I had the privilege of attending my oldest son’s High School Graduation this weekend. He is a very private person and doesn’t like the spotlight, but this Mama has something to say. I love him! I am so proud of him and his accomplishments. My oldest son, Ty, has taught me so much about love, compassion, empathy and boundaries. In his 17 years of life, he has got me thinking on a higher level on most days. When Ty was little, he needed me to keep him physically safe and clean, to feed him, clothe him and keep him out of trouble. As he has matured these needs have all but disappeared. I remember seeing a bumper sticker long ago that read, “Be nice to your children, they pick your nursing home.” Ha Ha, I thought, but as time went by it became less and less funny. The quote that has changed my life forever came a few years back as well, “Be nice to your children, they don’t have to come back.” This hit me like a Truck. My children are my children for a short time before they become their own grown selves. Do we have a relationship, really? Will my children want to come back and be in my life after they can legally run out my front door? Have I loved them? Have I respected their thoughts and dreams and aspirations? Have I taught them the hard lessons while showing unconditional love? All these questions, plus many more, fly through my head and heart as I send my oldest off into HIS wonderful new world.
Ty receiving his Diploma
Mom and Dad
Brother and Sister
We have always tried to cultivate a home that is friendly and non-competitive. Bullying is not acceptable. Brothers and Sisters should find their common ground, give each other space to grow and respect each other’s feelings. Most importantly, be able to express regret and apology. It is possible because I have seen it. Our children will emulate what we are, not what we say we are. Actions speak of love, not words. period. Do you have a relationship with your siblings, really?
Cousins graduating together
Ty also had the opportunity to graduate with his cousin. These family ties are again strengthened or weakened by our actions. These two fellows have so many differences, but they also share so many similarities, it can be easy to find common ground when love and connection is the goal. We are blessed with so many cousins around us, but these relationships can’t blossom without love and acceptance. Do you have a relationship with your cousin, really?
Close Friends that have become Family
I hope we have all been blessed with good friends in our lives. The kind of friends that show up to paint your basement because they know you are emotionally weary. The kind of friends that come and sit with you at Your Mother’s grave site, just because they know you are facing something you have never done before. The kind of friends that laugh with you, hug you and love you. These friendships are priceless simply because they love you without strings attached. I love string less love. Do we have a relationship with our friends, really?
I would love to end with these two quotes. They are simply food for thought.
Relationships are work. They are the only reason we are on this planet. I want to do my best to have authentic, honest and real connections. My wish for us all? Take responsibility for your side of any relationship and always ask yourself, Is this a relationship, really?
Sending love your way. We are all in this together. Love makes it easier.