Sunday, January 16, 2011

[Weekly Whimsy] Breakthrough

[Welcome to World of Wonder's Weekly Whimsy! This week's topic is deeply personal to me, so I hope you'll forgive it for being a little different than previous weeks.] 

Catch a fallin' star an' put it in your pocket
Never let it fade away- Catch A Falling Star (as sung by Perry Como)

It's cold and dark outside, and I'm tired. I have a long way to go, and I don't want to do the work. I just want to curl up and sleep, but you won't let me. You're insistent, pushing me forward to an unseen frontier. 

The world outside is changing, folding in on itself as nature slashes away at the sleepy landscape with razors of ice. I'm tucked away from it all, in a cocoon of warmth and quiet. There is no reality outside of my own.  

Records are broken and everything changes, in the span of 56 hours.

My haze breaks into clarity after days of effort, after my goal has been achieved, after the breakthough. It's only in the dim morning glow that I notice the ice and snow outside- but the record breaking cold can't touch the warmth in my heart.

My oldest child, TheBoy, was born 17 years ago today.

Becoming a mom was something I was sure I understood. I knew my way around babies and I had a pretty good grasp on the generalities: baby cries. You pick it up, feed it, burp it, change it, or sing to it; possibly all of those depending on why the baby was crying and how long it went on.

I--- was--- wrong.

Oh, so very wrong. I am SO glad the baby and toddler days are over, and that both of my kids lived. 

Being a mother is one of my absolutely defining characteristics. I'm not one of those women that has "soandso'smommy"  as their online handle (as you can see) but I do list internally and externally as one of the things that is essential to myself.

Being a mom to teens has a lot of wonderful parts- I still hear "mommy" now and then (usually when the teen children want something), I still get hugs (the best pay ever) and I still enjoy knowing I have an influence on their lives.

The influence I have on their lives is a scary thing. I have the ability to shape them - at least a little. If I wield too much authority, I can cause a rift between us. If I don't show enough, I can do the same. Finding a careful line between the two in order to be an effective and strong mother is a very touchy thing. My own personal morality may not be the same as theirs; and I have to walk a balance between teaching them what I believe, and forcing a viewpoint down their throats. My worldview, the same. My friends are not always their friends. These dang kids do things that I think are DUMB, but I have to let them make their own mistakes, without exposing them to harm. How have I not gone crazy yet?

I love them.

I've sought to teach them simple lessons- have compassion for others; be genuine in everything you do; it's okay to make mistakes as long as you learn from them.

I've grown and developed as a mother along with their own development. I admit to many mistakes along the way- and most of the lessons I've learned from doing it "wrong" have helped me grow immensely as a person as well as improve in the parenting department.

I'm a better preson for having these two amazing people in my life. They are both fabulous and interesting; hilarious and tender; smart and strong. I'm glad I'm getting to know them and I've had a chance to watch them become people I'm immensely proud of; and I'm glad that they've taught me how to be better in every possible way as they grow up.

And now, a personal message:

Happy birthday, my little star.  I'm so very proud to know you. You're more than amazing. I enjoy you, even if I gripe a lot. I'm trying to stop. I can't wait to meet her and I truly hope you'll find happiness. You deserve a world full of wonder. You've always inspired me to look at things differently. I just wish I knew the answers to your questions! ..... I wonder if you know.....


  1. That shines a fresh light and was a good read.

  2. Happy birthday to him.

    Our oldest is just barely our of the toddler days, and boy has it been an experience.

  3. Awww this a really sweet post. The thought of being a parent is still a very foreign concept to me but when the time comes I really hope that I find and practice that happy medium between being stern and letting them learn things on their own.
    Happy birthday Not So Little Loq Boy!