Yesterday, I dropped Paige off for first day of school. This is her eleventh first day of school and it’s my fifteenth first day of school as a Mom – and it’s so different than it was a few years back. I don’t tear up when my little one scampers to the door. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that my baby girl doesn’t scamper – she’s 15 and scampering isn’t her thing.
A few other differences; I don’t pin an envelope to her shirt — I tried, she wasn’t pleased. I don’t call her teacher to see how her first day is going. And I don’t worry that she won’t do her homework. She may not do it; I just don’t worry about it.
Another big difference — I don’t judge myself on how my child does in school, at least not as much as I once did. It gets easier as she gets older. Those early school years were tough on me as a Mom — it always felt like a contest. Who throws the best birthday party? Who finds that must-have Christmas toy and who brings the best holiday themed treats? I failed all the tests. And on top of it all, I can’t braid hair — and I have two daughters. They had the saddest little braids you’ve ever seen. But we all survived – and by God's grace, thrived.
I’ve learned to focus less on what people think of me and more on just being tme. I don't worry what people will think if my child doesn’t get her bug project in on time – it’s her project and her bugs. It’s not mine – I don’t like bugs and I’m not going to collect them unless I’m getting a grade or I’m getting paid.
I don’t worry what people will think when she wears flip-flops in the freezing cold – well, I try not to. They’re her feet – and if she wants them to be cold, okay. I usually have some words of wisdom and concern like: “If your feet freeze off don’t call me, you can just walk around without feet. Bet it’ll be hard to keep those flip-flops on your feet then, won’t it?” I’m real sympathetic, like that.
I have an identity beyond “Mom.” I love being a Mom, but I don’t base my self-worth on what my children do or don’t do. They are individuals. They’ll have great triumphs and I’ll celebrate with them and they’ll have some slip-ups and I’ll cry with them, for them and I’ll pray that they learn quickly. It’s tough enough just being a kid, my girls don’t need any additional pressure in this life. I’m sure they have enough of their own.
Can you imagine if we judged the Lord based on how His children act? Ouch! I just stepped on my own toes. I just had this image of people looking at me when I'm having a super bad day and thinking — she's a child of God? Doesn't seem fair, does it? But for those who don't know Him, we may be the only thing that they know of Him — bring glory to His name in everything you do.
Have a wonderful 8/8/08!
I’m starting to wonder if we aren’t long lost sisters separated at birth (besides the fact that we don’t seem to look too much alike, and I’m pretty sure I don’t have a sister or that my mom didn’t have twins, but hopefully you get the jist).
You have captured how I feel about the kiddies and appearances and stuff! I told my young one’s teachers last year that if she had to repeat the 7th grade because she wouldn’t do her work or turn it in, then so be it. I couldn’t take responsibility for her work anymore!
Well, I hope you’re having a good 8/8/08. Personally, I’ll be glad when mine is over :P.
Discovering “me” and liking her is a huge part of loving life. Somewhere back in time when “measuring up” was far too important I recall hearing a wise person say “you better come to peace with yourself, because she’ll be with you forever.” Sounds like you have found Mary. I know you like her, because Mary is likeable. I can tell by everything I read and see on this blog.
Love your writing.
I loved this post. I do often base my self worth on my kids behavior (mine are 4 and 8). I am trying not to.
Thanks for the great post.
Ouch is right. I homeshooled for nine years 😉 now I know why. Mary…you hit that nail right on top…judge not and don’t even look at me!
Lots of love
Keep blogging it does me good everytime!