love my children so much. Being their mother and raising them has been the greatest gift I will ever know. So I’m going to try to cut myself some slack for being a big cry baby. I thought I was crazy when I went through all this with Sid. But I’m not. My heart and mind were just being pulled in more directions than I could count. It hurt. It was wonderful. And I was a mess. And now that I know what I’m in for I’ve promised myself to enjoy the ride. To weep when I feel the need. To celebrate when I can’t contain the happiness. And to just love on G3 the only way I know how. Unconditionally, genuinely and from the very depths of my soul.

Today G3 has another Tae Kwon Do test, he is working on his 4th Degree Black Belt. He is still several years away from attaining it and these “mini” (7-hour) tests have probably become old hat to him. I like them because they have to run a 5K to start the test. They ask parents to run too. So of course, I do. He almost never stays with me, but I’m there. It’s my little way to be a part of something that has so profoundly shaped his life.

But today may very well be another last. G3 may be away at college the next time testing comes around. He may walk away from Tae Kwon Do for a while. Or perhaps pick it up wherever he goes to school. I’m honestly not sure. And that’s OK.

Today I will stay in the moment. I will be proud of how far he has come and will be thankful for the opportunities that he has had to partake in this martial art for the past 12 years. I will be grateful for his health and abilities.

And I will also look forward to the unknown. I will be excited to see what plans G3 maps out for himself. I have confidence that whatever decisions he makes will lead him to a life filled with much success and happiness. I will be content knowing that my son is doing everything he can to grow into the man he is dreaming of. And when no one is looking, I will cry just a little.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you wouldn’t want it any other way!!!

  

A whole lot to celebrate …

G3 will officially be a senior in high school today. Reese is finishing her last day of Kindergarten. Libs’ 8th Grade commencement is in just a few hours. And Sid flew home last night. Need I say more?!?!

Well, I hope you all have a day where you have a whole lot to celebrate!!