Here I am, in the midst of so much unimportant fluff weighing me down again.  Laundry, dirty dishes, working out, cleaning, worrying about my boys, even though they’re basically men now, I feel dragged down and exhausted.  Why is it that the little things, the really quite nonessential things, really tear us down?  Again with the guilt of not writing.  It weighs me down.  Do I feed off the guilt?  Does it make me feel like I have purpose in my life, even by not writing?  Okay, maybe I don’t even know where I’m going with this.

It just seems like I’m going around the same stubborn mountain.  Around and around I go.  And of course the winter weather monster isn’t helping my depression in the least.  Can I blame it on the weather?  Probably.  But probably not a good idea either.  I can come up with a long list of reasons why I put off writing.  But they’re the same excuses I constantly bitch and moan about.  So of course that is getting old.

Does writing pep you up?  Does it make you feel happier?  Give you a sense of self-worth?  Give you a reason for living?  It does for me.  Then why don’t I write, you may ask?  Trust me, I’ve asked myself that so many times that it doesn’t even phase me anymore.  And that is sad in a way.  If one loves to write, and finds sheer joy in the putting of words to paper, then why doesn’t one do it?  I can’t explain it anymore.  Is it failure or fame that I fear more?  Is it so that I can claim that I am a writer?  I tell my family that I have so many good story ideas and great beginnings, but they just shake their heads and tell me to go write them then.  And I should. 

But there is something hidden beneath the surface.  What it is, again, I have no clue.  Maybe I don’t want to know.  Maybe I like keeping it dead and buried.  But I am sick of continuing this life without meaning.  Without driving myself steadily towards my goals and dreams.  Okay, it does have meaning, of course.  But what I mean is that I feel that I’m coasting again through this life.  And I’m fifty now.  More than half my life is over, I’m sure.  One cannot keep sitting back and allowing the world to flash before them without at least attempting to go after what they want most in life.  So, dear reader, again I ask for your valued opinions.  How do you keep at writing even when you don’t seem to have the time?  I need some advice, please.  It sincerely aggravates me that I keep talking about the same issues without even trying to resolve them.  No one wants to keep reading about the same thing all of the time. 

So here’s to reading good books, for writing about what is on your heart and in your  head.  Without excuses.  Without fear.  Without apathy.  Without complaint.  Thanks, again, for listening.  Please comment with any sage advice, or any good books that might help me out of this funk.

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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.

Letting Go

If you are a parent, especially a parent of a teenager, you will understand.  I have two sons, one who is nineteen and one who is sixteen.  And though one is an official adult and the other almost an adult, I still cannot cut those apron strings.  Why?  Because it is hard to let go.  The love a mother has for her children, especially if they are sons, is deeply rooted and unending.  No matter how old they get, or how far away they will move, I will always worry and wonder what they are up to.

Life as a parent is funny that way.  Never a dull moment when they are with you, and never a moment of peace when they are not.  I am especially having a difficult time of letting my younger son go.  When he was younger, we used to do many things together.  I enjoyed his company, and still do.  Just don’t tell him that.  I might cause unending bouts of embarrassment for him.  Being sixteen and all, you know.

But he is, a very independent young man.  When he was only eight or nine he had wanted to be off on his own already.  I laughed then, but worry now as he is approaching the age when he can legally leave and be off on his own.  I’d miss him deeply.  I’m not sure how far away he wants to go, but he has stated that when he turns eighteen that he is leaving home.  And that hurts me.  Because I love him and don’t want him to go.

Is it wrong for a parent not to want her children to leave the nest?  Oh I know that is part of our job as parents to get them to eventually leave the nest and be independent of us.  But it is so hard to do.  I’ll miss his laugh, his smile, the times we sit and talk, and yes, even his stubbornness.  My eyes well up with tears when I imagine that heart-wrenching goodbye when he packs his things up and heads out the front door for the last time.  My son, my heart, my life.

When you are carrying them in your womb, you imagine a lot what the child will be like.  When my younger son was little, I tried picturing him what he would be like as a teenager.  And he did not disappoint!  But I love him unconditionally, though at times when he is fighting with his older brother I want to smack them both!  Why is it so hard for siblings to get along?

Okay, enough of my rant.  Children are a gift.  Each one with their own unique personalities and looks.  So different in many ways yet so similar when part of a family.  I love my sons.  I hope that they know that.  I hope that I’ve always shown it.  And I hope that when they are out there in this big, intimidating world that they will remember that they have a mother at home that will always worry for them, always love them, and will always cherish her precious memories of her two young men.  I hope they know, too, of how proud I am of them.  Mom loves you both.  Stay safe.