Monday, August 17, 2015

Back to School: Trying to Think Happy Thoughts

It’s back to school!  So much going on this week in the Davis/Johnson/Mullins household (we’re such a modern family huh).  My daughter is good to go. Supplies and uniforms purchased, new backpack and lunchbox in hand, school lunch account refilled and she’s got a fresh haircut.  My step-son is in full football mode and ready to get the season started, all football apparel has been purchased and he’s ready to get back in the swing of things in high school.  Meet the teachers is this week and the anticipation is killing us! Hubs only notices this is all going on by the number of debits coming out of the bank account and the number of shopping bags left lying around the house and well, I’m left staring at the dog like….it’s about to be back to you and me! Soon the hustle and bustle of summer and the countless friends coming through the revolving door that is our home will dwindle.    

With the fall semester prep going on and the first day of school looming, I have barely had time to sit and reflect on it all.  My son is about to turn 16…..OMG 16. That’s like…driving and girls and high school dances and parties and college apps and all that real world stuff…..This little one came into my life when he was 12 and I just can’t believe how time has flown by.  Every time I see him he is more and more like a little man. He’s tall, he’s muscley (made that up) and he is worried about how his hair looks.  My sweet girl is entering the 5th grade.  In the blink of an eye she’ll be driving and doing all the college stuff her older brother is doing, and then one day she’ll leave me L.  It makes me cry just thinking about it. 

With the fall semester also comes the challenges of day to day life in school….well in life really.  Each morning as my little pudding pop hops out of the car and through those big double doors at the front of her school, I sit for a sec just watching as my heart aches.  I never want her to go (okay I sometimes can't wait for her to go. lol. But I always worry).  It’s a whole day away from me. I just send her off into a world full of the caddy girls, bullying and the striving to fit in.  Things that make moms want to push a mean kid down on the playground and scoop your babies up and hug them tight and never let go… Sending your kids out into a world comprised of so much MEAN is so difficult sometimes but in my heart I know it is so necessary.

I often talk to God about the growth of my kids.  I remember high school and college well.  So much personal growth happened in those years yet so much hurt did also.   I think the best thing my parents ever did was not to hover, not to coddle and to kind of just let me go. Let me fall and learn how to get back up.  That is one of the single hardest things in the world for me as a mother.

 I read an article once about how Americans tend to over praise and overprotect their kids which in actuality can cause them to be susceptible to so much more hurt and damage as a young adult and as they enter the real world. You know the fact of that matter is that once they leave our little protected cocoon, not everyone gets a trophy in life.  To give our children a false sense of what they are good at and to make them feel like everything is just above and beyond fantastic is really in a way hindering their growth.  After all growth and strength stem from failure and defeat.  How can one get better if they are never allowed to fail?  How do they progress if in their mind they never lose…they are never second, they are never wrong.  It’s the reason we don’t push the mean kids down on the playground for our child .  You have to let your kids learn how to deal with conflict, how to stand up for themselves, how to be strong, how to walk away and how to cope. 

I think about this often.  Everyone knows I am a momma bear.  There isn’t anything I won’t do for my kids. The scariest thing is the world is a mother on a mission for her child. However, I think sometimes doing NOTHING is exactly what I AM DOING FOR them if that makes sense.  Sometimes you just don’t step in when you easily could. I try to let them fail in a controlled environment while they are young so that when they leave me…and sadly I know they will leave me…they are equipped for the world. 

It hard but to equip them with the capability of responding to failure is invaluable.  I have let them fail, have heartache and deal with meanies while I am able to oversee the situation so when they deal with these things in college, or wherever they may go, they can fall down…and get back up… and keep it moving. I need them to know that even though momma bear isn’t overseeing their lives anymore, it’s ok.  Cause they got this… Love them enough to let them fail and learn. 

You know I always knew it’d be hard for me to send them off to kindergarten, but I never anticipated the growing apprehension and sadness that I would feel with the start of each new school year as they near the end of childhood.  The older they get the harder the social aspect of school gets.  That’s what I’m preparing for this week.  I’m staying prayerful for strength, for knowledge and for courage to be Mom.  Cause we all know that job ain’t always easy. 

And those are my inside thoughts.