I just heard your phone call with a woman who was complaining about all she had to do for her 2 1/2-year-old daughter after working all day. You read her the riot act and rightfully so. This hit me particularly hard in light of where I am in my journey as Mom. This past Friday night, I watched my 17-year-old son play his last football game. He is a senior and will be graduating next June. My heart broke as I realized this was just the first of the “lasts” we will experience with him this bittersweet year. You see, I have considered it an honor and a privilege to be my kids’ mom.
I have 2 beautiful young men for sons, senior and a freshman in high school. I hear you chastise people occasionally for saying that their kids are beautiful. But mine really are. They are not just beautiful physically, although they are both very handsome, but they are genuinely beautiful human beings…smart, responsible, kind, generous, loving, hard working and funny. I often receive compliments about the kind of young men they are. I don’t take full credit for who they have turned out to be. I have a wonderful husband who has been a devoted and involved father. They have 2 sets of loving and interested grandparents, aunts and uncles, great teachers and coaches, and a church family. There have been many fine people who have invested in them. But the number one factor I believe that has helped shape who they are is that I was there.
I worked the first 18 months of my oldest son’s life and it was the most miserable time of my life. I always thought I would be the high-powered career woman, but when I saw that amazing, fat little boy, I wanted to be near him all the time. We figured out a way that I could be at home with him and his little brother when he came along. I took them to the park, taught them to play football and baseball in the front yard, watched them ride bikes and climb trees with their friends. We did art projects and baked at Christmas time. When it came time for them to go to school, I volunteered at the school. I knew all of their teachers by face and name even in high school and when things weren’t right at the school, I made noise until they were fixed. Their dad coached their youth sports teams and was their Boy Scout leader. We taught Sunday School. We were not helicopter parents though. We taught them life lessons and let them earn their own way. But we were there for them. In a nutshell, while my husband and I love each other and spent time away from the kids periodically, we made raising our children our first priority. It was a sacrifice sometimes, but it was worth it. The first will be gone in a few months. The second will go not too long after that. My heart is breaking. I will enjoy the time my husband and I will have together to enjoy each other and our own pursuits, but nothing I have ever done, or will ever do, will compare to the honor I have had to be a mom.