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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Watching boys become men.....

My sons are the loves of my life.  Don't get me wrong I ADORE my daughter but my boys...well they are my boys.

When they were little I spent practically every waking moment with them.  I think I lived my life in a bubble.  I never thought about what they'd be like when they were adults, I just relished in their childhood and their presence no matter what age they were.  Thinking about the future for me back then entailed the current year we were in.  I never thought about them growing up and not needing me every second.  When they would drive, or work or date or grow up and leave our home.  So, each milestone hit me like a ton of bricks once they reached high school age.  When my oldest left for college I thought I would have to be committed.  I was devastated.  But, it became the new normal and we all adjusted.  It became the next stage of life.  And it was all OK.  He came home this year and decided not to go back to school, another adjustment---we did it, all of us.  It's again the new normal. Then my younger son got his license and that was it---I never see him.  Now, he's working---the nights that we can have family dinner are dwindling down to maybe 1 a week.  It's OK, I adjusted it's a new normal.  Yesterday he said to me, "Wow, mom I haven't been alone with you in the car in forever!"  It was nice to chat with him in depth without interruption.  I had the same thing with my oldest this week a few times, things I used to take for granted, just talking to my boys is now a cherished happening.  It's nice to know they cherish it too.  I'm blessed.  Most kids their age take their parents for granted and don't really WANT to spend any time with them.  That's how I was at that age.  Which leads me to my thoughts today.....

Most parents want certain things from and for their kids.  I always ALWAYS only wanted them to be happy.  Do I relish when they succeed?  Absolutely!  I love when their grades are high and they are given an award, do well during a baseball game---all of that.  But that's my ego, not my heart.  My heart---it just wants them to be happy.  I realize that most of my childhood and most people I know are superficial.  It's all about how it looks to people. The status of their jobs, their cars, their bank accounts.   I don't give a shit about any of that anymore.  I get annoyed when I talk to those who are in that mindset---actually, I think I've cut out pretty much everyone who does for the most part.  Maybe occasionally interacting on Face book, that's about all I can handle.  Life is so much more than that!

I had a conversation with my oldest yesterday about how people take their jobs so seriously it's ridiculous.  Unless you are saving lives, really?  Does your job mean THAT much?  People put their entire worth into what they do for a living.  It's sad to me.  You are supposed to work to live not live to work.  Life is about relationships and family and food and fun and enjoying---not the bottom line!  However, with that being said, my family has an amazing work ethic.  We do the best at whatever we are given to do.  I am proud of that.  My nieces, nephews, siblings and my own children all have that ethic.  My parents are amazing role models in this behavior.  No matter what task they undertook they did it to the best of their ability (which, not gonna lie, is better than most people's abilities, just sayin').

I have always babied my kids.  I did everything for them.  Never asking them to so much as empty the garbage when they were younger.  Never made their beds, put laundry away, did dishes, hell didn't even prepare their own breakfast until they were like 14.  When my oldest went off to school he accused me of making him unable to care for himself.  Wow-slap in the face---but he had a point!  So, with that I started making them do certain things for themselves.  It made me worry that I had raised spoiled, inept human beings who had a sense of entitlement.  Crap.  That would suck. Then my oldest got a job---that kid busted his ass every day in 115 degree heat with rarely a complaint.  Never called in, never left early, never took a day off.  Thank God, he has it!  He has the work ethic.  Do whatever you do to the best of your ability.  He told me the other day that when he's put in charge at work he's very fair.  He even gave me credit for teaching him how to be fair, that was a nice plus :)

Now his younger brother has joined the work force.   He's got the same attitude.  He didn't love not getting home until midnight the other night when he was supposed to be finished at 9 and had to leave the house at 8 am for baseball.  But he did it.  Kept a positive attitude about it.  He makes me so proud!  These boys were raised in an environment that depicted work as something to complain about....something to make you miserable, but something that had to be done and in effect defined who you were.  I'm so glad they didn't take any of that into their personalities.  I'm so happy that their genetics won out where that was concerned.  My dad is a HUGE role model for my boys.  They take their cues from him and they couldn't ask for a better example.  I'd like to think that my influence has given them the ability to see what's important in life and how to find balance.   I love that they look forward to time spent together as a family at this stage in their lives.

Being in this phase of life, with my boys branching off and starting their own lives and my role in those lives being reduced to a supporting cast member, it's hard to remember what it was like when we spent 24/7 together and life was just us and the only outside influence was when and who I chose.  This just seems normal and right.  I truly thought when I got to this stage I'd be devastated and living in the past and melancholy---but I'm happy and excited to see what this stage brings.  Just like every other stage with my kids---I never rushed it, just enjoyed it and learned from it.  After all----it's just a day in the life <3
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