Wednesday, June 13, 2007

From A Mother's Heart - My Personal Feelings

School Has Started, School Bus
Class of 2007


I am feeling so very sentimental at this moment. Actually, it has been building for the last couple of months.

I feel like it is our son's first day of school... except... it is actually his LAST day of H.S. and then he will start college in the fall. More milestones!

This son is the baby - who is now 18 and will be 19 in October. Our other son is 26 and soon to be 27 in August.

They both went to nursery school and I was sentimental about their little preschool graduations - again another milestone. But that 1st day of public school - tore at my heart strings.

Both sons were 6 when they began kindergarten and I am glad that we had that extra growth year with them. Another year to plant seeds of good family values, etc. so that they would be that much stronger and wiser to resist the negative influences that they would no doubt encounter along life's journey.

First son was profoundly shy (he's anything but shy now) and resisted going to school that first day. It was time to take him out to the bus stop except this wonderful child decided to crawl under the kitchen table and while sobbing, simultaneously say, "Mommy - P.L.E.A.S.E don't MAKE me go to school!" Truth is I wanted to cry right along with him (he was ripping my heart out at that point) but I went into our bedroom to collect myself instead. The truth is -EVERYTHING in me really wanted to say, "It's o.k. honey. You can stay home and I will just breast feed you for the rest of my life." That is exactly what went through my head at that moment.

He looked so cute wearing his kindergarten bus tag. He seemed both little and vulnerable on the bus while looking down at me as we waved good bye. I stayed there, watching the bus until it disappeared out of sight. The bus stop is right near our property and so I started sobbing across the street, across our lawn - all the way into the house. Then, I started to enjoy my free time and we were both perfectly fine the next day.

Second son was more eager to go but by that time - 8 years later - there were other kids in the neighborhood and they were excited about going to school. Even older brother was at the bus stop as he was still in grade school, but at the other end of the spectrum - 8th grade.

(Older son had been an only child when he started school and didn't have other friends he was going with and he was shy. So, there was a totally different dynamic going on.)

This morning images of younger son were flashing through my mind as he was walking out to catch his ride to school. I was getting flashes of him at the bus stop wearing his little kindergarten name tag around his neck. He was wearing these really nice (Tasteful) Osh Gosh plaid pants, cute shirt and suspenders.

(I loved those Osh Gosh clothes! I got him and older son to wear suspenders up until 2nd grade - after that they refused! I love suspenders on men too as I think they look really sharp - but husband never liked them either. It must be genetic!)

Younger son looked so little,cute and vulnerable on the bus too. I also watched until that bus disappeared but I didn't cry because there were other mothers there and we were all too busy socializing! :) Still when I walked across the lawn to go in the house - I was wistful, but I didn't cry.


This morning I took a couple of pictures for a memento of the last time he is leaving to go to H.S. and then I took a couple of him and his friend after he got into his friend's vehicle. So this morning - there was no kindergarten bus tag around his neck, no Osh Gosh pants and no suspenders. Instead, the piture will be of our 6 ft something son with a goatee looking down at his Mom. :)

Then I got a couple of shots of them in the truck waving back at me. And now with their very deep manly voices shouting good bye as they drove down the road. I watched the truck disappear out of site. *sigh*

I didn't cry but I could feel the tears - sort of there or maybe they were only in my thoughts. And so I started blogging about my feelings. That was short lived though as younger son called from his cell to ask if I could please bring something to school for him. It was an odd feeling to think that this was the last school errand I would be running - maybe even fitting and even though simple, it felt so good to do it.

Then I went to McDonalds and got a fast food breakfast - comfort food no doubt. I haven't had a fast food breakfast since I stopped working for Lifeline in May 2006. It was s-o-o-o SALTY! I could taste the oil too - yuk! But, I forgot how much I liked those biscuits! :) I came home - made some more coffee and continued writing this post.


Afterthoughts: When they go off to kindergarten they from that point on will be exposed to and sometimes affected by outside influences. That is as it should be - moving forward - forging a path of new beginnings that will hopefully lead them to fulfilling their destinies - what they were created to do. They still have home and family influences but the dynamic does change.

Of course we welcome all the wonderful changes and opportunities but it is the negative forces that you know they will also encounter to varying degrees that caused me to feel like I wanted to put them in a plastic bubble of protection.

Good parenting is realizing that as much as we wish we could protect our children from all the bad encounters and experiences - that we can't. We can and should be there for them as the anchor for their storms and the light house illuminating the better path and be their rock of unconditional love and port of safety. We can and should be their solid foundation from which self confidence, compassion, wisdom, respect and love is developed. We can teach them to think independently - to see a situation for what it is and from that make sound decisions.

Most importantly - teach them about God. Help to instill faith in their creator and steer them into developing a personal relationship with God and because we are Christians - for us, specifically Jesus Christ. I always wanted them to know how much they were loved by God. I taught them that God was there all the time - even when people weren't. I taught them the salvation message and why that was more important than anything else in their lives. I told them that education was important, that money helped to make things nice and that friends and family were especially important but that salvation was THE most important of all because that determines where they will spend eternity. I also taught them to pray for healing because God does heal the sick. I just wanted them to know that no matter what happens in life that God is there for them and if they let him direct their paths, if they seek his guidance - it will always work out for good.

I remember a friend's mother who had 5 kids once telling me that she used to say. "All I can do is my best and now I let God do the rest." In the end that is all we can do. Just try to do our best. We made mistakes as parents. There are plenty of things I wish I could do differently. I think we all can say that about our lives in general. However, it is humanly impossible to always be there for our kids, but God in his omnipotence is. So I taught the boys about having faith in God. I wanted them to understand that there are people that "know of "God and then there are people that "know" God. There is the impersonal text book knowledge type of faith that really is memorization, etc and then there is a real relationship of love, trust and knowledge. One is forced the other is life giving. Even if they stray from God (and I think most of us do) I have always taken comfort in this scripture (I think from Proverbs - not sure) -"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it." I also believe that when we have an active faith in God that it helps to keep us on the right track and when we stray (I think we all do) it is like a compass, helping us to find our way back.

One day when I was in the check-out line at our local supermarket with our first born son who was then a year old, an elderly lady looked at him, smiled and said, "Ohhhhh, these are the happy years." She meant well but it kind of haunted me because she was inferring enjoy them now - you won't always have this. I know what she meant but I didn't want to think about it. I also wondered if she was lonely.

Then after our 2nd son was born, someone else came up to me and while looking at him said, "Just remember - you can never go back." I did find that useful and have reflected back on that statement many times when making certain decisions.

They have grown up to be two fine, intelligent, discerning and compassionate young men with marvelous senses of humor too. We are privileged to be their parents and are so very proud of them. :)

You really don't realize how fast time moves on. Not so much in grade school, but when they hit H.S. - it seems like time flew by.

**We have a real busy few days coming up. Sunday- Father's day, Monday-my birthday and Tuesday- sons' graduation! So if I go MIA - that is why.


Chrysalis Angel said...

What a journey to have Seaspray. Congratulations on seeing yet another fine young man graduate, and Happy Birthday to you on Monday!

SeaSpray said...

Thank you Chrysalis Angel. :)

Bohemian Road Nurse... said...

Dadgummit, but some of your pictures don't show up on my screen. I have no idea why. Waaaah.....

(It's happened on one other blog before and I don't know if it's my new computer and this cursed newfangled Vista OS or not. I am afraid to fiddle around with it because whenever I do, it seems to act like HAL in 2001 Space Odysey (spelling?) and "gets even" with me....

SeaSpray said...

Hi BRN - Is it all the pics or just the large ones? it the Youtube clips?

I wonder if I have too much on my sidebar for some systems to handle all of it? maybe the animation takes up too much in some systems.

If it is the Youtube - you can go to them yourself and see if they work for you directly.

Let me know - I am curious.

I think if you have a slower modem or something like that - that could cause a problem. High speed internet seems to open everything quickly for me no matter where I go.

Vista has a lot of security features in it and a stronger firewall. So maybe it is taking time going through everything before it opens things up? I am checking with older son and will see what I can find out. :)

patientanonymous said...

Hi SeaSpray, I've never wanted to have children but I can tell what a great Mom you are just from the way you've expressed your feelings. It almost makes me wish you were my Mom but I'm too old! We could be sisters?

Although I can't believe you have a son that is almost 27?! I thought you were almost 27 haha! I guess your "youth" comes through in your writing style?

Anyway, this post really made me think, speaking sister! She is such a devoted Mom! And has a very strong faith as well.

Nice read.

SeaSpray said...

Hi again BRN!

My son sent me the following to forward to you:

Have her follow step # 4. She would follow these steps for her particular user account to find out how to dismantle the Vista security system if you want to try that.

BRN, I have read your frustration with the new program in various places and wonder if it is the heightened security?

Good luck and if this doesn't work than I can always forward with a link to you in an e-mail. I was able to open the link.

SeaSpray said...

BRN - There is an m after in my previous comment.

So - the end of that link should read

The comment section cut off the last letter.

SeaSpray said...

Hi PA - Thank you for your sweet words. :)

Sure Pa! We could be cyber sisters!

I was raised with wolves.

Kidding of course - but I was raised as an only child and always wanted siblings.

I really do have an older sister and 2 older brothers. I found out as an adult that my father was married 7 times (my mother was the 7th and she didn't know either when she married him, although she never told me anything ever and I had to drag it out of her once I really started with the questions)and they are all from different marriages.

This is an interesting story and I may blog about it- Ha!...or write a book. :)

I could possibly connect with one brother-VON, who is an airline pilot because one of my cousins on my father's side did get to know him. I don't know my father's side of the family either because my mother left him when I was 3 and cut off all ties to his family because she wanted to get away from him.

Last January I connected with the brother of the 1st cousin I mentioned (looked him up in information) who lives out on Martha's Vineyard and he was positively charming. I have to admit I felt an instant rapport with him and I hadn't seen him since I was 3. He is the one who told me about his brother being in touch with Von.

But then I dropped the ball - intentionally and question whether or not I should just let sleeping dogs lie. Although, I would really like to know about my father's side of the family.

For instance - on my Mom's Macdonald side of the family - no kidney stones. Last winter I found out from my cousin that his brother had kidney stones.

And I am curious to see if I resemble anyone on the Sauer side of the family. I know I look like grandma MacDonald's Cunningham side of the family but I think I have my father's looks too.

O.k - bit of a digression there!

Amazingly P.A.- people are surprised when I say my age. My inclination is to think - sure you think I'm younger - I know your just being nice. :)

But then the expressions on their faces tell me they are surprised - which of course warms this girl's heart.

A few years ago one of the ER docs was surprised. He actually thought I was goofing with him. Gotta LOVE that guy!

Then last October one of the nurses at one of my private docs did a double take when I casually mentioned something about having a granddaughter during the course of conversation. She quickly scrutinized my face and said your NOT OLD ENOUGH to be a grandmother! I'm checking your chart! Then she did and looked back up at me. Also, last December the SDS nurse who was gathering my PAT info upon hearing me say my age also looked shocked and said "No your not - let me check your chart!" and also looked up surprised.

I don't know what they are seeing but I can tell. :)

I was 45 when my granddaughter was born. My son was 20. Ha! I remember an aide at the hospital whispering to me (she was 40 at the time), "Doesn't it bother you that you are a grandmother now?" She said it would bother her and she wouldn't want anyone to know. I actually laughed and promptly told her "No - not at all -it's exciting!" And I meant it! She has been the most precious blessing and greatest joy to have around. I LOVE being a young grandma or as she calls me Mum-Mum. :)

Gee PA! - looks like you struck a couple of chord in me - hence the rambling.

I think it's great that you have such a great sister. What a blessing! How sweet that you recognize her good parenting skills and and see her for the woman of faith that she is. :) Do you tell her? I am sure she would appreciate hearing your thoughts.

Faith can carry you through so much and brings a lot of joy and peace that transcends all understanding.

patientanonymous said...

Got it. And no, it wasn't long and personal--well, it was personal but not outrageously so--well, who cares? It's your blog!

Seven times?! That's got to be some kind of all over the place, huh?

Yes, I tell my sister all the time but she is very modest about it.

SeaSpray said...

Hi PA - I have often had strangers tell me that I look just like someone they know and I always joke that I must have a common face - but now ...I wonder. ;)

In 1989 - 3 different people thought I reminded them of Cleopatra, specifically Elizabeth Taylor playing Cleopatra. (There's a story here and I guess I will save it for the blog.)It's kind of funny how it evolved. No I don't look like Elizabeth Taylor but I wore bangs at the time and the way I wore my make-up I guess. I suppose there were similarities.

But then I have a friend who has said I looked like Cybill Shepherd sometimes with expressions. So .. go figure. I actually Identified with her when I was a teenager when she was modeling and was in all the magazines.

During the Cybill Shepherd Phase my hair had a lot of blond highlights and during the Cleopatra Phase my hair was really dark. Then the same friend that said I looked like Cybill Shepherd also thought I looked like Yasmine Bleeth. I currently have dark brown hair with reddish highlights. So - even though they are all different it must be a type.

I guess Dad got around. ;) And about that - that is only the info my mother knew from when I was little. I wonder what he did after we left?

OHN said...

Seaspray--you tugged at my heart-our first graduated this year (tho you and I are close in age I am lagging way behind still having 2 more to go..ages 17 and nearing 13). It was such a surreal moment when he walked across that stage. So much life in what seems like moments in time. Like you, we are very proud of our young men.

Also-RE the EMR...from what I have seen the records are totally computerized...I have often wondered what they do when their mainframe crashes...hopefully they will come running back to me LOL.

Anonymous said...

This is lovely. I'll never forget my daughter's first day of pre-school. My husband and I were standing out of sight (her sight) but she was still in both our eye-sight within hearing distance. I could hear her sobbing and crying and calling for me. My heart was breaking. It was the first (and only) time I actually considered harming my husband. I pictured myself shoving him to the ground out of my way, running back to her and picking her up and running home with her. Thankfully I came to my senses and now that she's 9, she doesn't want to have anything to do with me once she's in that playground.

Congrats to your son. With highschool over, he has such great times ahead of him.

SeaSpray said...

Hi Ohn - I remember a doctor saying once, "You know - you love your kids so much - it hurts."

These milestones have a way of speeding up time for some reason. I mean we always know it is going forward but in the busyness of life so much gets taken for granted. Then when they events come up they grab our attention and kind of stop us in our tracks and we realize what was is no more or not the same anyway. I'm not articulating that very well but I know you understand. Congrats to your son and all of you! :)

Also thanks for answering my question. I guess I am old fashioned in that I always feel there should be a hard copy back up - just in case. But I guess that is the point - to get rid of it all. What do they do with all the records? do they store or shred them?

Hi bloghore - thank you and I am glad you appreciated it.

Awww - thank you for sharing your sweet story. It's amazing what our maternal instincts cause us to do or want to do. It's like our children's heart is our heart and when they hurt - we hurt. I know men feel it too but I do think women feel it more strongly and maybe that is because we carried them in our bodies too. But then adoptive moms feel just as strongly and so maybe it is because we are born nurturers. Although a girlfriends husband cried when he brought his youngest daughter to college.

That is funny about wanting to knock your husband over to rescue her. I have this image of a whole bunch of men flat on the floor in the pre-school because a bunch of women mowed their husbands over to rescue their child. :)

Thanks for the congrats and yes this is such an exciting time of life for them. :)

Sisyphus said...

Hi SeaSpray, What a wonderful post! It is actually rather tearjerking in a nice kinda way, though, if you get my meaning. I'm sorry I am late commenting on this.....husband dragged me away for a wee surprise holiday last Saturday, so I had no internet access until Wed night late and since then have been catching up with things. Reading all the comments on this one though, has been interesting.....I too was amazed when a comment revealed you were a grandmother....No Way!!! What next? Knitting? Are you kidding me? :)

SeaSpray said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SeaSpray said...

Hi Sis - Thank you for your kind words.

How nice that your husband took you on a holiday! :)

I was 25 when I had 1st born son and he was 20 when his daughter was born. I like to think I am a young Mum-Mum as she calls me. :)

I was the youngest in my family to have the first baby at 25. My grandmother, mother and cousin were in their 30's. And my father was 42. So - I love having a granddaughter this young.

It amuses me that you and some others in the blogosphere are surprised that I am a grandmother.

As I said above - people that meet me directly have also been surprised which also is amusing and nice. :)

When you think about it some women become grandmothers at 30. of course I am talking about kids that have kids - which is sad.

I don't knit or sew because I just don't have the patience for it. My d-i-l knits beautifully and quickly too. Maybe someday I will take the time to learn.