Friday, September 3, 2010

(43-38) A Mother's Heart

Not long after Nicky was born; I saw a card with the following quote by Elizabeth Stone ~ "Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."  As a new mom that quote resonated with me and it soon became one of my favorites; however, the truth is that as my kids have gotten older and exposed to more of life's cruelties, this quote has become that much more profound.
When you have a baby you feel positively consumed by the love that you feel for your child; and of course you want to do everything in your power to keep your precious, baby safe and out of harm's way.  But as your children get older, it becomes so much more difficult to shield them from the bumps and bruises that effect their hearts and it is OUR hearts that also get injured in the process.

I learned first hand how cruel kids can be.  When I was growing up I was teased about everything from my name (first AND last,) to my height and of course, my weight; and perhaps that's why it's so important to me that my kids are sensitive and kind to others.  Of course not all parents instill these traits in their offspring so we have absolutely no control over how our children are treated by others.
It seems that kids are mean to each other no matter the circumstances.  You can be handsome, but if you're shy as well, you're ignored.  You can be friendly, but if the "wrong" person doesn't like you; it can be misery.  You can be too tall, too short, too fat or too thin; no one is immune.
No matter how old you are or where or when you grew up; there was/is always a "cool" crowd who had / have the ability to make everyone else's lives a living hell.  I personally rued the days that I had to go to PE in junior high because there was a group of girls who picked on me relentlessly, and of course I had never done or said anything to provoke any of them.  I'm sure they didn't give a minutes worth of thought to the fact that I myself would have given anything to be shorter or thinner at the time.  Or considered that I wished that I could have disappeared as much as they seemed to want me out of their site.  For some reason it made them feel better about themselves to verbally abuse me EVERY chance that they got; and sadly I see the same things happening with kids now. 
To quote Friedrich Neitzche "What does not destroy me, makes me strong." [Or, What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.] I'd like to think that Nietzche wasn't referring to child hood when he said this and yet sadly, it applies.  I don't want to sound like an OVERprotective mom.  I KNOW that my kids have to learn from their own mistakes; but I figure they'll make plenty of mistakes during the times that their not with me, and they have to rely solely on their own instincts and judgment.  So if there's anything that I can do to help guide them and avoid pitfalls, heck yes; I'm gonna do it.
I believe that it's very important for kids to know, that when it comes to friends, it's quality and not quantity that counts.  My goodness, if you make just one TRUE friend in your lifetime; someone that you can count on and confide in; someone who stands by you even if it's not a popular thing to do; then you are a very blessed person indeed.  I also think that it is crucial for them to know that in order to have a friend you have to be a friend.  You need to treat people the way that you want to be treated.
I know that I'm being idyllic to think that everyone will just accept each other for who they are and see the beauty in each others differences; but seriously, how boring would life be if we were all the same? It takes a courageous person to be true to themselves and to march to their own drum; but I do believe that life is much richer for those who do.

I so appreciate each of my children for the unique, individuals that they are and I wouldn't want them any other way. I love them with all of MY HEART!!
Till next time...


Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

kids can be cruel...i loveeeeeeeeeeeeeee that quote...thanks for it...i might have to use that on a title for a lo! loveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee that photo of them...*precious* :):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

Joni Parker said...

Sorry, just getting to this post... great quotes, great stories.. You know...I feel like we've been friends forever..I know you pretty well...I was not surprised to read most of this post especially the parts about instilling good values in your kids. Can't wait to meet you & your family!!