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Saturday, January 21, 2017

A Mommy Mistake

Photo Credit: Law of 
I made a "mom mistake" the other day. While it is certainly not the first one, it was one that I really want to tell you about.  It happened when my very athletic 11-year-old nephew came over for a visit, one day. My son, Ky adores his younger cousin and he was thrilled he was coming to spend the day with us. My nephew walked in looking like a 16-year-old with his basketball gear on and out comes my 12-year-old  excited as always with his penguin pj's on and his Pusheen cat plushy in his arms. In that instant, I was mortified. I was afraid that my nephew would judge his cousin and think he was "soft" because here he was ready to go play basketball later that day and there was my son, smiling with a stuffed animal in his arms. (One of many) But, I quickly realized that I was the only one doing the judging. My husband and I have always raised our sons(especially our two youngest homeschooled sons) to not follow the crowd and to be themselves and not worry about what other people think of how they are. But, all I could think about was if I had made a mistake by allowing my son to still sleep with his stuffed animals. Maybe I should have put them in more sports to make them "harder" or left them in public school to toughen them up. I quickly came to my senses and said, "This is stupid!" I really said that, out loud to myself. My son is amazing! He is talented and kind and loving and one of nicest people I have ever known. Why was I (of all people)wishing that he was someone else? I sat in deep thought for a while and came up with an answer. It boiled down to me not wanted my sons to deal with the rejection that I felt all my life. I was either too short, too fat, too geeky or even as an adult, too much of a homebody. I told myself that, I didn't want that for my son. I wanted him to fit in and have people like him and definitely not judge him for having a large collection of stuffed animals or not knowing the latest slang words or texting girls and wearing orange as much as humanly possible. But, had people really judged me like that or had I judged myself? And was I now doing the same thing to my children?  Ky fits in just fine because he doesn't judge. Himself or others. He is just Ky. Happy, well-adjusted, optimistic, "everyday is my best day", Ky. He is secure in the fact that he loves penguins and the color orange. He doesn't care that he doesn't know any popular dances or hip hop songs.  He isn't concerned with the latest slang words or remotely interested in girls, yet. That last thing about girls brought me back to a recent conversation I had with him about whether he understood what his dad was saying to him when he and his older brother were given, "the talk." I remember Ky answering, "Yeah, I heard him. But I'm twelve and not interested in any of that stuff right now." I think he jumped off my bed and went to go play Minecraft right after that. I laughed at my inner moment of mommy madness. I had done exactly what I hate to see other parents do to their children. But luckily I had only done it in my head, but it was just as damaging. Because in that quick moment I wanted to suggest to my son that he should give up his collection of toys for maybe a football or a basketball. I hadn't allowed the words of judgment to come out of my mouth and harm my son but I had looked at him how thought the world would want to see him and that was wrong.  I watched as my sons played and laughed with their cousin. I felt sad that I had secretly judged him a few hours earlier. But I was proud that he was everything I could ever ask for in a son. I made sure to go take a good long look at myself in the mirror. I promised the person I saw in the reflection that I would never make that mistake again. And that I would also work on not judging myself as well.

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