I am a mother in love with my kids

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The emotion has literally driven me to my knees..  Sometimes to embrace a child (or three), sometimes to cry out to God, wondering once again how someone as completely unworthy as my self could have been entrusted with so much. 

My kids play hard, really hard.  They climb trees, and fall out of them.  They catch frogs and lizards.  They dig in the dirt. They swim in lakes, in the spring, summer and fall, with or without swimsuits.  They fight wars, hunt bear and moose, stalk squirrels and wild turkeys. They roller blade, ride bikes, throw snowballs, swing too high at playgrounds. They get dirty, quite dirty.

This seems to make some people nervous. 

A few years ago, a woman who has known me for a long time (20 years), but who does not know my kids at all (she has seen them, at play, a few times), made a comment that wounded me, and made me doubt my parenting.  It still hurts.  Her kids are always clean.  Their clothes impeccable.  Her children are quiet, reserved, not unfriendly but not outgoing either. 

My younger son had just started kindergarten, and I was asked how he was doing in school, if there were any behavior issues. I was a bit surprised, but replied that he was doing very well, seemed well liked by his teacher and his classmates(adoration would be a more apt description of what his classmates felt, he is a charismatic kid).  Her response was near shock, and certainly what was said shocked me.  She told me that her son had learned to steer clear of mine at an early age, as my son was so aggressive.

 I had never heard my son referred to as aggressive. HOW COULD I HAVE MISSED THIS IN HIM?  What kind of horrible parent was I?   I had heard a lot of other things about him, extremely bright, energetic, tireless, stubborn, strong willed, inquisitive. But never AGGRESSIVE.  

I started doubting what I knew about my beloved boy.  I would ask his teachers, with alarming regularity, how he was doing in school, not academically, but socially.  They would tell me he was wonderful.  I would talk to the principal, asking  the same questions.  I would get the same answer.  “He is a delight; he is kind to others, always the first to help another in need, polite, respectful”.  I didn’t believe it. 

I started warning others about my son.  I don’t know that I used the word aggressive, but surely it came across that I didn’t fully trust this kid.  His teachers got taken aside and told to let me know if there were ANY problems.  Back-talk, and disrespect were not to be tolerated.   I volunteered in the lunchroom and the classroom, sure that I would catch him in the act at some point.  I never did. 

Friends and family have always reassured me that my kids are good kids, but I thought they just had to say that, you know, it is in the friend/family contract and all, right? So I did not believe them. I just knew that the “bad” was there somewhere.

I don’t know what changed, but earlier this year I started to believe:

 

 I DO have great kids.

They are not perfect, they fight, they are messy, they get snotty with us, and they try to push bedtimes and baths as far into the future as possible. But they are great kids.  They love and they care, about each other and others.  All three of them are kind, to people and animals, they work hard in school, they are polite to their teachers and adults they encounter.  Each of my kids will go out of their way to befriend those in need. 

So all this to say, I am done apologizing for my kids.  I am proud of my children.  One may have hair past his shoulders, another sports a Mohawk, and the third is regularly attired in equal parts pink lace and black dirt.  They all have bruises and calluses from playing hard, and huge hearts, the consequence of loving hard. 

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About Sandie

A little background: A mother of 3, two boys and a girl. Married young to a good man. No longer young, but he is still a good man. Grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis, lived several years in small town Alaska, spent a couple years in the city of Madison, currently residing not too far from down town Anchorage. Drink a crazy amount of coffee. Fiercely loyal to my friends. Truly rabid in my defense of family. Beyond thankful that my God loves me enough to allow me to doubt and question.

5 responses »

  1. What a terrific statement to make about your relationship with your children. I really enjoyed reading the segment and could feel the love you share…awesome!! Thanks for inviting me to your blog!

  2. Sandie;

    Thanks for connecting me to your website…and with what’s happening with your family. The boys (all three of them) will be glad to know Entropy (the dog, not your mind) is close by in Madison.

    Congratulations on the -45 lbs. That’s a huge effort….I’m impressed! You looked so good when I saw you in June. Thanks for coming to graduation.

    For about 4 1/2 years, I got to work in a building that looked out over Lake Mendota and watch the women’s crew team….and felt what you described…

    Finally (I’m trying to respond to all your blogs in one message) – good for you for accepting your very cool kids. As you know, I could have written many of the same words (well, one’s a little less dirty than the other, but you know what I mean).

    A couple of years ago, we were ‘released’ from our car pool because one person was concerned about our kid’s fighting with each other. I was horrified! My kids were a bad influence on others!

    I’ve since calmed down, and let my kids (mostly) work out their disagreements themselves – (mostly) without fighting…and sometimes, they even like hanging out together (Trevor more hangs than plays these days….). I get what you’re saying!

    Take care – hi to everyone –
    Peace;
    Jane

    PS Keep those blog postings coming….

  3. Hi Sandie,

    It’s amazing the mark that an offhand comment can make, isn’t it?

    I cringe to think of the labels that will be slapped on my kids, especially where they resemble aspects of me that I question.

    When I think of your son, the first thing that pops into my mind is his vigor–he is unable to keep from reaching out to others. I suppose that he is a lot like you in that regard.

    Keep up the good work.

    -Tod

  4. Hey there Sandie,
    I am SO sorry that she made that comment!!! I understand how it makes you look even harder to see if maybe they are right. You probably hit the nail on the head–she really didn’t know your children, and they are so different from her children that she probably was grasping at straws to describe what she saw.

    For the record, I nurse (Or should I say breastfeed!) mine too much, too long, too often. And they are not as clean and tidy as they “should” be. Still they seem to show some of the same qualities of care for others that your lovely children show!

    Remember how Moses was a basket case? I bet his mom died when he was a fugitive from the law in Midian. . . yet he still came back to do something wonderful. Just something to think about when we try to judge whether we have been good parents.

    I’ll end my little book now. I love your blog! Keep up the news and pics. I miss you guys all so much!
    annie

  5. I was googling images of Anatolian Shephards and showing my boyfriend, he was like ‘I can’t believe that blog is called entropy!’
    Great minds think alike 😛

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