Roughly 15 years ago, while playing with my boys at a park, a sweet, little old man, wearing a rugged tan coat and gray fedora hat, approached me and said, “Enjoy this time with your children, because they grow so fast, and before you know it, they will be grown and gone…” At the time, I was a very young mother of two precious, yet, highly-energetic sons, who filled my every moment; no free-time for this mommy. My life had changed forever in order to devote myself entirely to them. My then consistent, overwhelming life as a mom, lead me to believe that this statement couldn’t be further from the truth. My days then, seemed to have gone on forever, and at the end of each one, I was exhausted.
You see, I was young, too young to have been a mother at my given age during that time. My boys and I grew up together, if you will. Times were tough and our life-transitions, as 3-peas-in-a-pod, were sometimes tougher. I used to pray and ask God to help me, to be with me, and to guide me through all of this which was so unknown to me. Which was the best way to parent? I strived endlessly to be the perfect parent, to do everything JUST-RIGHT: Doctor visits, birthday parties, engaging them in every sport, being highly involved in their education, obtaining a higher education of my own, and the list to create perfection, goes on. — I have learned over the years (and I’m still learning) that by trying to do the just-right and perfect thing every time, can be a set-up for some pretty disappointing times. Life simply unfolds as it is meant to, so let it.
As of now, I have learned that it’s okay if you mess-up the cake for the birthday party or, if you’re not able to make it to one of your kids’ games because you have to work in order to put food on the table. Trust me, he/she will one day understand and forgive you for that; then, they can forgive themselves for the long-term grief they may have caused you for not being able to show up. Nevertheless, the words of that sweet stranger in the park that afternoon, resonate within my very bones of wish. What do I mean by this? I mean, the sweet stranger was right, our children DO grow-up entirely too fast and there is no rewind button for the “Ooops’s” in life that we sometimes make as parents. As a mother, there are pop-up occasions when I wish I could alter some past-times, and relive some of the moments, knowing what I know now. But you know what, it’s okay. It truly is, Okay. I’m learning to accept this as well: The “It’s Okay” factor.
My sons are now adults who could still use some genuine guidance from their mother, that’s me, and my advice to them is a natural, breathing given. They know this all too well, and that’s a good thing, in my opinion. Ahhh, these boys of mine; they truly are the other half of my heart.
Little ones born in the sun
Not a clue
Just breathing, Thank God
Living today for uncertain tomorrows
Unaware of any sorrows
Loving the light
The gift you chose to give
As the days go by you will see
All that he is growing to be
He’ll make you proud and you will grow older
Reminiscing the times he sat over your shoulders
Letting go, will be the toughest thing to do
When he goes
You will be blue
Your little one has grown from the age of two
Smile, as he honks, and waves good-bye to you
– For Eric and Isaiah
I love you forever – Mom
By Elizabeth Mendiola