Well here we are. Another Summer has come and gone and the kids are about to head back to school. Christian will be sophomore and the infamous Bo will brave middle school for the first time.
I looked at a picture of Bo the other day and realized just how much more mature he is looking. With Christian, I embraced everything as being the first time. I still get emotional with a lot of his first moments. But here I have my baby boy about to enter the years where some of the biggest changes happen and I feel like I am not prepared because I haven't really taken the time to ponder on such things.
Bo will go in ready to take the bull by the horns. He loves school. He loves being around his friends. He is definitely a social butterfly. Christian, however, could skip school and just play sports. He does well in school but honestly he would be fine never having to go another day of school in his life. I have two totally opposite kids. Because they are opposite, I find myself as a mother having to embrace different things. I have to learn to be open to new things because each one of my boys takes us on a different path.
As you can imagine in a house full of boys, I feel like I am in a battle of testosterone at all times. Everything is a bet, a dare, or a competition. Christian and Bo both have their strengths and their weaknesses. At one time I am telling Christian to quit picking on his younger brother and teasing him. Then I am telling Bo to "man up" and how he needs to come to terms with the fact that he is the younger brother. Dad was a younger brother and that is just the way life is so learn to deal with it. Tough love by mom, huh? Mommin' ain't easy! I have to be tough. If the boys sense fear in me, they might attack. So though I may be an emotional mess at times, I have to keep it together for the sake of my survival.
I do have to say that I am ready for them to go back to school so they can get a break from each other. Let's face it, school really is good for them too. They learn many things and it is good for them to be around others their age. They need to learn to deal with some of life's curve balls. They need some day to day discipline. They need to exercise their brains. With the start of a new school season, I try to reflect on how we have grown as a family and individually over the Summer.
This Summer was a bit different for us. You see we are a sports family. We spend our Summers playing sports. No one will ever convince me that sports is a bad thing. Maybe the obsession with it can be bad, but not the love of the game and the will to play. So this Summer we played sports as usual. We had an opportunity to play a lot between the two boys being active in something. But you see something else was stirring in Christian's heart and even Bo's. Christian hit me up with going on our church's mission trip to Guatemala. Me, being the overly spiritual mom I am, asked him if he really wanted to give up a week of sports for this trip. Though I know deep down, there is a God sized dream in this young man's heart, I second guessed it. What if you miss out on practice? What if your team makes it to the championship and you are already committed to the trip? A lot of what if's coming from a mom who has prayed God's word over this boy since before he was born. Why in the world would I have even questioned this? Maybe because I am more attached to the things of this world than I thought. Christian looked at me and said "Mom, I want to go. This will be good for me." So there you go. I couldn't argue with that truth bomb. Bo also got to go to youth camp for the first time. So now both boys were missing two weeks out of their sports. I can tell you that what both of my boys gained in those times was more than I could have ever taught them. They came back revived, refreshed and restored. They came back with a lot of fire.
My hesitation made me question so many things about myself as a mother. I can say some mighty prayers when it comes to my boys. I have spoken so many things over their lives. I have asked God for my kids to know Him personally and to seek out a relationship with Him. Yet when they started doing that, here I am with the road block. Though I wasn't intentionally trying to stop them, I was praying one thing and saying another. This is when everything I had ever prayed over my boys began to resurface in my mind. It was a reality check. It was God saying "Hope I have heard your prayers for your boys. Don't worry, I've got them." My boys were teaching me to let go of things you think are important and focus on the eternal things that truly matter. The scripture that says "better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere" is so true. Their footsteps are ordered by the One who will never lead them down the wrong path. Though I have thoughts of where I see them going to college, what sports they should play, what teachers they should have, what career they should pursue, the Lord's plans for them are much better.
I have control issues at times for sure. I can admit that. So naturally I want to control things in my kid's lives. I am having to learn to give up some of that control because the two young men I have prayed for so much have proven to be doing ok without me on a lot of things. It's like letting go of their hand the first day of Kindergarten. It's like watching them in their first performance, knowing that even though you helped them practice every night, it is still all in their hands. It's like letting them get behind the wheel to drive for the first time and then blinking and they are driving off to college.
Heck, I have so many flaws as a mom. I say many things on one hand and act in a totally different way. Just when I think I have the mom thing down, another life lesson slaps me in the face. Just when I think I am teaching my boys how to be men, they are teaching me to be a better mom. Their love for God inspires me right now. As they start another school year, I pray that they continue seeking God first. God is obviously a better parent than I am but He did choose me to be the mother of Christian and Bo. One day I hope they thank God for me as I have thanked God for them.
I hope I have taught them a few things along the way...
Seek God first
Know how to talk to God
Love your family and keep the family circle
Look out for the little man
Work hard, stay humble
Learn to take criticism
When you find a girl, try to make sure she likes your family
Say thank you
Own what you like to do whether it is band, choir, sports, academics
Strive to win but don't be a sore loser
Congratulate your friends on their successes
Surround yourself with good people because iron sharpens iron