I am so proud of myself! I finally didn’t complete something. It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life.
I know on the outside to some I am a complete mess (hmmm hmmm my parents). But those people will remain nameless. But considering I work full time, raise three boys, essentially on my own (with a husband who travels A LOT), I volunteer WAY too much and have dinner to get on, and a household to run…I think I do a pretty good job.
But yes, the inside of my car looks like a bomb went off, and even though all the clothes in my laundry room are clean, they may not all be put away in everyone’s closet, and yes there may be Legos all over my living room floor.
But one day, I know I will wake up and miss all of this – so they say.
But I digress. Just the other day, my youngest had a timeline project to do. And typically, I just dive right in there and help them do it, for the sake of time, neatness, organization. Because, not judging by the rest of my life or house, I do slightly verge on a minor case of OCD when it comes to projects, and crafts, and other things like that.
I like organization. The glue to be perfect. The lines to be straight. The colors to be the opposing colors on the color wheel, you know weird OCD things like that.
But this time. I did very little on his project. I guess it took old mom the third child to really release the reigns, and not do her first, 1st Grade project. And, fail as a parent! I am so proud of me for being a failure. What I did do was help him come up with the idea. This little dude loves trains, so we made his timeline on a train. I printed the pictures off the computer, and I cut out the train cars. But my little man did everything else.
He drew the train tracks, he drew the wheels, he glued everything down, he wrote all the words; and even the sunshine in the sky was his Memom that had gone to Heaven six years ago.
And you know what? It was the most gorgeous, most perfect 1st Grade project I had ever seen. I made myself cook dinner the entire time he was working on it. I was so proud of him.
And better yet, he was so proud of himself. He had done everything on his own.
Letting go is sometimes the hardest thing for a mommy to do, in more ways than one. We know we eventually must do it. Whether it’s with projects in the 1st Grade, summer camp, spend the nights with friends, driving cars, dates, college, or just as adults in general.
We hope we have done a good job; and that they make good decisions in life and treat others with respect. And deep down they have good souls. And want to work hard and provide for their families and treat their loved ones with respect.
In fact, my little artist that created his timeline is on this major entrepreneurial kick right now. And about three weeks ago he and his brother wanted a hot chocolate stand, so we set one up. They had so much fun. We didn’t get that many customers and they were sorely disappointed. So, I had to give them the “Steve Jobs” speech. The one where everyone in the world thought these two guys were nuts for creating this thing called the “desktop computer.” And trying to sell to everyone and thinking everyone would want one in their household. And these two guys started this in their garage. But look at them now. Perseverance.
But my two guys kept getting turned down, and cars kept driving by them, but they kept at it. So just yesterday, he set out in our neighborhood with his little backpack, a thermos of hot water, packets of hot chocolate mix and cups to sell to our neighbors. It was the cutest thing I have ever seen in my life.
And this is my shy child-not at home, mind you, but around new people, so this was huge. But I had to let him go. I had to let him walk up to every house on his own (bear in mind, I know all our neighbors – so I knew he was safe), but I had to let my little one break out of his shell and experience the fear of door-to-door sales and rejection all on his own. Even though it broke my heart, everyone needs that experience.
But he did it. He got one sale and lots of rejections. He came home sad, but then ten minutes later, he wanted another go at it. So, you see, as a mom we must let them fail to experience life sometimes. And that is why we can’t make all their projects perfect according to our standards.
Failure is part of life. But us letting them fail, is also a part of our lives as parents as well. Unfortunately, we can’t put a band-aid on everything.