Family

A mother’s art (and heart). The sons I created.

Boy heart cloud

Word cloud created on http://www.tagxedo.com.

I have been spending ample time in front of my computer as I desktop publish toward a deadline on the 15th.  I stared at my 2014 Affirmations framed next to my desk; wondering what was missing.  Much as I enjoy the rich hues of red, green and gold during the holiday season I am just as happy to have the house back to the simple, cream, brown and greens that are the decor and “natural” colors of my home.  I like the clean lines, the empty spaces.  The clutter is gone.  A clean slate to create and breathe.  Ahhhhh.

“This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”           ~Matt 3:17

When the above verse was recited during our priest’s sermon, this morning, the light bulb turned on.    Although it was not my boys’ turn to serve as altar servers, today; they once again went willingly to check if they needed help.   And so they sat upon the altar and the words above struck a chord.  I tried to visualize them.  In between laundry loads I created the word cloud and it, too, now sits upon my desk.  And unlike my 2014 Affirmations (aka New Year’s Resolutions) that I created on the 31st; these words came effortlessly; spilling from my subconscious as my fingers flew across the keys.

140112 new year

A text came from my neighbor.  She is in labor; another child being born.  In this stage of my life if someone asks me to define what I am my answer would be this.  I am a mother.  I felt a bit guilty when that thought sprang to mind.  Shouldn’t I be a wife first?  Or just, ME, the individual?

The priest asked the question if we were happy to be the Catholics we were?  Did any of us even knew what that meant?  He called us “cradle Catholics;” infants baptized with no real understanding of what our faith means.  He then pointed to the RCIA (adults choosing to become Catholics).  The husband’s pointed question this morning, before we left for church, came to mind.

“Do you think that making them go to church makes them like it?  If you think that’s the answer…you’ve already lost the battle.” 

Church is not a bad word.  I sadly looked at my family of four males.  How does someone instill a love for their faith or for anything; for that matter?  Do I know what being a mother means? 

And so, my word cloud above was created with these sentiments.  As a mother I need inspiration.  As a female I want beauty.   The hubs, helping me with my installation of Java for the umpteenth time (Windows 8 is NOT intuitive) chose the heart shape as he read over my list; my reminder of the mother I long to be.

BE PRESENT.   Most times my mind is multi-tasking and I am not always hearing what my sons are telling me.  I tune them out.  Tired after a day of work and a list of homework projects and assignments my eyes glaze over.  My time with these guys grows less and less so to make up for quantity; I must give qualityBIG EARS.  HEAR WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY; NOT WHAT I WANT TO HEAR.

STRENGTHEN FAITH.  Again, CHURCH IS NOT A BAD WORD.  I grimaced Wednesday when the youngest’s CCD teacher asked if he knew the Nicene Creed which is read, as a congregation, each Sunday.  My youngest quietly sits in mass and starts to doze.  My older sons fidgeted in the pews; my hands always separating them.  This easy child sometimes gets forgotten.  Thus my new mantra: DON’T FORGET THE YOUNGEST!  EACH AS IF THE FIRST.

LET GO.  As my sons grow older I realize I need to let them become independent.  So when the sons turn away from hugs and kisses; the tendency to want to hold them longer and tighter is strong.  LET THE TEEN FLY.  WITH THE TWEEN, QUIETLY STAND NEARBY.  Mommy is not supposed to be fixing their problems, coordinating their friends or even being their bff.   If they are to be successful in the world I need to INCREASE RESPONSIBILITY.  TRUST GOES BOTH WAYS.

I need to ACCEPT THE INDIVIDUAL.  I cannot compare my sons to others; or amongst themselves.  I need to let them CHOOSE WHAT THEY WANT; NOT WHAT I WANT THEM TO BE.   IT’S NOT ABOUT ME.  To ALWAYS AFFIRM.  To use my words TO BUILD; NOT TEAR DOWN.  I must allow them to SING LOUD AND CLEAR.

As a mother I am to guide these sons.  To TEACH SOCIAL GRACES & HOSPITALITY.  TO OPEN DOORS FOR OTHERS.  SMILE BIG!  I should not always have to be jibber-jabbering like a nagging mother.  I have discovered that my QUIET PRESENCE is more effective.  THE SOFTER I SPEAK, THE MORE THE WORDS ARE HEARD.  My TRANSPARENCY of my flaws and resolutions show my boys to FORGIVE.  The power of GRACE.  That pride is selfish and HUMILITY brings THANKS in SIMPLE things.

APPLAUD THE EFFORT; NOT THE PRODUCT.  The road trip is more important than the destination.  In learning to be HUMBLE they won’t need to rely on others to stoke their pride.  If we AFFIRM the EFFORT they gain their SELF WORTH; knowing they TRIED.  I don’t need a medal.  I don’t need straight A’s, the GATE status nor the certificates.  I value my boys for doing their best.  Forget the rest.
Motivation must come from within.

And finally I must  KEEP WATERING AND NURTURING THE SEEDLINGS.   I continue to CHEER ON EACH INCH; even if they’re taller than I.  ENJOY IT NOW.  DON’T WAIT UNTIL LATER.    I watched the baby in church; nestling in the crook of his Dad’s shoulder.  I think of my neighbor, right now, delivering a newborn.  Those times seemed like forever while I lived them.  But in hindsight; it flew by fast.

140112 feet

PATIENCE.  GROWING UP IS WORTH THE WAIT.  My sons are my art and my heart; the creations that I have been blessed with.  I needed to remember I am their mother; to be inspired.  And I need to tell each of them, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”     XOXO.

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