The eve of the night before your first day at work

I gulped and felt my heart beating in my throat when I took this pic of you….we have a photo on these stairs, the two of us, on the day we left you here, it is one of my favourite photos.

I remember the trip we made in February 2012 and how hard it was to let go. I didn’t want to leave you here alone. I left a young enthusiastic boy and I came back to fetch a young man, full circle for the two of us.

You grew up, you struggled, you became independent, and it all happened so fast for me. I’ve been thinking over the years and more so these lasts few weeks, did I really do a good job as a mom?  Will you remember that I tried my best, even when I was tired exhausted, and stressed and sick, I still tried my best. I prayed sometimes and sometimes I forgot to pray, but I hope you will know that I had every intention of being a good and great mommy.  Although I do know that sometimes I wasn’t so great and I was just an OK mom.

Today is the eve of the night before your first day at work! You have finished your studies and I guess it’s time to adult, I hope you’re ready because I’m certainly not and I don’t have any wise words to pass on to you (sorry). All the milestones and special events of your life that I counted and recorded and photographed have come to an end. Leaps and bounds and so the next ones will be in years to come.

For now let me say that I am so very proud of you. I wish you the best of luck my son, may you be successful and happy in your career and in everything you do

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

Your favourite bible verse became my favourite bible verse, guard it close to your heart.

Love MA ♥

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Music Project

We had just bought our hifi (stereo) and to christen the hifi we bought two CD’s the first ever. One CD was – Gheorghe Zamfir pan flute music, I won’t mention the other one cause you’ll just laugh at our choice of music!

When I fell pregnant I knew that playing classical music was important for the baby but I didn’t have a huge collection to choose from at that time.  So pan flutes was a regular…I used to come home after work and lie on the floor in the lounge with the headphones on my tummy and I played pan flute music for the boys. I did this every day during both pregnancies. This song was one of my favorites from this CD.

The other day I told my boys I was working on a project, and asked them to answer these questions based on this piece of music. Just out of curiosity.

These are their replies –

Does this music mean anything to you?
No  ♦  Not really
Does it calm or irritate you?
Calm  ♦  It’s calming
Do you like it?
Yes  ♦  I could study to this music
Is it familiar?
Yes  ♦  I think I’ve heard it before

They were at nursery school age when I found Beethoven and Mozart for babies, this would play in the background in their bedroom when they played and I’m quite sure that this helped in creating little geniuses.  I’m happy with my music experiment results and the answers I got from them. They both actually like classical music and have developed their own taste in music, it varies but they always play classical when they are studying or want to calm down and go to sleep. Effects of music just fascinate me because I listen to very different things at different times, it helps me cope and live ♥

 

Don’t Compare

It’s been a while I know, I have so many things to write about and so much art to share.  But today I’m going to live up to my blog name, the mom part, and share a special moment with my blog world.

Graduation day! My youngest son has graduated *happy dance* 🙂

I’m a mom of two 20+ year old boys, they are amazing kids and I am so proud of them.

When you have two children and they are quite close in age (18 months apart) and both are boys, please note that people are going to compare them all the time!!  You the parent might even be the one doing the comparing.  But others all around you will definitely do it.   I’m the least perfect or best parent here, I have many faults, but there is one thing I did not do when they were growing up and that was compare!  I hated that growing up.

Yes, I noticed how one did things with more ease like building puzzles and physical activities, the other was quicker dressing himself and used adult language, different stages of development it’s normal, but looking down on them comparing like – Why don’t you do this like your brother? Why don’t you do that like the other boys in your class? Stop doing this and learn that from your brother! No, no, no, I never did that.

Comparing is more about your own insecurities, oh and I am full of them but that was one thing I was determined not to do to my children.  Comparing is like wishing they were different and telling them that you want them to be different for your own selfish reasons.  You might as well tell them you don’t like them at all.

One thing that really aggravated me and quite honestly pissed me off was arriving at school for parents evening and hearing teachers compare them.  They all knew who I was I didn’t have to introduce myself to new teachers, I was always greeted with “Oh, you’re the mom of the other Lopez”.

You see at school one boy was always working hard and excelling at every subject, the serious worker that passed everything with 80 or 90% a genius.  Then there was the funny boy that seemed to hate school and just scraped through most subjects.

He came home with report cards that said things like: Your son is in danger of failing the grade.  Assignment not submitted.  Learner did not do the PAT.  Didn’t pay attention during class.  Learner has detention.

Agh really, whatever.  At the time this was something that really stressed me, we would have long discussions and late nights of mostly me moaning and stressing and him sulking and crying.  Some days I just shrugged my shoulders and told myself; agh really, whatever.

It’s easy to label things and to note a person’s weakness rather than asserting their strengths.  I always knew that this child was a genius and that school was just too boring for him, it was compulsory, mundane and he was forced to go to school and get through it the same way we go to work every day and we get through it on hard days.

Sometimes we don’t want to adult and so we procrastinate, we phone in sick, we take an odd day off in the middle of nowhere so we can get through things, our adult things!  And we expect our kids to adult through school even when they hate it.  We expect them to behave in class when they clearly do not get on with the teacher, they are a mismatch and the teaching style is just not right for your child.

He will react differently to others, because we are all unique, and no two children are the same!  It’s just nature and the way we are created, we are all different and will do and react to things differently all the time.  So don’t ever compare.  Instead help your child find his abilities and talents.  Give your baby a break and let your teenager just be a teenager.

He will find his place soon enough and then he will take your breath away with his unique awesomeness and brilliance and creativity.

Mine did ages ago, I’ve been watching him since for ever.  ♥

Too bad some teachers missed it…I wish I could give some of them a good clap in the back of their heads and tell them “See you’re the dumb one”  but I have to adult so I won’t.  Instead I sent a message and photo to the teachers that cared and are truly in the profession for the love of teaching.

My hero – he graduated!

Mom didn’t really teach me that much

Today is father’s day and my boys gave their dad this card

IMG_2105

Notice the very last sentence – mom didn’t really teach me all that much – 🙂  yes I know it’s funny, but it did get me thinking….

When I started blogging I always thought I had so much to say or write about. The boys were at a school going age and growing up faster than bamboo shoots on steroids.

But then they left school and it was first day of varsity and I blogged about that and about letting go. And then it felt like parenting was over.

It was an emotional time seeing them in university and trying this new thing called “letting go” and I was actually quiet about the boys for a long time, at least on the blog.

They are adults, one will be 23 in a few months’ time and the other one will be 22 at the end of the year!  So apart from graduation day, what else have I got to look forward to? What else have I got to say about being a mom?  Oh yes, the wedding day….but they both say they are not getting married, so let’s skip that thought for now.

It’s like parenting is really over, done and dusted. We finished our task, or is it really? Parenting grownups, when does it stop and when does the worrying stop?

My almost 23-year-old, is studying in Cape Town so he only comes home for the long holidays of course I worry about him all the time, what he’s eating, how late he eats and how late he goes to bed, how he separates his washing etc.

But it’s the small one, the one that lives at home, that worries me the most.  He gets frustrated with me and my constant messaging, but I just like to know when he arrives somewhere and when he’s leaving so I know he’s safe. I have this need to check up on him all the time.

I think adult children still need that ceaseless looking after.  But I am beginning to see my children in a new way; they are good capable young people. I have to recognise their differences and respect that, they have grown into two very different individuals.

I try to share some of my wisdom, if you can call it that, don’t even know if they see it as wisdom or advice or things I know or just ‘stuff she says’.

Whatever their age I still feel I need to worry, I need to talk and I need to pray. I don’t think this is a mother of sons’ syndrome it’s just normal mother behavior. In learning to let go I have to learn to surrender them to God. It’s not really up to me anymore, and this is so hard for me to say and admit.

“With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

Mark 10:27

Two short letters

@writersbootcamp Day 22 – Letter to my child / childhood self

Letter to childhood self

You lay in the bath under the water for as long as you could. But you eventually came up for air. You know you also can’t run away, just be patient, one day life will be a little better…even if only for a while…

 

Letter to my sons

You challenge me and inspire me. You stole my heart and my heart was yours the minute I felt you move in my belly. I will take my last breath to tell you I love you.

You are beautiful, amazing, intelligent and wonderfully and fearfully made in God’s image. I love you ♥ with all my heart

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