My Chase is Student of the Week!! I am so proud of him. He is such a good kid. Everyone loves him and Mrs. Morgan has said that she would love to have a whole class full of Chases... (she said that about Ethan too...) Chase is such a hard worker and I know I've said it a thousand times, but he has come such a long way in such a short time. It's mostly because of his hard work and his self motivation. He amazes me!! He is so enthusiastic about school and primary and scouts that it's hard not to be enthusiastic for him. I adore him... even if he doesn't wear a belt and he has to hold his pants up when he runs... silly boy!
Today it occurred to me, that predators we should fear where our children are concerned are not just those who physically abuse our babies, but those who emotionally and spiritually damage them. Those predators come in all shapes and sizes and claim to be Christians. They even come in our homes in their suits and ties with gospel messages and prayers they leave with our families. And yet, they do not practice what they preach. Those very people will actually lie to our children, hurt their feelings and send them home in tears. Those very people will be reasons why our children will not want to attend church or go to scouts or other activities. Those very people will plant seeds of doubt and anger in our children. Those people who are supposed to be members of our ward families, who we are supposed to turn to in our times of need and distress. Who should be helping us nurture these children and overcome these obstacles we face. I know I have done what I can to love the children in my ward. I have taught them in primary and welcomed them in my home and loved them as my own. I have shown them love and kindness. Sadly, that has not been returned to my babies.
I speak from experience when I say that words and actions can hurt young and tender feelings. I had church leaders say harsh and unkind things to me when I was young. Unwarranted things that I had such a struggle to overcome, even into my adulthood. One careless adult can derail a well intended youth, especially one that is hurting already.
We were placed in wards to support and uplift each other because no parent is perfect. I believe I am a good mother with good intentions and I think my kids are good kids. We are struggling right now, but I don't think my kids are acting out in unusual or destructive ways. However, if they feel abandoned by those they trust, they could. I feel my only option is to lock down even further to protect them the best way I know how. Lock out the bad and the careless. I already fear for them when they leave my home to go to school. I spend a lot of time at the school and on the phone with teachers. Now I'm worried when they go out to play with neighborhood friends because I obviously can't trust the adults in my neighborhood to make wise decisions in how they treat my babies. Will I be able to trust that they will be treated well in primary or will I have to follow them there as well?
I'm so disappointed right now. My children are my life. I love and value all children. How could anyone think to treat them badly?
It's not a shock, I'm sure, for anyone to hear that divorce sucks. I have days when I think I am completely fine and then I'll be in a store, or the bank, or at the kids' school and it hits me so hard that my family, as I knew it, is over and I can hardly breathe. What makes it worse is that I made the choice to end it. I tend to forget what I'm doing. Usually standing in an aisle or staring at a child. I snap back and collect myself and force myself to move forward.
People keep telling me I can't keep holding in my sadness. Honestly, I don't think I deserve to be sad. I did this. So I've started giving myself about an hour every night after the kids go to bed to cry and be sad. And then I pull it together. It doesn't matter how sad I am. My kids are more sad. And I have to show them that I can still create a happy and safe home for them. And that even though their dad is not living here, we can still be a family. A different kind of family, but a family nonetheless. We don't love them any less. This had to be done to stop the fighting.
It also doesn't matter how sad I am because I have to get up in the morning. I can't fade away no matter how much I wish I could disappear sometimes. It's so hard not to fade away when my kids are away for the weekend. Believe me, I desperately want to fade. But the sun still rises every morning and I force myself to get up and go about my business.
I may not want it to, but the sun still rises and I am so thankful for that.
I tell this to my kids all the time. Happiness is a choice. We choose to be happy. People don't MAKE us happy. No one can take our happiness away or give it back to us. I have to remember that. I find myself in circumstances that I've created and it's sometimes hard to get up in the morning and often hard to even breathe in and out. But I have to remember that I made choices and I can't have it all. So just like I have to choose to put one foot in front of the other when I don't want to, I have to make the choice to be happy. All the small decisions I make for myself and for my children and for our future have to reflect my choice to be happy. Like Leona Lewis sings in her song, "so what if it hurts me, so what if I break down... I just wanna be happy..."
Today I am grateful for the ability to make that choice. That I can see past these obstacles and know that even though I've made huge mistakes that I still deserve to be happy.
One last thing... to all those people I may have hurt, either knowingly or unknowingly... I'm so sorry. I am not a person who seeks to offend. Recently I really don't know which end is up so I may do or say things without intending to. I have a quote I display in my living room that I try to implement in everything I do when I'm dealing with others. "Love me when I least deserve it because that's when I need it the most." I'm hoping others will extend this to me.
Normally, I'm not always happy about being a woman. I have had so many female problems and I honestly can't remember what it feels like to just feel good, to just wake up and not have something cramping or hurting. But today as I was talking to the mother of one of my friends, I started to think about how absolutely wonderful it is to be a woman.
I am reminded of the scene in Steele Magnolias with Sally Field as she is mourning the loss of her daughter. She says "As a woman, I realize how lucky I am to be there as that wonderful creature drifted into my life and I was there as she drifted out. It was the most precious experience of my life." Now, frankly, I could never fathom the loss of one of my precious babies, however, I realize how perfect that statement is. How lucky I am as a woman to be able to experience the miracle of being a mother.
I'm facing the decision of permanent birth control. Not just for obvious reasons, but because my female issues are getting more and more out of control. It's a surprisingly difficult decision to make. The choice to give up the ability to create and carry a baby is not easy. I probably wouldn't be able to carry a baby to term if the opportunity ever presented itself down the road and if I ever chose to do so in the future. And the fact that I'm now in my 30s added to my female issues just adds to the negative results of trying to even conceive a healthy baby. However, I am missing those days of feeling that growth inside me. Knowing for the first time that I'm pregnant. Feeling the movement for the first time. Watching my stomach grow. Preparing for the baby, or in my case, babies.
And then my favorite part, pushing my baby out and having him placed in my arms. Seeing him for the first time but knowing him immediately. I missed that with the triplets, they were rushed away from me so quickly after their births. But I remember finally being able to hold them and knowing them... knowing they were mine. Watching Ethan bond with them... he always wanted to hold all three of them at the same time. And later, he and Mckenzie would hold Carter constantly.
I loved the first few days of having babies at home. The sleeping and feeding schedules when I could do nothing but hold them. I miss that too.
Of course, I've loved every stage of being a mother and I'm enjoying this stage. I love when the kids come home from school. When we can do homework together and talk about their classes and their day. I love being able to have adventure days or playing at the park in the dark. It's so fun to be able to hang out with them and hear their stories and listen to them interact with each other.
I am so grateful I was born with a heart that can embrace others, no matter what their situation. I find it so easy to love other children and nurture them as my own. Being a Sunday school teacher and a primary teacher were callings I loved so much. And I love having my house filled with children. I never resent having my kids' friends here. It's so easy to love them. I'm so thankful to my Heavenly Father for giving me a heart like I have. I used to hate that it was so easily broken, but I've learned to appreciate it for what it is.
So today, I'm grateful for being a woman. I'm thankful for being a mother and a nurturer. It's the hardest thing in the world but it's also the best! I wouldn't trade it for anything.
My friend, Nancy, is doing this on her blog... since it's November and Thanksgiving is this month, she is posting something she is thankful for every day. I decided to "steal" her idea because frankly, I need it! I need to be reminded of what I'm thankful for.
Today I am thankful for my healthy and happy kids. They are the light of my life. I look forward to hearing them walk through the door when they come home from school. One of my favorite things is our dinner time tradition. I ask them what their favorite thing of the day was and what was the worst part of their day. They come up with some hilarious and sometimes insightful things to say. And always, always, always, my Chase asks me how my day was. I love it! And not only does he ask, but he listens.
I'm so thankful for my friends. For their love and support. And especially their comfort. Even though I know I lock myself down, they are persistent and always there.
And as much as I love the sounds of my children, I'm grateful for the quiet time of my day after the kids go to bed. Sometimes it's lonely, but most of the time it's good to decompress and plan my next day.
Carter was a Biker Dude for Halloween. He was so dang cute. At the trunk-or-treat, our friends, the Johnson's, pulled up on their bikes and I just had to get a picture of Carter on Byron's bike!! He is so adorable!! I love it.
He's been such a stinker lately. He was throwing huge tantrums for awhile. I'm such a mean mom... I'd ask him to do things like eat his dinner and that would induce an all out, on the floor, kicking and screaming fit! We've gotten the huge tantrums down to a minimum, he now goes into his room to throw them. It's kind of funny, he'll get mad when I tell him something he doesn't like. He'll hold his breath and stomp off to his room and slam the door and then let out a scream or a grunt like a mad bear.
I've noticed he hasn't been sucking his thumb as much lately. Maybe that's contributing to his dramatic behavior. Who knows?
He's still darling when he's asleep though. I just sneak into his room at night to watch him sleep. He is the most beautiful child. It's so hard to watch him grow up. My baby.
When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say: "I used up everything you gave me." ~Erma Bombeck
I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. -Nelson Mandela
"We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return to us as results." – Herman Melville
Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that a son of a mine worker can become the head of the mine, that the child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another. -Nelson Mandela
I am a single mom of six precious children! They are six little pieces of my heart, somehow walking independently of my body. My goal these next few years is to make sure they are going to be happy, healthy and successful.
Here's to new beginnings! Stay tuned!