Sharing my life with you, is what I do.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

When your children inherit your fears

I was crushed when I found out yesterday that my brilliantly talented son, Khalil wasn't going to be in his school's Philharmonic Orchestra.He has spent 4 years in his the beginners, intermediate, and symphony orchestras playing the cello and I was waiting for his Senior year to finally watch him play in the Philharmonic which is the highest Orchestra in his school that you can perform in. That Orchestra travels, competes and has received several awards and accolades throughout the years. So, I couldn't understand why he didn't want to be in it. Probably the same reason he stopped tap dancing, playing the violin and also why he hasn't started writing his personal college essays or chosen any schools to apply to yet. FEAR.

I honestly think he is actually afraid of being successful or he just doesn't want to do all that it takes to get there. It hurts so bad to watch my son settle with jut doing enough to get by. He could be a straight A student, he could get into any college in the country, he could have everything he ever wanted in life but he just doesn't try. And this kills me. I have been so upset all morning wondering what I have done wrong in raising them that they are afraid to grasp their greatness. Then I remembered my friend Bridget's words to me at least once a week telling me how I should write for a living or being told that I could be a great actress, or photographer and me saying, "Nah, I am not good enough".  Dammit! Did they inherit this from me? Did I somehow pass on my fears to my children in utero even though I been telling them to go after their dreams since day one? And it isn't just my teen that is like this. My oldest son is the same way. He is almost 23, in a part-time job he hates for the past 3 years and not putting forth any real effort to change his situation. Content to just sit in his room complaining about what he doesn't have. And I see the same behavior in my younger sons as well. My 10 year old wants to dance and act, but he shies away from any classes or opportunities to at least try. The youngest is a different story all together. He will try any and everything, but we tend to not put him in anything because of the attitudes of the older boys. And, he just hasn't really shown an interest in anything besides dancing down the aisles in the grocery store and embarrassing his brother, MJ. That is being handled, though. I will not let him sink into a mediocre life. I will start letting him take different classes until something sticks. I didn't have the opportunities that my sons have. Back then my mom was more inclined to tell you what you should be doing rather than asking you what you wanted to do. She has since changed and even apologized for not helping me go after my dreams. I now wonder if even if she had helped me would I have quit. I mean even today, I am still not doing all I can to reach my goals because fear stops me. And, now I am watching it stop my sons and that breaks my heart. They are bright, beautiful talented people filled with insecurities, feelings of being inferior and inadequate to those around them. Just like their mom.

I don't know how to help them, because I have never really helped myself. I go so far and then I stop. The lump in my throat grows bigger and I choke back the tears because I have to get ready to do lessons with my young ones. But what lessons am I really teaching them? I can give them all the lessons they need in reading, writing and arithmetic. But, what I can't seem to teach them is how to embrace their brilliance and how to not let fear keep them from the lives that they dream of. I am sorry boys. I wish to God that I never passed this horrible trait on to you. I have to find a way, but I don't know how.

I won't give up though. They are too important to me to watch them follow in my footsteps. They deserve to live their dreams and not be crushed under the weight of fear. They deserve to be all they can be in this life. I just hope it isn't too late. Maybe I can keep pushing froward in my own life and they will see that no one ever said it would be easy. But when you face those fears and keep trying, it is always worth it.

The struggle continues.......

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