Sorry I have been MIA for the last few weeks, I won’t bore you with the details… But I decided to try a new job out, which turned into 2 jobs and then… well you get the picture.
Today I decided to carve out some time to make writing a priority. I want to share some thoughts I’ve had over the past month or so. This is a big year for me – my Favorite Baby graduated from high school last month. What an amazing thing!
As I worked on his scrapbook – I have done one for each of them when they graduated – I was struck by how much fun it has been being the mother of 4 sons. 🙂 The memories of the chaos, the stress, the activity levels, the laughter, the hurt, the love, the smiles, the broken bones, the bloody whatevers, the hugs, the groceries, the sports events, the fear, and on and on and on. It’s all there. It’s been a wild ride that just gets better and better.
First, a little history: Big Jon and I got married and pregnant in about a blink of an eye. We were young, I was 23 when our Favorite 1st born came along. We had both expected to have a daughter, not sure why, but I clearly remember staring at his “unit” thinking, “What is that? and What are we going to do now?” But we jumped into parenting with enthusiasm and had another son 16 months later and another son 22 months later and another son 3 1/2 years later…
During all that time, we were just flying-by-the-seats-of-our-pants believing that God had trusted us with these kids and He was going to give us what we needed to raise them. And He did. Big Jon and I never sat down and set goals for our parenting, sure we discussed things and ideas, but mostly we just did the best we could. Looking back, though, I can see that there were several things, goals, mantras, nuggets of wisdom, whatever you want to call them, that we worked hard to instill in our boys.
- Embrace your testosterone.
God made you a man, be one. You are a strong and mighty warrior. You have unending energy and power. It is a gift, not a curse. Be strong and courageous (Joshua 1:9). You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:13). Testosterone and all!
- Make Good Choices
Life is truly a series of choices. There isn’t always a wrong choice, but there usually is a better one. Make the good one.
- Never touch a girl unless invited.
Women are to be cherished and respected. We started with this very early on to instill respect for women in our sons. While I truly believe in the theory, I may have worded this better over the years. I’ve heard from my Favorite Navy Wife that she had to make the first move. I guess, Favorite 2nd son was taking this one very seriously! 🙂
- Choose a career that will support your family.
What you choose to with your life is up to you, but you must be able to support your wife and children. You are the man. If your wife chooses to be a wife and mother, you must be prepared to support them.
- Go ahead and try it. If you break a leg, don’t come running to dad. Be adventurous but not stupid. There is a time to take a risk, and a time to play it safe. Yes you can jump off the cliff into the water with your broken arm, go ahead and try a back flip – – just don’t hit the rocks – oh, you saw that on the x-games, sure I bet you can do it too, etc. This would be Big Jon talking while I am praying in the background that God protects my babies! In theory though… we will let you fail so that you will gain wisdom and grow to be a better man.
Being a Christian does not preclude you from making mistakes or having fun. Believe in the Lord, Your God (2 Chronicles 20:20) Life is a blessing, have fun and have faith.
Lastly, my Dad always told me, “Children grow up in spite of their parents.” We have found this to be so true. I am only human. I do what I can, and God steps in and does the rest. First He gave me Big Jon and then blessed me with four amazing sons. I have no idea what He was thinking, but I am so lucky to be able to look and my sons in wonder and think, “They are turning out OK.”