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Updated: Oct 18, 2023

Me and my oldest

I knew the day would come. I dreaded it but I knew it would come. No longer am I Mommy or Mama, today I am now Mom. Thankfully only one of the three kids has followed suit but it is taking some adjusting on my super sensitive Mom(my) heart. It’s okay, I will get over it, but hearing it at first it sounded almost like he was joking. Surely, he didn’t mean to take the “m-y” off of the “Mom.” But nope, he in fact did and that’s okay, it just took me a minute.

Watching your oldest grow up before your very eyes is definitely an interesting experience clouded with unknown curves and hills ahead that unknown tourists (me and his Dad) are about to fly through to get to the destination. Let’s just say the destination is raising a kiddo that becomes a self-sustaining adult. At least that is the hope of all hopes.

Here’s this kid that looks a little like me and a little like Dad.  He has a personality that could rule the world with a caring heart but also the childlike desire of the world revolving around him. It’s very refreshing and very scary all at the same time.

Are we going to fuck this up? Did he brush his teeth? Is he telling me the truth about how much homework he has? You know…the normal stuff.

Here is my advice to all of you parents that are on the same road that we are facing right now, take it as it comes and embrace the realness of it. You are not perfect. You will not always know what to say and that is okay. I say these things to you as I continue to say them to myself over and over in my mind as some kind of mantra to help guide me through this sensitive season of raising kids. I mean, yes, they are all sensitive in their own rights but pre-teen, well, this is so new to us and something that I did not even want to venture into when I was a teacher because it scared the hell out of me.

The next thing I want to share with you is about cherishing the moments. I mean, cherish the hell out of them. They may not come as often when the kids get to be older but that makes them all the sweeter.

The moment that actually prompted me to write this post happened last night when I was working out. I have been trying my best to be intentional in getting my workout in. Making that promise to myself and not giving in, just like I would if I said that I was going to be there for someone else, I need to be there for me. Anyways, I could have retreated and found an excuse to not work out because Shannon was outside helping a friend with something but I didn’t.

If you would like me to paint the picture: I was on the elliptical, Tristan was talking to me standing on the gym equipment next to me. Grayson was twirling around some stick thing that is used for working out and trying to perfect his method. Aubrey was running around on her ride-on toys keeping me at an arm’s length (just where she likes me).

Sometimes, we tend to block out what our kids are saying in an attempt to get some time to ourselves. We are not trying to be jerks just trying to maintain our sanity for the sake of everyone in the household. But today I really felt the connection and his need to spend time with me. I think that the fact that we had our own little date a few days ago helped this moment come into fruition.

I will forever think about this moment and if I for some reason forget, I am thankful to have documented it in this exact spot. So here we were a mother and preteen hanging out. I was doing my thing on the elliptical while Grayson (the 7-year-old) blasted music that happened to be Tristan’s and I’s favorite. We were singing together and talking about the artist, why we loved the songs and making up silly dance moves to go with it. Tristan was actually looking pretty suave, I wish he would be more open like that in front of people, maybe one day. We giggled, we sang our hearts out and he didn’t know it but he ingrained that memory forever in my mind.

My thirty five minute workout went by swiftly and I felt accomplished. So glad I didn’t put on those earbuds I had intended to use to listen to the current self-help book I am streaming.

I tell my kids often what I love about them and how wonderful they are but we also have our really bad days that send me to my room to steal a quick cry. Take these moments and put them in your back pocket to share with yourself when you need it and believe me, you’re gonna need it.

I’m annoying. I’m not fun some days and I have to nag, nag, nag for them to do the chores and such but I will forever have these little memories in my back pocket stored away. Thank goodness.

I’m proud of the young man my Tristan is becoming. I think he is such a smart, caring kid with such a spunky confidence that I adore and admire. I will not forget these things and when he wants to talk to me about the drama happening on the bus, he will come to me. When he needs to talk to Dad about a girl that he likes one day, he will go to him. I pray every day that we can continue to have these connections with our kids that we have tried so hard to establish.

Tristan Gene Tyler

It’s usually not what you had envisioned but more often than not it is a beautiful mess.

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