The day was September 22nd, 2003. I was 28. Selfish. A workaholic. 9 months pregnant. And didn’t know just how my life would change the next day, at 5:40am on a Tuesday, September 23rd.
When I heard the first cry, it literally took my breath away. I was instantly hooked. I hovered over his crib in the hospital. I watched him breathe. I watched his little round face for hours. It was a love only a mother could comprehend.
So to my first born child, my son, who turns 11 today, watching you grow over the past 11 years, has literally, just as the moment you came into the world, taken my breath away. When I’m flustered, you remain calm, saying, “Mommy, don’t worry. Don’t get excited, it’s good.” Or how you can read and watch historical biographies and documentaries for hours, wanting to soak up as much knowledge about the world as possible. Or something as silly as your iPod buzzing off the hook (hello 6th grade!), and you saying, “I don’t care about any of that. I prefer to BE with my friends than text them.” You are all kindness, compassion, sensitivity, intelligence, maturity, strength, and someone I would want as a friend in my life.
When I gave birth to this guy, someone bought me a book called Mother To Son, by Melissa and Harry Harrison. The book was life lessons on how to raise a boy- something I knew nothing of as a total girly-girl, growing up with Barbies, pink, and even ending up a ballet teacher. But during night feedings, hormones and everything in between, I used to read this little book. I laughed till I peed, I cried till snot came out of my nose, and it instantly became my favorite book.
So today, in honor of birthday #11, I will share a few of my favorites from Mother To Son. Especially if you’re a mom of boys, ENJOY!
IN THE BEGINNING:
“Don’t forget that as a baby, he will always be looking for your face. It will be this way forever.”
“The more you talk to him, the sooner he’ll talk to you.”
“Relax. Throwing food is normal. Heck, throw back.”
“It’s okay if he falls down. What’s important is that he picks himself back up again.”
THE TODDLER YEARS:
“His tears will break your heart. So will his smiles.”
“If you make fun of him, he’ll learn to be shy.”
“He’ll continue to whine for as long as it works.”
“From you, he’ll learn the importance of telling the truth. Be a good role model.”
“Play catch with him. He won’t really care if you can’t catch a ball or throw a perfect pass.”
“Remember, your encouragement breeds confidence. It always will.”
“Don’t let his father forget that his son is still a little boy.”
“Don’t tolerate his tantrums. Ever.”
“Teach him how to set the table. This will amaze future girlfriends.”
“He’ll always look for you at his games. Sit where he can see you.” (Made me cry. No clue why).
“Remember, perfectly sane moms tend to freak out during soccer tryouts.”
“If he’s old enough to play, he’s old enough to carry his own equipment.”
“Remember, he’s probably hungry. Even if he just ate.”
“Teach him to hang up his clothes, even if it’s just easier to pick them up yourself.”
“When he dresses himself, tell him he looks great. Don’t worry about what others might think.”
“DON’T miss his school plays. Even if his role is ‘Tree #2.’ ”
“Talk to him about saving for the future. Give him a piggy bank.”
“Teach him to wipe his mouth on a napkin, not on his shirt.” (Love)
“The longer you baby him, the longer he’ll stay a baby.”
“If you discover HE’S the bully, realize something is very wrong. Usually at home.”
“Keep kissing him goodnight. Even if he doesn’t kiss back now.” (Crying again)
“Look him in the eye and tell him that if he ever starts doing drugs, his life as he knows it will come to an end.”
“Play Beethoven in the mornings. It will calm everybody down.”
“Don’t be upset that you can’t afford everything he wants. A small country couldn’t even afford everything he wants.”
“Do not let one single disrespectful comment slide. Ever. ”
“He’s ready to learn about girls. He can either learn from you, or from MTV.”
“He will start using copious amounts of cologne. You might have to stagger outside for air.”
“Be a part of his world. Know what games he plays, what shows he watches, what music he’s listening to.”
“Don’t ask his teachers for special favors. They’ll think of your son as someone whose mom is looking after him. That kind of reputation will follow him for years.”
“If he complains other kids get a bigger allowance or more things, don’t give in. He’ll live.”
“If he becomes paralyzed when a girl says hello, you’ll know he’s discovered the opposite sex.”
“Don’t push him into a romantic relationship. Not now. Not ten years from now. Not ever.
“Remember you’re still one of his most important role models.”
“If he knows he can come to you with a problem, he will.”
“Learn the difference between supporting him, and rescuing him.”
“To your amazement, he will want clothes that cost more than his dad’s do. This is when you sit him down and explain the concept of getting a job.” (Love it!)
“He will want to talk at the most odd, mysterious, inconvenient times. Stop what you’re doing and talk.”
“If he does get a speeding ticket, don’t try to get it fixed. Send him to court. Wearing a tie.” (love)
“Remember if he smells odd to you, he smells odd to the world.”
“Remember, the stronger a mother you are, the stronger a man he will become.”
You’ll have to read the book.
And finally, thank you to my girlfriend who shared this with me.
My Promise to my children ~
I am your Parent 1st – your Friend 2nd. I will stalk you, flip out on you, lecture you, drive you insane, be your worst nightmare & hunt you down like a bloodhound when needed because I LOVE YOU! When you understand that, I will know you are a responsible adult. You will NEVER find someone who loves, prays, cares, & worries about you more than I do! If you don’t hate me once in your life – I am not doing my job properly.
Thank you, sweetheart, for making me the happiest mommy ever.
I’d love to know which lessons are your favorite.