Cardiogirl has an interesting post up at her blog. She runs a pretty tight ship and I have to say I was much like her back in the day. As I read her post I remembered quite vividly the control I used to have in our home. I was the top-dog mamma and everybody knew it. What follows here is not a put-down of her parenting, but rather a revelation that I received because, in my life, I needed it. I do believe that had I stayed on the same parenting path as I once had been, God would still love me as much, my children would probably have still grown to the loving kids they are now but I would be a mess. Live and let live, I always say, this just happens to be my path.
I am still the top-dog mamma but mamma isn't too bent on having everything so, so anymore. I used to have bedtimes set for the kids and monitor their television viewing, game playing and time in the sun. I used to monitor everything actually.
"Shut-Up" was a bad word in our home growing up so it was a "bad word" in this home too. I used to think children who used those words were spoiled brats and I wouldn't let my little Kazz and Brisan associate with "those" kind of children. I used to think teens who wore headphones and texted their friends were socially inept. I USED to think a lot of things.
Then one day my heart quit working properly right in the middle of the afternoon on a bright summer day. The electrical relay in my heart was all jumbled and by all accounts I should have died that day. That experience, the surgery there-after, the stint I spent in the ICU and missing my eldest son's 11th birthday, did something to me that changed my life for the better. It snapped my hiney into reality real quick. Now I know that just letting life happen can be the most freeing thing anyone could ever do in their lives.
Life is too dog gone short to make up all of those crazy rules that I used to impose on my kids. Life is just too dog-gone short, period. It turns out that life is sloppy. Kids screw up. Our family is not going to be perfect no matter how many rules I impose on the kids and the perfect Jones family across the street, or on the other side of the tracks, has just as many skeletons in their closet as the next person.
I let go of all that baggage I held so closely to all those years. Now, I let emotions fly, the kids ramble on, arguments play out between the boys until one of the kids give up, televisions play in their bedrooms all hours of the night, laughter well up and spill out loudly, drink spills remain on our counter and smudges on our walls until I feel good and ready to clean them.
I don't get in too much of a hurry anymore and I don't worry about my body mass so much as my love mass. I care about that person who just stalled on the freeway. I REALLY want to stop and help and if the coast is clear and the kids are safe and I CAN stop...I do.
Somewhere between Kazz playing patty-cake with me and him getting his driving permit life took me by the shoulders, shook the snot out of me and woke me the heck up. God gave me a huge gift. He allowed me to let go. He allowed me to forget all the fakers in the world and get real. He took hold of my psyche and gave it just the right nudge so that I can actually not care a flippin' hoot about what other people think about me.
I can now live my life as myself, allow my family to live as they please and if people don't like it, tuff!
A woman recently came to my home and told me that there were people who were talking about me behind my back. She thought I should know that they think I'm the wrong kind of leader for my Christian Homeschooling group. Apparently they don't agree that I should have let our 2nd grader try public school last year.
Much to her surprise, as she spouted this "huge" information, I began to laugh uncontrollably. Her perplexed look made my laughter worse and I honestly couldn't grab hold of myself. I think the glee that came about was because her words didn't even phase me. I had to finally get myself together enough to explain to her just why I was laughing. I thanked her for her "help." I then said, "I cannot begin to tell you how much I do not care what "other" people think of me."
Her jaw dropped. She said, "Really?" I just smiled and said, "Yep. Don't care one iota. Whatever will be, will be my friend." She sat there for a moment, probably wondering if she should tell me the rest of their concerns or let it be...she then just said, "Really?"
I snorted! I laughed. I just snorted and laughed! LOL
Well, She chit chatted a bit more and left. Honestly, I think I may have offended her! Oh well, the truth is...life is too darn short for the small stuff. Who cares if "they" think I'm Christian enough or if "they" think I should be a more staunch homeschooler. "They" don't live my life. "They" think too much! "THEY" are precisely the reason our family quit going to church after my heart troubles!
BUT THAT IS ANOTHER POST FOR ANOTHER DAY!!
As for the here and now...I've got God holding my hand, I've go my family close to my heart, I've got my health, I've got true love...
What more could I ask for? *sigh*
God is so good.