Tagged with "love"
8 Nov
2017
Posted in: parenting
By    1 Comment

One of Us

kindness matters quote

I’m a nervous creature by nature and have serious worrying tendencies. Sending our oldest to high school sent me through a minefield of emotions. I’d never attended a school that size, excluding college. He’d be with hundreds of students from all over the county, and I knew this point marked the time he would be more with others and less with us. All we had taught and trained him up with would be put to actual test.

When I dropped him off at his first high school football practice in early August, I prayed and wished that he would find kind teammates and adults who would see him like I do. Three weeks later when marching band began, I prayed for more kind teens and caring adults. I slowly felt my tension ease with every story, every friend, every encounter he related. It wasn’t perfect, but it was good.

He knew what I was worried about: upperclassmen picking on underclassmen, belittling coaches, teachers who no longer like their job, struggling in class, unkind classmates, drugs, alcohol, depression, etc. Every ABC Afterschool Special I grew up watching was on my list of concerns and a whole lot more the folks at ABC didn’t see coming for this generation. My high school only housed 10th, 11th and 12th grades. Freshmen were still in the junior high. I didn’t have any senior friends when I was his age, unless you count a few friends’ siblings. He has a couple classes with seniors and calls a couple dozen teammate. Chalk high school up as one more parenting milestone I felt ill-equipped to handle.

I’ve spent this first quarter asking questions about everything to anyone who would listen. Slowly my knowledge base has grown, while my worries fade to the background. I doubt I’ll ever shake those shackles, but I’m less fearful of this phase than I was three months ago. We have a decade of high school to look forward to with our four children. Those worries will rise to the surface and a few will probably come to fruition, but starting this journey on a positive note was an answered prayer.

Having two activities begin before the start of school, while cutting into my travel plans, was the most beneficial thing to happen to our freshman. He knew several teachers, loads of students in all grades and his way around campus. The first day was a formality by the time it rolled around.

I have told parents, teachers, teenagers and coaches stories about the kindness they have shown. We all get into a groove doing certain tasks and sometimes don’t see them for the gesture they are, whether it’s inspirational quotes, meals, car pooling or simply a kind word. Those little things, especially coming from several sources at once, make all the difference in a situation.

After the last regular season home football game, I took a moment on the field to thank a group of seniors for how kind they had been to our son. One big, burly lineman replied, “It wasn’t anything. He’s one of us, and we take care of each other.” We all belong together and are better off when we take care of one another.

Kindness matters. Love one another. Be kind. Always be inclusive. All these phrases and more I’ve repeated over and over throughout the last 15 years, I now watch teenagers live acting by example. It’s not everyone in the high school or even on the team. It’s a place filled with hormones and rapidly changing people who are perfectly imperfect, but they are showing kindness. Parents, we’re getting through to this next generation. I sometimes feel my words fall on deaf ears in parenting, but when I take a step back and watch these kids, I have renewed hope for this world that seems to have gone mad and lost its way.


 
Read Between the Lines
By     |    Apr 17, 2017
Posted in: uncategorized     |    1 Comment

Read Between the Lines

I sat at my aunt’s kitchen table surrounded by various members of my extended family attempting to write my grandpa’s obituary. I started with the bookend dates of his 88 years of life and filled in the years he served in the U.S. Navy and the decades he worked. There’s his wedding and number of children. There are the countless organizations he belonged to giving a glimpse at what he believed was important. I’m rarely at a loss for words... [Read More]

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By     |    Mar 24, 2017
Posted in: parenting     |    1 Comment

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I picked up our 8th grader from school on Wednesday expecting our normal post-school conversation. The script goes something like this: I ask him to tell me something about his day. He tells me about some meme someone showed him at lunch. I either laugh, or don’t get it and he laughs. He’ll run through his homework list and pick a few small things to discuss. Thus concludes the recap with further items thrown in at random times throughout the... [Read More]

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40
By     |    Feb 20, 2017
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40

Forty years…that seems like a lot of life and yet not much at all. I won’t shed tears over this milestone. I’ve been celebrating this birthday since last month when we visited California. We spent my birthday weekend snowshoeing in Grand Teton National Park. I said goodbye to my 30s and hello to this new decade with multiple adventures. Growing older has taught me to make experiences happen, and I’m abundantly grateful to have another year of living written in... [Read More]

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Act with Abandon
By     |    Sep 26, 2016
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Act with Abandon

If I was an animal, I would dig a hole and hide in it when things were too much. The person that I am copes by huddling my family closer in this home we’ve made together. I want to close the curtains, disconnect the WiFi and pretend it’s just us. Really I’m not coping, just hiding. Eventually I have to come out and actually deal with the world. Life has been heavy the last few weeks. We have too many... [Read More]

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By     |    Aug 28, 2016
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Tailoring Parenting to My Audience

Our second oldest son and I were driving to his 6th grade orientation last week. His brothers and sister weren’t with us. This was the perfect time to talk one-on-one about heading to middle school. I over-think and prepare for situations. I was going to begin with talking about responsibility before moving into the importance of kindness and bravery before wrapping up with a shortened version of previous talks on drugs, alcohol and sex. I’d given this talk to his... [Read More]

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A Birthday and Loss
By     |    May 11, 2016
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A Birthday and Loss

Today our third son celebrates his ninth birthday. I cannot believe he’s already nine, but also feel he’s older than those short nine years. He’s a joy-filled, sports-loving boy who was born at a time when his mama needed him most. Ten years ago I was pregnant for the third time and over-the-moon excited to add to our family. Eleven weeks into the pregnancy I experienced cramping and was placed on bed rest. Two days later the cramping turned to... [Read More]

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Reasons I Love You
By     |    Feb 11, 2016
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Reasons I Love You

This year I’ve implemented a new-to-us idea for our kids leading up to Valentine’s Day. You’ve probably seen the idea of love notes floating around social media. The idea is to write a note with a different thing you love about your child every day from Feb. 1-14. I’ve never been a fan of Valentine’s Day. I’d much rather be surprised by chocolate on a random Wednesday “just because” than on Feb. 14. My husband surprised me with coffee when he arrived... [Read More]

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When the Injured Player is Mine
By     |    Oct 1, 2015
Posted in: parenting     |    3 Comments

When the Injured Player is Mine

I scan the football field at the end of every play checking to make sure my kid is on his feet. Nothing prepared me for the moment I realized my child was still laying on the field injured. My heart sunk. Our 13-year-old wasn’t laying for long before cautiously sitting up. A coach was out there quickly, and B walked off the field unassisted. But pain was plastered on his face. Every inch of my momness wanted to walk onto... [Read More]

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Learning from the Center
By     |    Sep 25, 2015
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Learning from the Center

Football. It’s all-consuming in our house in the fall. The boys play it, talk about it and watch it. After school is scheduled around when, where and who needs to be at what field with two boys playing tackle football and one playing flag football. It’s our fault they’re passionate about the sport. We’re the ones who opened that door years ago. I was a newspaper sports reporter before I was a mom. Sports was what I watched, researched and... [Read More]

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Partaking in Risky Behavior
By     |    Aug 2, 2015
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Partaking in Risky Behavior

Apparently, I’m a risk-taker. Each summer, for seven years, we’ve welcomed a visiting Challenger Sports soccer coach in town for a British soccer camp. The coaches we’ve hosted are young men between the ages of 18-23. They need a place to call home for seven days. This week during camp, a mother I don’t know wanted to talk about hosting. More precisely, she wanted to talk about how negligent I was being. I was asked if I thought I was... [Read More]

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Mother’s Day: I Had No Idea
By     |    May 10, 2015
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Mother’s Day: I Had No Idea

I knew I was potentially in over my head almost 13 years ago when I was preparing to bring my first baby home and the hospital staff only cared if I had a car seat. I remember sitting in the backseat staring at this little boy and thinking I had no idea what I was supposed to do when we arrived home. We spent a great deal of the coming weeks just holding and staring at that little guy. I... [Read More]

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