Sunday, June 24, 2012

Gavin's goin' to school...

I just finished a book about two mothers raising their daughters.  And while the book didn't really do much for me, it did get me to thinking about the upcoming school year....2012/2013...the first year I have an elementary child.  I haven't thought too much about it really.  Gavin will turn 6 the first week of school and I actually feel that he is quite ready for Kindergarten and will love having something he does everyday.  He loves routine, he is pretty social and he is sooooo interested in learning (and with a mother that has the tolerance and patience of a gnat when it comes to answering questions, school will be wonderful).  So I was feeling pretty good about putting on the backpack and waving him off. 
Enter said book.  It made me stop and consider the fact that we are entering territory where Gavin will no longer be protected by me.  His feelings, his actions, his questions, will no longer be filtered with me by his side, to explain, protect and comfort.  It rocked me a bit.  I know many moms think about this long before Kindergartern, but well, it really just entered feild of focus. 
I don't really write about Gav much, because well...he's just a relatively easy goin' kid.  Sure, he has his share of funny stories, he has his meltdowns (especially when tired), he is overdramatic about injuries (think amputation theatrics over stubbed toes), but all in all...he doesn't rock the boat.  Gavin is sweet, he is considerate, he usually thinks through his actions, he is a rule follower, black and white and well...a bit of a type A people pleaser.  Out of all my kids, I understand his thought process the best (so far, I am definitely not banking on this forever, but I am thankful for it now) and parenting him as been a little bit easier for me...not better or worse, just easier. 
Anyway...suddenly I am confronted with the fact that he is going to have outside influences confronting him everyday.  I am still trying to process this.  New friends, new ideas, new words, new attitudes...Oy!
The biggest thing weighing on my heart is the friendships he is going to make.  Oh how badly I want him to make "that" friend.  The one he can trust, the one he can call, the one who will choose right and encourage him to do the same.  But if he doesn't...I want him to have a faith strong enough to carry him and give him the strength to stand alone.  It breaks my heart to even think about the latter, but being honest with myself, I am sure there will be a time each of my children will need that prayer. 
I am not even sure how to pray for myself, to be the mom I need to be during these next years.  To help my children and I to have open communication, to be someone they trust, to listen to them and have them feel heard, to make the tough calls even when 'all the friends are doing it, have one, or are getting one', to be the mom I need to be.  Strength, compassion and wisdom that I cannot begin to fathom are going to be needed.
My sweet boy is getting to big kid teeth. They are coming up and moving in...pushing out the baby teeth on the front bottom.  I was so excited to wiggle those loose teeth, but looking at the big boy ones behind them just reminded me of what's happening.  Once the baby teeth are gone...they're gone.  The new ones are permanant.  Barring any accidents or face punches...they are hear to stay. 
When I watch him wiggle his tooth I am reminded just where we are at...going back and forth between baby and big boy, just about to fall out into a routine that will be permanant for the next 12-16 years. 
I could be scared if I start dwelling on it too much, but I believe God has given me a grace in being able to let go a bit on this one.  Do I have anxiety?  Am I nervous?  Yes and yes.  But overall, I am just grateful I serve a God who has given me such a precious child and that He is reminding me daily that He loves Gavin more than I do.  Hard to fathom, but true. 
And while I do get overwhlemed at the idea of feilding a whole new realm of parenting...I am trying to focus hard on the two great gifts...Gavin and a God that has amazing plans for his life!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Never say never

There are many things in motherhood which we think "I'll never do that" and sure enough we find ourselves doing that exact thing.  I will say, working in children's ministry so long, I had enough experience witnessing women say this and then going back on their word, that I at least learned not to utter the words aloud.  However, this does not prevent me from thinking them in my head. 
A few quiet "I'll nevers..."
...have the kid with the snot nose, crazy hair and stained shirt  (hey...somedays I am happy they have a shirt on at all).
...let my kids use the couch as personal jungle gym (who was I kidding, it's June 17th and raining like crazy, use the couch the cushions, whatever kids, I am fresh out of rainy day activities).
...have a screamer (ummm, Amanda has perfected the scream.  She gets in trouble for it, but it doesn't stop her and I am not sure how I ever thought I could just declare this as an "I'll never" as though I could remove the screaming vocal chords).
Eh...ya live ya learn.  I am just glad that the majority of these remained in my head.  I say majority, because well, there is one thing I have taken issue with.  Shoes that have characters on them.  I declared a ban on them long ago.  Not going to happen on my watch. 
Enter Disneyland.
We decided to go months ago and thought to ourselves, Bray will grow an inch by July, right?  Wrong.  Our little man has remained little.  He is two inches short of the 40" rides.  (He is a really tiny four year old).  Anyway, we decided to try and find the chunkiest shoes we could.  I went to so many stores and believe it or not, the fattest ones I could find with the highest insole were Disney Lightening McQueen.  Oh and to top it all off...they light up.  Blink Blink, baby. 
My son is in heaven. 
I am humbled. 
Every time he runs and I see the blinking red lights drawing my eyes down to Lightening McQueen, I am reminded that never is a strong word.
And so I continue on my journey of motherhood wondering where we will go next.  Because it's been a glorious road to walk, but often quite different from the one I thought I would take.  I guess the brightside is, as long as Brayden walks with us, we have blinking lights to help guide the way.