Tuesday, May 8, 2012

10 Ways My 10 Year Old Makes Me a Better Person

my baby

Love, joy, worry, awe and aggravation. These are just a few of the feelings that swirl around inside of me when I look at this picture.  This is my only son, my manchild, my heart and he turned 10 a couple weeks ago.  If you're wondering about the aggravation part, spend one day with a 10 year old boy and you'll know what I'm talking about.

While I have to admit that the thought of him growing up terrifies me, I know that I'm here to guide him - not stifle him.   I don't want my desire to protect him to ultimately hinder him from becoming a strong, confident man.  Being a mother is teaching me so much about myself and my capacity to manage the ultimate vulnerability - which to me is raising children.   

Here are 10 of the things that I've learned from my son that have made me a better person:

1.  Unconditional love.  He gave me my first taste of pure, die for you, do anything for you, love.  My love for him helped me reconnect with my spirituality.   

2.  Vulnerability.  Love liberates. Ego holds.  As much as I want to keep him close and protect him, I know that I have to let him go to experience life for himself.

3.  Purpose.  When I was 24 years old and had my son, my personal affairs were a sloppy mess.  I gradually put my life in order so that I could provide a better life for him.

4. Courage.  My son told me not too long ago that he feels safe when he's with me.  I don't think it was a huge deal to him, but it was a moment that I know I'll never forget.  Even when I feel like I don't know what I'm doing and I want to give up, I remember his confidence in me and I press on.

5. Accountability.  He's always watching.  I try to show him that it's okay to make mistakes, but you must learn from them and take responsibility for them. He doesn't really get it yet, but I trust that he will.

6.  Faith.  Raising kids in the world we live in, I could easily drive myself crazy with worry and anxiety.  But that's no way to live.  So, when I'm worried, I just squeeze him and pray over him and let him go.  Learning this has helped me to let go in other areas of my life.

7.  Detachment.  No one likes to be smothered, especially boys.  I'm learning to give him space and not feel threatened by his desire to do more things on his own. 

8.  Persistance.  We've recently discovered that Math does not come as easily to him as Reading and English.  He gives up very easily when he doesn't understand a new math concept.  It drives me crazy to see him not trying, but it also makes me question myself and the things I give up on quickly because they don't come easy to me. 

9.  Shine.  He knows what he's good at and how to charm his audience. He's still a little rough around the edges with it, but instinctively, he knows his strengths and how to use them to his advantage. I can't wait to see how he fine tunes this as he gets older. I'm learning some of that confidence from him.

10.  Dream Big.  He wants to be an artist, a teacher, a basketball player, a millionaire and a ninja when he grows up.  And he doesn't see any reason why he can't be all those things.   In his mind there are no limits, and really, why should there be? 

How have the children in your life inspired you?!


jessj said...

This is precious. I love that being a mother gives you just as much as you give to the role.

BETH said...

I can so relate to this! My daughter's name is Faith and what you wrote under that section has me. I always get leery when she's with her dad. He isn't me, so I worry when she is with him sometimes, but she always comes home when I pray. I just have to leave it at that and stop worrying about the world and all this craziness in it. Pray, let go and let God!

GG said...

Thanks Jess. I never knew it would be this way :)

Erica said...

I wasn't blessed with children, but my 12 and 14 year old godchildren keep me humble and mindful of my words and actions. Children watch EVERYTHING. Your words " I squeeze him, pray over him and let him go" are profound. In the grand scheme of things, that's all we can do. Peace and Blessings.

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