Wednesday, March 18, 2015

POT aka Parents of Teens

We joined a small group at church this spring.  We had not done small groups for a while because well, life was just to busy.  Life is still very busy but in a different way.  So, we decided to take the leap and join the POT group.  We got a little chuckle because our leaders are from Seattle.  Honestly though it stands for parents of teens.  When you have those toddlers you think I just can't wait until they can put on their shoes and wipe their bottoms.  Then there are the glorious elementary years, you feel like you somewhat have it together.  Life is full of projects, homework, activities, and the constant sibling rivalry that will put you over the edge but is manageable.  Then you have teenagers.  There is something they don't tell you about parenting teens.  Yes, they warn you of eye rolls, moodiness, and the constant need to gain independence.  They talk about the new found freedom you will gain as a parent, I mean you don't need a sitter and they can manage themselves for the most part.  What they don't tell you is how lonely it can be and how incredibly hard it is on your heart.  I have really good teenagers.  I absolutely love them.  In the grand scheme of teenage parenting I have had it pretty easy so far, but man my heart aches.  It is hard work.  You know that you need to let them make decisions and figure out their direction in life but this is not like letting them ride their bike around the block alone for the first time.  This is like watching them walk along the edge of a cliff knowing that one wrong step will send them plunging into dangerous waters and you have to stand there and pray they take the right steps.  They are navigating social media, friends, romantic relationships, drugs, alcohol, sex, and the list goes on.  I know we had to face the same things as kids but it is so much harder to watch it when you are on the other side.  It is hard to sit with your daughter as she mourns the loss of a friend to suicide or try to explain to your son why he needs to have a plan for his sexual purity.  It's exhausting and it's lonely.  I mean when you had babies everyone wants to give you advice, how to feed, how to set a sleep cycle, how to potty train, etc.  I'm not discounting that being a mom of preschoolers is not important work but try talking to your coworkers about your conversation with your son about sexual purity.  They look at you like you just grew a third eye.  Plus, who's going to admit that there teen has any problem other than being sassy?  Seriously, do you want to be judged as being a bad parent?  Here is the fact though, everyone with teenagers are facing these battles.  We are all struggling with how much do we pry and when do we let them have their independence.  It's a fine line between trusting them and trying to be informed about their lives.  I will admit that when we walked into our POT group I wondered how it would be.  I have great kids so it would not be hard to talk about their accomplishments and activities but I was longing for connection.  Real connection.  I was longing for a place where I could share my fears about parenting and not be judged.  We found that.  We were in a room with a group of parents that were all struggling with the same things.  We all realize that no matter how much you beg and plead with your teen that sometimes the decision is theirs and it's not always the right one.  As we shared our worries I started to realize something that I had lost focus of.  My faith.  Long ago as I held those tiny babies in my arms I prayed that God would take them and use them.  I prayed that He would protect them.  It was an easy prayer.  They were snuggled up in my arms.  I had control.  Now I am starting to have to release them and it is frightening.  My heart was reminded that He still has them.  He still wants the best for them.  I have to trust that God's plan is better than mine.  Oh what a powerful lesson to learn as a mom.  This parenting thing is hard on the heart.  I'm learning to trust and let go and pray a lot.  

Friday, January 30, 2015

I was challenged to a blog post today.  My poor little blog has been left in the dust since facebook and instagram came on the scene.  We've become a world of "insta" so who has time to sit around and wait for a blog post to pop up.  Oh and you would actually have to go to the blog to check the post instead of getting a nice little reminder on your phone that says who liked your photo or commented on your post or liked a comment you made or liked a picture you liked or commented on a post you commented on or started following you.  God forbid you miss that stuff, it's important. I'll admit there is part of me that likes the "insta" in life.  I mean your keurig can spit out a fresh cup of joe in 30 seconds or less, my flat iron heats up in 20 seconds, my convection oven cooks in half the time, and I can fast forward through commercials on my DVR.    "Insta" is good but I will admit I have a love hate relationship with it.  Sometimes parts of me screams to slow down.  Everything is to fast!  Oh my little iphone can let me know what's on my calendar, what all my friends are doing, and what the weather is in a flash.  It keeps me connected, so why do I feel so disconnected?  I know where you ate dinner last night and that your kids are playing tball, your power is out, and your pissed at your mother in law but I haven't actually spoken to you in weeks, months,even years.  I see your pictures and think that your family is beautiful and that you are a great mom and I miss you but I just hit the thumbs up button.  I pretty sure you don't know that I think all those things about you.  So is facebook and instagram and twitter and pinterest really doing us any good?  I don't know.  That's my love hate problem and what about how it effects me?  I see all the post and think wow, these people really have it together and then it creeps in.  You know what I'm talking about the doubt, the fear, the insecurities.  You know what I mean, omg, should my kids be in a club sport too, I haven't made it to the gym in years, my kids not in AP classes, my friend didn't take me out for a fabulous birthday dinner, how the heck did they pay for that fabulous family vacation and how the heck did they get their kids to pose for that amazing picture.  We've all been there.  I remind myself that they probably just finished yelling at each other and not all kids have to do sports, and they have a muffin top just like me, and my friends still like me even though they did not plan a fabulous birthday dinner for me but still that question creeps in, am I enough? Do I matter?  We all struggle with this question in some way and I have to remind myself that I am enough and I do matter.  God created me with a purpose and a plan.  He has plans for me to prosper me.  Maybe those plans don't include club sports or national merit scholar kids.  Maybe they don't include an amazing new house or dream job.  They do include some amazing friends and family.  They include me getting to be a mom to two of the most amazing kids ever.  In my tiny little corner of the world I am making a difference.  It might be making school lunches, washing clothes, driving kids around town, editing papers and listening to friend problems but it's important to the people around me.  It makes a difference to them.  I still long to slow down.  I think about how my mom would pop over the neighbors house to catch up and drink coffee.  Part of me wishes that we still lived in that world.  For now I will continue my love hate relationship with social media.  I still want to see what everyone is doing.  I would like to try harder to have real facetime with my friend rather than living in the virtual world.  To connect and find out what is really going on rather than what perfectly planned post is on your page.  Yes, I will try to write on my blog more even if that is so 2008 ago.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Cancer, it's an ugly word.  One that brings fear and worry.  It makes your head spin and your breath stop.  It leaves you feeling like you are swimming in a stormy sea and you can barely stay a float.  Waves come crashing down on you and just when you think you are safe in the life boat they wash you out to sea again. adds words to your world that you never really wanted to learn.  Terms like oncology, biopsy, chemotherapy, prognosis, advanced directive, living will.  These words follow you where ever you go.  They are always in your mind. forces you to make decisions.  Decisions that you never wanted to make.  Decisions you aren't ready to make.  It steals from you.  Your hope, your security, your future.  It leaves you living in some kind of between.  Somewhere in the middle of the before and after.  A space where you can remember the before, the carefree days when all that weighed on your mind was what to make for dinner and how to get everyone to activities on time.  You can see the after, you've been told that it's treatable, a good prognosis.  It's the in between that scares you.  Treatments and hair loss.  Bad days when you just don't think you have the energy to face the world.  Exhaustion.  Worry.  Those brief moments when you feel that something is squeezing all of the air out of the room.  You know you can make it through this between but it's going to be a battle.  A long hard battle and their is part of you that wants to run and hide.  To scream No, I don't want to.  A part of you knows that you are facing a demon so big that only faith and God will get you through.  You know that your life will never be the same.  You know that when you come out on the other side you will be forever changed.  You will be refined and purified.  You will be stronger.  You just hope you survive the journey.

*My mom was diagnosed 12/30/13 with Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Something's happening in Kerbyville.  I have gotten used to having a teenager in the house.  I've accepted the fact that I am sharing Stridex pads with my son and shave creme with my daughter.  Really, I'm okay with that.  I haven't really got used to the idea that one of my children might actually be able to look me in the eye though.  I'm not talking about standing on a chair or sitting on dad's shoulders, I'm talking about stock'in footed on the ground look you in the eye.  It hasn't quite happened but it's close, to close.  This mama heart can barely handle it........

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Tonight we have the first annual Christmas Party for the Blazin' Saddles 4H club.  Family are invited to attend with the kids.  I asked my little man if he wanted to go with us.  His response...I guess, it's better than sitting home alone and making my own dinner.  I'm trying to imagine my almost 14 year old son in a room full of girls exchanges gifts and talking horses.  Maybe he has a hidden motive.  What 14 year old boy doesn't want to be in a room full of girls dreaming of becoming rodeo queens?  Should be interesting.....

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Dream Come True....

If you know anything about my gigi then you know that somehow she is a cowgirl at heart.  Trust me I have had a hundred people tell me she will out grow it or that it's just a phase or that somehow I must have lead her to believe that living in a barn and walking around with poop on your shoes was a good thing.  It ain't a phase people, she's not gonna out grow it, and she actually gets a great big smile and takes a nice long whiff if the smell of horse poop is in the air.  She is a horse lover and she always will be....that my friends is a fact.  It started at a young age, like 12 months when she visited the barn at her Papa's house and took her first ride on a tiny little pony named Pistol.  By the time she was 4 she was pretty convinced Pistol was for babies and needed to ride a full sized horse named Shasta.  Her big brother could ride little ol' Pistol.  Since she was able to say bedtime prayers she has prayed for a horse.  It has been number one on her Christmas and Birthday lists since I can remember.  1. real live horse, not stuffed.  Yep, she caught on pretty quick and would not take a fur real or any imitation.  She would beg to go to the Farm Store, started roping her stuffed animals, and convinced us to let her take riding lessons.  6 months into riding lessons she was jumping over 12" cross bars.  No fear, just pure love.  If you know my gigi, you know another thing about her, she is determined and if she sets her mind to something she is dang well gonna do it.  She would peruse craiglist on a regular basis and give us an update on all horses avaliable in the area.  Her dad's answer...nope.  It usually ended in tears and begging.  This summer we were at the ranch and she took ol' Shy out for a ride.  When she is at her Papa's ranch she rides everyday and makes multiple trips to the barn.  She would live in the barn if we let her.  Her daddy was watching out the window as she cantered past on the horse and something changed.  I don't know if you have ever had the chance to watch your child do something that they are so passionate about the it goes to the very core of their soul but this was one of those moments.  Watching her glide across that field and seeing the sheer joy on her face brought tears to my eyes.  How could we deny her this love?  She didn't just want a horse, she needed a horse.  I didn't say anything to her dad but when we got home he began to talk about how to make this happen.  I asked what changed and he said watching her ride.  She loves it.  So we began horse top secret!  After searching we found a horse that sounded like a good match and we ended up bringing her home (that's a whole other post).  This picture above is of gigi and Jinx.  Her new best friend.  She has just finished a lesson with her trainer and we told her she could keep her forever.  We've learned a lot through this process.  Buying a horse is a little like adopting a child.  There are days when Gigi says she still can't believe that Jinx is hers.  They have done homework together in the pasture, Jinx has listened to a few violin lessons, there have been long walks, and a few rodeo rides but she still loves her.  Gigi has learned that prayers do get answered and dreams do come true.  She is still a cowgirl at heart and always will be!   

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mom of a teenager

It finally happened, I looked away for a moment and my little boy became a teenager. It seems impossible. I remember holding him and thinking about what life would be like when he became a teenager. It seemed so far away. I must have heard a hundred times how I needed to cherish every moment and not take a second for granted. Yeah right. How do you do that when you are up to your eyeballs in diapers, sippy cups, runny noses, and sleepless nights? I thought it would never end. Somewhere along the way the fog lifted and I began to enjoy being a mom. Now here I am on the downhill side of motherhood. Instead of counting down the years until he starts school I am counting the years until he graduates. Instead of wishing that he would just be old enough to.... I am wishing he wasn't old enough to.... Instead of begging time to just move a little quicker to nap or bedtime I want to stop that clock. I want it to stop erasing that little boy from his face and replacing it with a man. Just for a moment I want to smell those sweet curls and rub that chubby baby cheek against mine. Sometimes he asks why I look at him a certain way. He doesn't understand that just for a moment I catch a glimpse of that little boy that I miss. He is independent, confident, and ready to soar. He is entering one of the most exciting times of life. I will sit and listen and try not to hover to much. I will cheer him on even though my heart is breaking just a tiny bit. I know he will be great. Happy 13th sweet boy!