Saturday, May 11, 2013

Looking Back on Life To Go Forward

With my grandmother's funeral taking place today and the combination of books I've happened to stumble upon in my leisurely reading lately I find myself thinking very critically of life.

What it means?

What's important and how do I show that?

How to live each day to the fullest without fear getting the best of me?

How can I be sure I'm being the best person, mom, and wife I can?

How to best live my life so I won't have regrets at the end?

 Kind of depressing, I know, but I can't help it.



I can't help but think forward to the future and wonder what kind of men my boys will turn out to be.  I can't help but wonder if I'm doing the right thing by them in all the big ways and small ways.

Am I supportive enough of them and their feelings?
Am I preparing them to be self- sufficient, successful adults?  

It's scary being a parent and realizing that your children's lives are really one long experiment.   By the time you know if what you've been doing worked or not; will it be too late?   You can do everything that you think is right all their lives but ultimately I wonder how much we really can control who they turn out to be and what their lives will be like.  

As they grow we're forced to see that they are really their own beings with their own thoughts, fears, dreams and talents; they always were.  Think of how different every single baby is from the moment of birth (heck, even conception! as any mom can tell you; no two pregnancies are alike either). 

As they grow we realize we have less and less influence on them and we put our faith in them more and more. We have faith that our love, traditions, and beliefs have rubbed off on them enough for them to find their way.  

While my gram's death got me started thinking about this kind of stuff, I know she lived a nice, long, full life and while I'll miss her dearly, I'm fairly certain she was happy with how her life, family, and future all played out..  She probably had a few regrets. 

We all have them right?  Hopefully, most regrets are minor, but still we can't make it through life and not think "oh, if only I had handled that differently!"   I'm sure as my gram came to the end of her life she had some regrets, after all, we're all human and make mistakes on a daily basis.  I hope she had no major regrets and looked back with fondness and smiles.   I began to wonder if I'll feel the same way.

I sure hope so! 


 
I started thinking about how most parents walk around with pieces of their hearts outside their bodies.  So much of our lives, feeling and thoughts are wrapped up in our children.  I think in order to be a good parent you have to live that way.  Yet, it's scary.

When our kids are hurt we're hurt; physically or emotionally.  We all want the best for our kids.  But I can't help but wonder if we always know what's best for them.  After all, it's a constantly changing thing.  What is best for one child will not be best for another. What is best for a child at one age will not be best for them at another.

Parenthood is one long stream of trial and error.  We stick with what works until it doesn't anymore and then we try something new.

I know that right now homeschooling is working for all of us.  I see my kids smiling and laughing so much more; how could I not when I'm around them more?  I see my kids learning to accept one another for who they are and I see them growing in confidence by leaps and bounds.  But, I'm realistic enough to realize that homeschooling may not always work for us.  I know I don't have all the answers and as much as I might wish I had a crystal ball sometimes, I don't.

I have no idea what our future holds and so since we've started homeschooling I've been focusing more and more on living in the moment.  I think that is an important life lesson.  Tomorrow is no guarantee, for anyone, and so you have to try and live as best you can in the moment.  Say sorry when you need to, enjoy and soak up those feelings of happy times, learn from your mistakes, and share your love.  
 
I have no regrets about pulling my boys out of school; if anything I regret not having done it sooner.  When looking back on my life I know I won't regret having spent this time with them.  I  may end up regretting not having taught them more in a traditional school- like way, but I won't regret having had them with at home. 

I know I am beyond blessed to be able to stay home with them like this.

We are truly lucky to share so many wonderful memories, discoveries, and conversations.  I see them growing up and know if I blink too long it will all be over.  They seem to grow by leaps and bounds before my very eyes.  So far, they're wonderful kids; kind, considerate, and hard working.  I have no reason to think they won't continue on that way.

I've been hugging them just a bit more and for just a bit longer than usual.  I'm sure someday soon they'll outgrow that; being boys they aren't going to want mom hanging around giving them hugs and kisses all the time.   I find myself saying "yes" (or thinking why not?)  more often; saving my "no!'s" for those times I think it's really important.

I find myself sitting and watching them at play, listening to their stories just a bit more attentively, and trying to find little ways to make each day special.  I'm trying to serve more of their favorite foods, let them play with their favorite toys, taking them to visit their favorite places.  Yesterday I allowed them to play in the lake.  Tonight we've decided to snuggle in our jammie's, watching movies and getting take- out while having a carpet picnic.  Tomorrow we'll have a cookout with their grandmother and all our favorite foods and snacks.

Making each day a special memory, when possible, has become something of a goal of mine.  Finding a way to center our learning around fun, family activities had been a goal of mine from day one (the special memories just followed!).   I have a slight tendency to forget about that every now and then, but with these reminders I've decided to redouble my efforts.            

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12 comments :

  1. This is such a beautiful writing. I am so sorry for your lost. But yes - we do look at the past and the future, but what we could do best is in the present. Lots of Love. xx Thank you so much for linking up with us on #FabFridayPost

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  2. Lovely post. Yes, we do try to pass on our values and traditions to our children so they do live on... #FabFridayPost

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  3. I am so sorry for the loss of your gram. I am sure you are giving your children lots of good memories that they will be able to look back on with fondness too. That is what I am trying to do now with my grandchildren!

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    1. Aw, thank you! I'm pretty sure they'll have lots of great memories to look back on.

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  4. I love this. It is so important to savor all the moments. Being young, I rushed my first one through all the stages. With my last I have realized how fast it all goes and try to soak it all in more. I am so very thankful that we homeschool and he is with me all the time!

    Thanks for linking up @LiveLifeWell!

    Blessings,

    Amy

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    1. It is so easy to look to that next milestone and want them to get there. It's harder to slow down and savor it all; especially in a society that is always pushing for more and faster and better.

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  5. What a wonderful reminder to sit and watch our children. You are right that tomorrow is not guaranteed so we need to savor the moments!

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  6. I love how you kept refrencing parenting as one big experiment, trial and error, and sometimes we don't know if it worked until they're older and leading their own lives. I continue to have on my mind's forefront to take notice and enjoy all the stages. I'm not always very good at it, but I don't want to give up. Thank you for these wonderful reminders, and I can tell you have lots of fond memories of your Gram. Thanks for linking up with us at #LiveLifeWell.

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    1. I'm not always very good at taking notice and enjoying all the stages of motherhood either (these teens years are really testing me already!).

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