It’s time for grades again. I still have six of my nine kids in school. Last year some of my kids were falling just a little short of what I knew their potential was. So, for the first time ever I offered money for anything 3.5 or above. I had all 4 of my kids still in school pull 3.6 or better. I was happy to pay out the funds and I loved what it did to their self esteem. My 14 even joined track and kicked ass. He discovered he has a talent and he broke records in many events. He’s now focusing on college and is hoping to be good enough for Olympics one day. He’s also set and determined to graduate a year early. Amazing for a kid who started off with learning disabilities.
When this year started, they asked if I was going to challenge them again. My reply was “do I really need to?” Let’s talk when we see term 1 grades. The kids laughed at me and told me they were just joking but I had the thought that I may have to push a couple just a little even if it meant paying the Piper.
First term this year the kids pulled off the biggest surprise I have ever had from them. 3 of the 4 who are in the upper grades had 4.0 and miss M who had a new baby and went to a new school and works managed to bring a 3.5 home. She is also the most learning disabled of all my kids who are all drug and or fetal alcohol babies. For her, that was unexpected and very impressive. I wasn’t sure that she would even graduate. I have been hard on her. I expect her to be the babies mom. Even supporting him on her own. She has had a whole new world thrown at her because of her own choices and she’s pulling it off even when I am hard her. I was so surprised and proud of each of them. We had a few hard years after their dad died and I have been hoping that they would just do enough to graduate. Look at them now!
Term 2 just ended. ALL 4 of them brought home 4.0 GPAS. Proudest mom moment ever when it comes to grades. I knew they had it in them. This year we have 2 running track. My two ninth graders who both have reason to struggle given color, size and some other circumstances just keep pushing forward. They speak up when needed but don’t let the negatives get to them. They’re both in advanced classes and kicking ass. They made these choices not me.
My two oldest are making their way in this world and as hard as that can be they’re pulling it off. The first works full time and is finishing his pre reqs for college. He has saved enough money that in May, he’s going to be able to move South and start working on his master’s degree in marine biology and zoology. Lastly, I have one son who chose the hard road. It’s been very hard. He slept in his car for months just to prove he could do life on his own. He didn’t need me. He took some wrong turns, even started doing drugs, couldn’t keep a job etc…that started a year and a half ago. He’s now going to be a father. At 19, we works 2 jobs and is saving for his son. He pays his own rent and bills etc. He’s on a much better path. He’s clean. He has turned into a real man.
My two youngest are definitely not afraid to be themselves. They will be starting middle school next year. They’re both extremely intelligent. They are also my most defiant at the time. They give me a run for my money but they are also very aware of others and have all the same things instilled in them as the older kids and it shows. Each of my children are incredible people. Smart, kind, loving decent humans. I can’t ask for anything more.
The reason this is so important to me is because I am not a typical mom. I let my kids be exactly who they are without judgement or pushing them to be the way I think they should. If they color their hair, go emo, rocker, jock, wear clothes that I would never wear ( as long as they are modest) speak their minds and have opinions, feelings and thoughts of their own. It’s not uncommon to walk into my home and hear someone calling another an asshole or other words that people would just freak out about if their kids were to talk like that. (Especially in Utah whose religious beliefs are predominantly LDS. We do not fit that mold.) I believe in freedom of expression in every manner because after all, our kids want everything we want and expect as adults only at their level.
I have taught the children right from wrong, being respectful of others and their thoughts and opinions, kindness, compassion, serving others and that there are consequences for every action. I don’t nag them about homework. They know it’s their responsibility. What they do or do not do is up to them. They are the ones who have to want their goal. They have rules and privileges given and taken away for behaviors and I allow them to be themselves. My kids come and talk to me about everything. Sometimes a little more than I expect but we also are very open in our home. Nothing is off limits. My boys have come and told me things that have shocked the hell out of me at the moment but afterwards I feel very privliged they would share those important moments with me.
Being a parent is damn hard work. Finding balance is almost impossible at times but at the end of it all, it’s one hell of a privilege. I struggle internally about the things I should and could do better however, I see everything that I have done right in my children. Have there been hard times? Hell yes. Have things gone perfectly? Hell no. Have there been hard lessons learned? Absolutely! but my children are amazing humans. They have given me more (9x over) than I could ever give them in this life. I am privileged to have them. I was never supposed to be a mother. Look at what happened when they said I couldn’t…. I rebelled and proved them all wrong and I have a done one hell of job even as imperfect as I am.
Today I am giving myself credit for one of the wins I have in my life. I am indeed blessed. I have earned the title “Mom.” After all things are earned and not given. What a beautiful life we have been given. I wouldn’t trade one moment of mine.
I hope you find your own wins and successes. They’re there. Take the time to give yourself some credit. You deserve it. You’re worthy. You’ve earned it.
More Love. Less Hate. H