When A Mother Comes to the End of the Road

Well, my youngest turns seventeen a month from today.  Though he has another year until he’s an official ‘adult’, my son has an independent streak Grand-Canyon wide.  He’ll probably be graduating early, next January, and he wants to take off when he turns eighteen and be on his own.  And it’s fine with me.  I know that he has what it takes to take care of himself.  He is a very smart kid; perhaps too smart at times.  He’s in all the advanced placement classes in school.  He always scores well on his report cards, and this isn’t to brag.  I’m just so proud of him, for all that he does and for all that he still can become.

I still remember having to hold his hand back in first grade, to cross the street.  I stood with him and his older brother on the school playground waiting for the bell to ring.  We were newly arrived in the area and the boys didn’t have any friends at the time.  I remember the trust he had for me, knowing that I would do everything in my power to keep him and his older brother safe.  I hope that he felt loved by his mother.  I pray that he knew I’d move Heaven and hell to protect them both.  Yes.  Great is a mother’s love.

Now he has his own life.  His own world.  Which, frankly, breaks my heart at times.  It’s hard for a mom to be replaced by outside influences; girlfriends, video games, friends, school, etc..  Oftentimes I miss that special time we used to spend together just the two of us, going places and just talking.  I miss the talking.  Yes. We still do that sporadically.  Now he has other people to confide in, to share his life with; his hopes and dreams and goals.

Being a parent is an awesome responsibility but well worth the risks and the heartaches it can bring.  The heartache of a son who is no longer just your own, but belongs to the world.  A world that you see as a terribly frightening place, full of pain and betrayal and frustration.  But I know it’s not all gloom and doom.  There are joys and triumphs.  Life is what you make of it.  You can greet each day with peace or you can greet it with a heavy heart.  But it’s each individual’s choice – rainbows or storm clouds?

But what I want most for my sons, as any good mother(or father) would want, is for them to be happy where they are at.  To make the best out of a bad situation when they approach.  To take the good with the bad and to understand that dark days do not last forever.  That heartache is only temporary.  That time does heal.  That life can be beautiful in spite of all the crap that goes on in this world on a daily basis.  But most of all, to remember that they have a mother who loves them no matter what.  Unconditional love for the sons that she bore, that she gave life to, brought screaming into this crazy world.

Would they have wanted to turn around and go back in if they knew what a mess life can be?  Wouldn’t we all?  Well, not literally, of course.  But as a child you are kept safe and warm from danger, if you are brought up in a loving family.  Unfortunately, I know that’s not always the case.  But a child must feel loved to grow and to prosper and to become a success in life.  Give them a sense of security.  Hold them.  Love them.  Calm them when it is needed.  As they grow, life becomes more complicated.  In school they are either accepted by the group or ostracized.  It can be painful to bear after being coddled at home.  But let them know that they are not alone, that you’ve got their back.

Let your children know, as well, how proud of them you are.  It takes only a moment to convey this message to them.  It can leave a lasting effect, though.  Children are a gift from God, at least that’s how I see it as.  Thank you, God, for allowing me to become a mom.  I couldn’t be happier.  Someday I know that they will come back around and we will be friends.  Thank you, sons, for calling me Mom.  My greatest challenge and my greatest achievement.

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Just To Let You Know I’m Still Alive and Kicking

I got to see some dear friends yesterday.  We had a little party at our office for Valentine’s Day and it was fun.  I baked some cookies; some that were gluten-free and some that were not.  It’s alway good to see people you may normally not have the chance to see other than at holidays and what not.  It’ll be eleven years in August since I started working with them.  And honestly this is the longest job, besides being a mom, that I’ve ever had.  And you know why?  Because these are good people to work with, not for.  We’re a family.  And they treat us as such.  We work well together a team, as a job should be.  Working on the same side, not against each other.  I won’t say the name of the business, but it is a janitorial/carpet cleaning franchise that has been around since the mid-ninteteen forties.  This is the only job I’ve ever had that I felt accepted at.  I have good leadership which I will follow gladly.

There’s something to say about being happy to go to work each day, glad to be employed and content with what you do.  It’s rough out there.  I had tried to get a few church secretarial jobs but it’s hard to come by.  The last church I interviewed at had 87 people interview for the position.  I didn’t have much of a chance because I am not very computer-literate.  I know the basics, and that’s about it.  But yet I still return to the flock where I started out at when we moved to this area ten and a half years ago.

So to my fellow co-workers and partners, thank you for all that you’ve done for me in the past and what you still do today.  You are a breath of fresh air to the employment industry, actually caring about your employees and their families.  Thank you for providing me with a job and the ability to help support my household.  God bless you, John, Kathy, and Marilyn.

My Love Of Words

Okay, I have something to confess:  I like to read the dictionary.  I enjoy finding new words in the English language to add to my writing repertoire(oop, had to spell check that one).  I am a big fan of websites that e-mail you a new word a day.  Love it!  I am always on the hunt to learn new words and what they mean.  My favorite course in school was always English.  Never understood the workings of grammar very well, but I’m still learning.

Okay, I know that one needs to understand the mechanics of said grammar to be an accomplished writer, but again, I’m still learning.  But I’m thankful for the many websites that make learning grammar fun and educational.  I must admit, also, that I love the process of writing itself.  Even if it isn’t creative writing, I like the flow of the pen upon the sheet of paper.  It relaxes me for some reason and I enjoy the feeling

I’ve been creatively writing since the fourth grade.  I remember sharing a poem with my classmates a few years later about being alone on an island and how they laughed at that.  Oh well, so much for sharing one’s work!  Maybe that’s why I still have a difficult time of allowing others to read my short fiction.  I do not want to look the fool.  But deep down I believe that I was born with the gift to write, or at least a strong desire to do so.

I believe that writing creatively saved my life.  By transferring my angst onto paper, it helped protect my sanity and allowed me that small silver thread to grasp on to, just barely.  During those bullied years, suicide was on my mind a lot.  But again, writing saved me from doing something stupid, something permanent.

Seeing the world through a writer’s eyes can be dizzying and terrifying all in the same thought process.  I have such an active imagination that sometimes my own thoughts weird me out.  I can see things in my head as though they were happening like a movie on a screen.  I get that when I read a really good book, like I am currently.  (Plug for Mark Greaney’s The Gray Man series).

It was S.E. Hinton’s “The Outsiders” book that made me want to be a writer.  Her books inspired me and I will always remember what I felt reading those books.  Being taken away from reality into another’s creative thought process was almost like a high for me.  If that makes any sense.  I’ve also been enthralled by To Kill A Mockingbird, and Pearl Buck’s, “The Good Earth”.

Now I am contemplating taking an on-line writing course through the local community college.  I just desire to learn as much as possible about the creative process.  It is like air to me.  It  is what I desire in life:  to be a published writer; to see my name in print.  I don’t need to rake in millions of dollars or have endless fame, I just want to say that I had fulfilled my dreams as a writer.  Publication, and to know that perhaps somewhere out there, I ignited a spark inside someone else soul with a desire to write.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside…And I’m a Wimp

Alright.  I can do this.  I can do this.  I need to go outside into my garage and lift those weights.  Even though those dumbbells and bars will be freezing cold, I can do this.  Well, I have to do this.  I want to get in shape and stay that way.  For a change.  It’s probably below zero with the windchill, but I can’t wimp out.  I shouldn’t.  Okay, you’re probably wondering why I work out in my garage in the dead of winter and not at a local health club.  Okay, I’m cheap.  There, I said it.

We have free weights, machines, and a treadmill out in the garage.  Trust me, it’s a BIG garage.  Just not a very warm one.  So, what’s an old girl to do?  Well, she does the unfashionable thing and throws on some sexy black tights and a long-sleeved t-shirt and starts layering other clothes on top of those pieces.  To the point where I can no longer bend over, or lift anything over my head!

But I’m on a roll now, so to speak.  I’ve read somewhere, and unfortunately it normally takes for me to read something for it to sink into my thick skull, that it’s by lifting weights that helps one to lose weight.  And I always thought it was sparkling metabolism.

I’m a runner, or should I say jogger.  I’m very slow.  Must be the age thing, I’m sure.  I always thought that the running helped me shed those extra pounds.  And the elliptical.  Working out on that puppy for an hour a day.  No.  It seemed to only make me hungrier than I ought to be.  So now I’m back to lifting weights.  Of course, not too heavy.  Just want to tone up.  Plus I got me a bum elbow.  Hurts too much whenever I lift too heavy of a weight.  That’ old age creeping up on me.

So I’m back to my predicament:  working out in a cold garage.  Maybe it won’t be good for my muscles?  Perhaps it’ll tear something?  See, there I go again looking for excuses.  But my husband and sons work out in the cold, so I guess it’ll be okay, right? Someone quick, talk me out of it!  It’ crazy cold out there!  I’ll freeze!  My finger and toes’ll get numb.  I’m just an old woman, for pete’s sake!  Okay, get a hold of yourself, woman!  I can do this.  I won’t wimp out.

I’m going to hit “Publish” and turn off the computer now.  I’m going to get up, slowly, and go into my bedroom and change.  Put on those very warm clothes.  Take a few deep breaths and go outside, into my garage.  I’ll be brave.  I’ll tough it out.  For my health’s sake, I can do this.  Wish me luck, all.  And  if I don’t make it back inside, don’t laugh too hard at me.  Okay, here goes nothing.  Til next time.

Peace!