Tagged with "clothing"
19 Dec
2017
Posted in: parenting
By    2 Comments

Recognizing My Selfish Parenting

The second day of high school our freshman came home declaring he was going to be a U.S. history teacher. No more engineering or business degree for him. Ninety minutes with his freshman history teacher had changed his life course, or maybe not. He could easily be a professional musician, or coach, or a street performer. The later has crept into conversations ever since a trip to Key West.

Four months of high school has taught me that we are fully immersed in a phase of parenting much different than any we’ve been through to this point. He’s changing, both physically and socially, and redefining who he is and where he wants to fit. More than ever I see our role as parents as guides through this process. We don’t want him to veer into choppy water with illicit behavior and friends that aren’t good influences, but I want him to chart his own course free of what his family and others expect him to do.

In August, a friend told me to prepare for him to “lose his mind.” I thought she was referring to the three worst things I could think of like drugs, alcohol and sex. It’s happening on a much smaller scale that I wouldn’t even notice if I hadn’t given birth and lived with the child for 15 years. There’s a shift in his growing up. It hasn’t been a bad thing, but it’s definitely a THING.

Little things have morphed over the last few months: the clothes he chooses to wear (lots of khaki and black in his closet), his friends have expanded to include new faces (some who are seniors), there’s a wider array of music coming from his bedroom (not necessarily a bad thing), and he thinks more critically about topics but also has most definitely come to the sarcastic side with his mom. The biggest change came halfway through football season. He casually mentioned one day that he wanted to try wrestling and not play basketball. Honestly, I didn’t pay much attention. I wrote it of as spending too much time with lineman who are also wrestlers. He’d never wrestled, but had been playing basketball for years.

American flag hanging over a wrestling mat

The wrestling thing never went away. He clearly had no desire to play basketball. It was wrestling or no winter sport. I found the idea of no winter sport more appealing. The child had never wrestled…EVER. Our exposure to wrestling amounted to watching one match on ESPN two years ago. We’d never even been to a wrestling dual or tournament. We knew absolutely zilch. Even in my sports reporting days, I never covered wrestling. The child had lost his mind.

The germophobe in me tried to dissuade him with a list of communal skin infections he’d be exposed to at practice and meets. He wasn’t grossed out.  I shared my fears about becoming weight obsessed. He shared with me information on what and how he planned to eat. I reminded him that he was likely to not do well. He reminded me there are worse things than losing. He could get hurt. That other person is trying to get you to fully submit. He asked how this was different than football.

Upperclassmen football players gently tried to convince me to allow him to wrestle. Numerous coaches and friends who were former wrestlers joined the pro-wrestling movement. Our son didn’t push, beg or throw a fit. He gave us his reasons for wanting to change sports and left us to decide.

All of my excuses covered the one I didn’t want to verbalize. I like basketball. I wanted to watch him play basketball. I had made this about him taking something from me. I would never sit in his high school gym and watch him score on a fast break. I am selfish. His life is not mine. He’s never lacked confidence when trying new things. I didn’t want to watch him fail. I didn’t want to watch his struggle to learn a sport and compete with people who have been wrestling for a decade. I didn’t want to put together the shattered ego. I didn’t want him to take the hard route when he could just do what he’s always done. I have much to learn in parenting. He wasn’t afraid. He knew it would be difficult. He knew it would take work. He wanted to do it anyway.

So, we have a wrestler. I sit on a different bleacher hoping he doesn’t get pinned. He enjoys teaching us what he’s learned. I’ve enjoyed diving into this mysterious sport to support him with his new love, even if the intensity of some matches makes my stomach roll. Success is slow coming, but losing hasn’t changed his desire to learn and grow.

We’ve faced backlash from friends: “How could we let him quit basketball? He could have been so good. What a waste of height. He’s going to regret it. You can’t let him do whatever he wants.” I’ve heard it all. I gently remind most that our kids are not us. His life is his to lead with me to guide him along the way. A few people I’ve had to remind that he didn’t become a drug dealer. He simply shifted how he saw himself. He’s not a basketball player. He’s a wrestler. Maybe he’s not a chemical engineer. Maybe he’s a history teacher. Maybe he’ll continue to play an instrument. Maybe he’ll decide to stop.

I’ve learned loads in the four months we’ve had a student in high school. Most importantly, my parenting skills have been refined. He’s not a baby that needs his mama present all the time. I don’t need to know what he does during the day, although I really wish I did know. This is the part in the journey where we really let out the reins. We’ve laid the groundwork and now we see what he does with it. The letting go is officially the most difficult part of parenting. I won’t mold his life into what I want it to be. I’ll help him to make his life what he wants it to be, even if that means he doesn’t shoot free throws.


 
Time Away from Parenting
By     |    Apr 20, 2015
Posted in: parenting, travel     |    Comments Off on Time Away from Parenting

Time Away from Parenting

A date night for my husband and I consists of eating takeout in the living room while we watch a movie after putting kids to bed. We rarely spend time together without one or more of our children. I enjoy the kids, most of the time. We do have a tween who tests my annoyance levels (on purpose). Still, they’re good people. The kids are at ages where we can all go do just about everything I want to do... [Read More]

Read more
Home State Team: Wyoming Cowboys
By     |    Mar 16, 2015
Posted in: uncategorized     |    2 Comments

Home State Team: Wyoming Cowboys

Wyoming is all I know. The things that drove me crazy as a teen and had me dreaming of ways out of the west are the same things that made me stay to raise my own family. As a high school senior, I was set on moving to Michigan, but then an offer from the University of Wyoming had me packing my bags for Laramie. I was not excited, but in hindsight, that choice led me to a pretty darn... [Read More]

Read more
Uniting for Santa Claus
By     |    Dec 2, 2014
Posted in: parenting     |    Comments Off on Uniting for Santa Claus

Uniting for Santa Claus

There are days when it feels like this family will always be three boys vs. one girl. They bicker. The boys are rough. The girl is not. She wants to change her clothes multiple times a day. They could care less what they wear. Seven years between oldest son to only daughter sometimes feels like much more. Then there are days when I see them for what they truly are. They are four siblings who love each other despite all... [Read More]

Read more
The Abundance of Thanksgiving
By     |    Nov 27, 2014
Posted in: uncategorized     |    Comments Off on The Abundance of Thanksgiving

The Abundance of Thanksgiving

I spent yesterday in a kitchen with four kids baking and prepping food for the feast we’ll share with friends today. Christmas music was our soundtrack of choice. The counters were sticky. Crumbs littered the floor. Every single mixing bowl I own was dirty. The sink was full of dishes waiting to be cleaned. It was perfect. When I give myself time to truly reflect on what I’m thankful for, my breath catches. I live in a house with on-demand... [Read More]

Read more
Wear What I Say, Not What I Wear
By     |    Oct 1, 2014
Posted in: parenting     |    Comments Off on Wear What I Say, Not What I Wear

Wear What I Say, Not What I Wear

There are days when it’s for the best that my normally vigilant children don’t catch everything I do or say. Today is one of those days. It was a chilly 45 degrees and rainy this morning when the boys were dressing for school. Today was school picture day for the two younger boys. They came out of their room in shorts and the prerequisite polo shirt. Me: “No shorts. Change into jeans.” Nine-year-old son: “Jeans are too thick. They aren’t... [Read More]

Read more
Be THAT Mom…Whoever She Is
By     |    Apr 21, 2014
Posted in: parenting     |    Comments Off on Be THAT Mom…Whoever She Is

Be THAT Mom…Whoever She Is

I’m THAT mom. On Easter morning, I fixed my kiddos eggs and bacon that looked like a bunny. Surprisingly, my intention wasn’t to make anyone feel like less of a mom than me or to elevate myself to ‘Supermom’ status. I had eggs and bacon and saw a photo on social media of the above mentioned bunny. It took seconds to change the breakfast I was already intending into a memory for my children. Do I think less of the... [Read More]

Read more
Tie Dye Fun with Kids
By     |    Apr 11, 2014
Posted in: projects     |    Comments Off on Tie Dye Fun with Kids

Tie Dye Fun with Kids

Tie dye is one of my favorite crafts to do with kids. We’ve dyed socks, t-shirts and twin sheets. I currently have a sack of dyed clothing ready to wash and dry. Our county’s first graders will converge on the public library in a few weeks to celebrate Wyoming Reads. Each first grader will be given a new, hardcover children’s book at the early literacy event. Each year the first grade classes at my boys’ elementary school tie dye shirts... [Read More]

Read more
DIY: Disney Frozen Elsa Dress
By     |    Mar 25, 2014
Posted in: projects     |    Comments Off on DIY: Disney Frozen Elsa Dress

DIY: Disney Frozen Elsa Dress

We’ve seemingly reached our saturation level as a country for all things Disney Frozen. The release of the DVD and Blu-ray last week had little girls squealing with delight. Our house was not immune. My status post on Facebook last Tuesday was not original. We had bought the movie first thing that morning, and we watched it when we arrived home. We’ve also watched it two other times this past week. My daughter would play Frozen on a continual loop... [Read More]

Read more
5 Things I Don’t Worry About (Anymore)
By     |    Dec 23, 2013
Posted in: parenting     |    Comments Off on 5 Things I Don’t Worry About (Anymore)

5 Things I Don’t Worry About (Anymore)

When our youngest was born four years ago, I felt like I was treading water and never getting anywhere. My to-do list encompassed far too much and little things in the house drove me nuts. Now there are things I don’t worry about anymore that I used to try and control. These are my top five tasks I used to waste my time and energy dealing with or worrying about when really they don’t have anything to do with me.... [Read More]

Read more