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!

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Mom didn’t really teach me that much

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

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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

Twenty One Today

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Twenty one years ago, on this day 12 July it was Tuesday at 16h00 a beautiful little boy was born! We called him Moo.

This is not a brag post. But it is about my son and about his accomplishments. He has surprised us and then some with all his achievements.

He finished primary school with a certificate of merit for academic achievement in five subjects and the Highest Attainment DUX Award. He went on to finish high school with a distinction in all seven subjects and the DUX Award for Academic Excellence.

Of course we are proud parents. Moo was born a winner and a fighter. Determined, ambitious with a brilliant mind. Destined for greatness.

Today is his birthday, he is 21 years old!  Today I am emotional, I stand in awe, looking up at a young man who is much taller than I am. He’s tall in so many ways…soaring and towering. I am amazed at the beautiful young adult he has become.

However I’d like him to be prepared for life.

Life sometimes throws us some nasty’s, some curve balls, hardships and disappointments that bring us to the ground. And should that happen, he needs to be prepared for it, to get up and continue with the same determination and willpower.

Don’t ever give up my child. You are destined for greatness! When you do feel like life is getting tough and you want to give up, we will be there to cheer you up. We will pick you up and take your hand and finish that race with you. Right by your side, no matter where you are or how old you are. Your greatest fans and cheerleaders will be there with you.

You will have one more person right by your side – God. When you are hurt or struggling, He will be there faster than your cheerleaders and He will come to your rescue. He will pick you up when you fall, take His hand.

Today I thank God for giving me the best gift in the world. And I thank Him for lending me this most special boy, I hope I have not failed Him.

We wish you a very happy 21st birthday my beautiful son. We wish you many years filled with health and loads of happiness.

You must know that we love you dearly, no matter what, we are so proud of you today and always.

We both love you lots…Ma loves you to the moon and back. Happy Birthday my Moo ♥

Mother’s Prayer

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I pray you’ll be my eyes

And watch them where they go

And help them to be wise

Help me to let go

Every mother’s prayer

Every child knows

Lead them to a place

Guide them with your grace

To a place where they’ll be safe

 ♥

I pray they find your light

And hold it in their heart

As darkness falls each night

Remind them where you are

 ♥

Lead them to a place

Guide them with your grace

To a place where they’ll be safe

 ♥

That’s what it’s all about…Mother’s Day

I love you more than…

This year the theme for Valentine’s day seems to be around “I love you more than….” Even our beloved #WOOLWORTHS_SA has a beautiful “I love you more than…” campaign.

Yesterday I was chatting to my boy (the one in Cape Town – via sms) and he was saying (tongue in cheek) that I care more about his car than his wellbeing.

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So seeing that it is Valentine’s day and maybe he’s not getting a card this year from any secret admirer, I thought I’d make my own declaration of love and send him and his brother my “I love you more than….”

My Dear Boys

I love you more than chocolate and chocolate cake

I love you more than lychees and watermelon

I love you more than sunsets and rainbows

I love you more than the stars in the sky

I love you more than the ocean and long walks on the beach

I love you more than the cats and kittens

I love you more than Nandos

I love you more than Bon Jovi

I love you more than movies and Richard Gere

I love you more than my laptop and iPhone

I love you more than all my perfume bottles

I love you more than jacaranda trees

I love you more than lasagna and olive bread

I love you more than my blog and books

I love you more than shopaholics love shopping

I love you more than panda bears love bamboo

I love you more than kissing and hugging

I love you more than men love rugby and biltong

I love you more than tall trees and mountains

I love you more than staring at the clouds in the sky

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

That minute you were conceived and I didn’t yet know of your existence….that’s when you stole my heart!