I remember those early days of motherhood. I used to make sure my kids looked so nice before we walked out the door. I loved to have the kids in matching outfits, even better if it happened to match me. Each kid had church shoes and church clothes. I shopped at Gymboree, Gap Kids, and even Hanna Andersson.
I can’t say for sure when it changed. But I do know it changed most drastically after Nolan’s death. My mentality has changed, my energy has dropped. Why is it important to wear dressy black shoes to church? (My husband disagrees)
I used to stay on top of what the kids were doing outside of the home. Friendships were nurtured. Playdates were planned. Activities were plentiful. Video games were non-existent!
I was thinking today about my 14 year old son who really is his own person now. He’s marching to the beat of a far different drum than I wished he would march to. I know he has a good heart. I know he does. But he’s difficult. Very difficult. We battle. And I don’t have the energy to battle. I know I need to fight certain battles, I do know that.
But… for example, his stupid video games. He loves them…. He uses them to socialize. He talks with his friends while he plays. When I was his age, I talked on the phone. This is his version of that. So I find myself NOT fighting it and probably allowing him to do it more than I should.
I often wonder how much of who he is now was shaped by the death of Nolan. He and Nolan were so close. And… sadly, he is the one who found Nolan dead on that cold, horrible morning. Did it change him? I don’t know. I remember a few weeks before Nolan’s death thinking that I didn’t know what to do with him. He was being moody at the new age of 11, moodier than his nearly 13 year old brother. And I thought, “Oh Liam! What am I going to do with you?” So it’s not that his attitude was perfect BEFORE that day from HELL.
I just want him to be a good kid. I want him to be kind to others. I want him to know right from wrong. I want him to realize that no one likes a braggart or a know-it-all. I want life to treat him well. And I know it starts with his attitude. I want him to make good grades because he’s smart. I want him to work hard when given a task, not take the easy way out like he tends to do.
I can’t force him to make the right decisions. The days of being momma bear grow shorter as they grow older. I can’t protect him from all the bad, just like I can’t make him do everything the way I want him to do it. Oh I was such a momma bear when my kids were younger! I was IN everything…. I was involved. I knew all the friendship issues. I tried to help. But as they get older, you just can’t. My mom was a wonderful mom, but she didn’t have anything to do with my friendships and how they all played out. I had to learn my own lessons about being a good friend. (7th grade, learned the hard way to NEVER gossip again if i could help it)
I don’t know. I know I have changed from those days that seem long, long ago. When did I stop having it all together? I don’t know.