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Friday, May 28, 2010

Proms and Moms

This mothering business is not for the faint of heart.  Yet, all I ever wanted to be was a mommy.  When it finally sank in that I was pregnant with my son some 18 years ago I was honestly filled with awe and terror. Raising a good man is such a feat Lord, do you really trust me?  I must say, my son was so easy to raise, he was my best bud all through his childhood and up until the time of pre-teen angst all the way through the psychosocial stages of identity vs. role confusion; a period I affectionately refer to as the dain bramage years.  Learning how to parent a teenager as intelligent and strong willed as Tony has both affirmed my parenting skills and given me some hard, ugly feedback that I've had to absorb along with tears, dismay and celebration.  I've learned a few things about teenagers. 
Lesson #1: Be firm and stand your ground no matter how agonizing it is and what your child calls you in the process.  I've realized that when I've been the toughest but fairest my son has actually recognized it.  He may not have appreciated the consequences handed down, but he's always acknowledge that they were made in his best interest.  Lesson #2: Never ever, ever, ever give up and always tell your child you love them.  I am proud to say that do this all the time, sometimes through gritted teeth, "I love you and I know you don't believe that right now, but I will never stop loving you even when I don't particularly want to be around you because my hands are inextricably drawn to your neck."  Lesson #3: Even the most articulate and intelligent children need guidance.  Just because children can rationalize and defend doesn't mean they understand or particularly believe what they're saying.  Knowledge is power; wisdom is knowing how to apply it.  It's like wielding a high powered machine gun.  You can study the parts and know how to dismantle it and put it back together.  You can even know the history of machine guns, but if you just pick it up and start shooting you'd probably wind up killing yourself or someone else.  I stink at analogies, I know, but you get the picture.  Lesson  #4: Children appreciate it when you listen to them.  Every parental decision is less of a struggle when you communicate and really take the time to understand.  Lesson #5: Dain Bramage is not forever.  Parenting is no joke, but I hold on to the promise my more experienced friends have made, that at the end of all this, if you'll just support and believe, a wonderful young adult is waiting.  Wayne and I are at the tail end of Tony's teenage years now.  What a roller coaster ride it has been, but what joy to watch a boy become a man.  I am a mother on her toes, so excited to watch as he takes off to find his bliss.  He walked out the door tonight to go to Senior Prom.  He didn't forget to tell me he loves me.
  He has no idea how much I love him back.

3 comments:

SharShine said...

Words to live by! I can only pray that I remember this when my 6-yr-old hits those teen years. Motherhood is awesome in every sense of the word... Thanks for the advice.

bigsoxfan said...

Fair enough, Boni. You've hit on all the lessons that I have learned so far. I expect Tony' lesson will be repeated, what a fine looking young man. I really hope he comes within a tenth of the goodness you and Wayne have given back.
Just for the record; when adjusting a machine gun. Headspace is very important. The reciever and bolt can only travel so far forward, when impacting the catridge. Too much space and the shell explodes too soon with the loss of fingers, vision, etc.
Not enough travel of the reciever bolt, then the shell does not shoot off correctly and your enemy is on you with fixed bayonet. Good analogy.

Thought you oughta know... said...

You did good honey!