Monday, July 17, 2017

Learning to Let Them Crawl Again

As a mother, I have learned to let go. When my babies started to crawl, I allowed them to become independent. When my babies started school, I was excited to see what their future held. And now that one of my kids is in the thick of his teenage years, I am not one of those moms that is holding him back and restraining him from becoming a young adult; because I know all he is doing is spreading his wings and trying to figure out who he is at this point in his life.

However, I am noticing that there are some external influences in his life that affect his personality and his personality traits that are not favorable to me or his friends. And as a mother, I want him to be his own person, and be independent, but I don’t want him to make mistakes.

I have been doing a lot of reading and a psychologist wrote, that teenagers are like toddlers. When they started crawling and walking, we didn’t scold them for their independence, or yell at them; so, we shouldn’t do that with our teens.

However, we need to set boundaries with them. Just as we did our toddlers. We told our toddlers they couldn’t go near the pool, or stick their fingers in the light sockets, or be in the bath tub alone; so, we need to set similar, yet age appropriate boundaries for our teens.

However, as parents, we don’t need to be na├»ve, we need to expect that those boundaries will be pushed, pulled and broken at times; and we need to be prepared for that. Therefore, we need to have our plan of attack, and our retaliation. But for the most part, as parents, we need to accept our children, guide them, don’t allow them to make drastic mistakes; and I feel if you see them making mistakes whether its towards their peers, to themselves, in school, or whatever the case maybe; you as the adult, their parent to ensure that they be the best person that they can possibly be for themselves, for their peers, and for their family.

You remember the mistakes you made. It’s okay to tell you kids about your past, to use your past as an example of what not to do. You can leave out some of the gory details, but I think the ol’ “live and learn” adage is okay.

Also, when you can see an external influence is having a negative effect on their personality; I feel as a parent it is okay to step in and make a change in their lives. To remove that factor. Or point out that factor in their lives.

Kids have such a hard time figuring out who they are, what they want to be, and struggling to please friends, parents, teachers, and themselves, that I feel they get lost in the shuffle. So just remember, we didn’t scold them when they started to crawl, so don’t scold them when they start to spread their adult wings. But remember boundaries are a necessity.

And those they love the most, and are the most comfortable with, are the ones they lash out at the most; or tend to treat with the most disrespect. I don’t know why this is. I guess they aren’t seeking their approval any more, they know they have your unconditional love; so just remember to keep loving them no matter what.

Your Island

Sometimes you may feel like you live on an island, isolated, alone, busy, and the world or activities are going on around you, and you are missing out on fun activities, and you are missing out on things.

When the truth of the matter it, that island you are on, is perfect. It is the island that you have created for yourself. You wake up one morning and you have received a text from a friend, just saying “Hi” and you know someone in your life is thinking about you; or you are sitting outside watching your kids play and jump and tackle their daddy on Father’s Day, just as they should be doing; or your dirty little dogs come running up to you and give you all the love in the world.

Sometimes, there can be those days, that we get so wrapped up in work, or activities, or just life in general that we feel that everyone else around us is traveling, or having fun, or relaxing and enjoying life. When the fact of the matter is, everything you have worked so hard for, is right there at your fingertips.

There may be a stress in your life, or a missing piece to your personal puzzle at that moment in time, or you just maybe feeling a little blue; but that is okay. We all deserve a day to feel down. There is no rule in the “Life Handbook” that says we must be happy 24/7. But then there are those times in life when we catch a simple act of kindness or happiness, that helps us to realize just how lucky and blessed we are in life.

From the time we stop being kids, to the moment we become adults, we are slowly building “Our Islands”. We are welcoming those we love and want to surround ourselves with onto our island, and we are kindly escorting those off that we no longer need in our lives. And sadly, we are losing those to Heaven, whether we are ready for them to leave us or not; and then we are blessed with little ones in our life that will change our worlds forever.

But in building and creating our islands, we must be very selective in the kind of atmosphere and ambiance we want to have on that island. Sometimes we want it to be loud, and noisy; sometimes we need total silence; and sometimes, there is total silence, when we don’t need the silence. And that is when we must realize that we are still loved, supported and wanted by our friends and family, they just maybe concentrating on their “islands” at that point in time.

You must realize, that life is a very delicate balance of busy, loud and active days; and then there are those days filled with silence, relaxation, and sometimes avoidance. Just know you are never alone. 

You are always surrounded by your immediate guests you have welcomed on to your island. And cherish them, and the memories you have made there.

It's the Little Things

I saw the best picture the other day on Facebook. It was a picture of a ton of animal floats in my friend’s swimming pool and I couldn’t help but smile. I know that sounds kind of weird, but it wasn’t a picture of the kids having fun, or the adults lounging with drinks in their hands, it was a picture of the giant swan, the giant giraffe, the shark, and the crab.

I couldn’t stop laughing. It is the little things in life that you need to see sometimes, that keep you going. I was kind of down in the dumps, from the monotony of life; it was starting to feel like Groundhog Day to me.

Get up, go to work, do the laundry, mow the yard, clean the house, do the laundry, do the laundry, do the laundry, sleep, go to work… on and on. And for whatever reason I was having the mid-summertime blues. No vacation, just boredom, and work.

But then I came home that day, and my three boys came running out the front door to me, we took the boat out. My middle one got up on skis, my oldest and youngest had a blast tubing together; and although I shouldn’t laugh, our littlest dog jumped from the boat to the dock, and missed and landed smack in the water, which made me laugh so hard.

I knew she would be fine, but her little ears and the look on her face just made me chuckle. And then that night I saw my friend’s post on Facebook with all the creatures in his pool, which made me laugh again; so, I realized then that even though life can get a bit monotonous and boring, it is pretty great.

I heard a great saying once in a movie…” Photo albums are filled with the smiles you want to remember, but it’s the day to day stuff that is what life is really all about.”

And that is so true. Everyone posts all these happy shots on Facebook, to make their lives look so wonderful, when possibly, at that moment they are; but quite possibly two seconds before that picture they could have been screaming at one another. It’s all perception. But it’s the things that go on behind the camera, behind the selfies, behind the Facebook posts that is what life is really all about.

And if seeing a pool full of creatures is what makes you smile, or giggle, or happy for that day; then so be it. I always say, it is the little things in life that create the biggest memories, because sometimes the biggest things in life can create the smallest memories, or those we want to forget about the most.

Always try your best to find that one thing in your day, that one Little Thing in your day or your week, that makes you smile. Find your pool full of blow up animals; find your hug; find your puppy dog kiss; or find your six-year-old waking you up at 6 AM with a kiss on your nose asking for a bowl of Cheerios. Because one day that bowl of Cheerios won’t be around, or you’ll be too old to appreciate that pool full of creatures, or that puppy dog won’t be there to great you any longer.

It's always going to be the little things… always has been, always will be.