I am a mom. Best thing that has ever happened to me. You hear many mothers stand tall as they repeat that bold, genuine fact.
It's true though, my son has turned my world upside down in many ways. Other than the obvious, slap in the face "this is parenthood" wake up call. But he created something I never knew existed from within myself.
Outside of the whole move away from home to attend college and grab your little chunk of the education system, I never was one to be what you would call a "risk-taker." Went to school, did the internship thing, met the boy...married the boy, bought the house and boom, welcome to motherhood.
But outside of the "I'll do anything for you, love" something was born as I watched him grow up before my eyes. He's watching, he's listening, his little mind is picking up on mannerisms and ways of thinking that we don't realize they get from us. The bad days after work, the complaining that you have no idea you're even doing, he sees it all.
But something was different. I found that reason to show him how life was supposed to be lived. Outside of the bills, the mundane everyday responsibilities, outside of the chores and errands - there was optimism.
Everyone has that thing that they'll always say "I'm going to do "X" one day." That one day quickly becomes a big fat never. What is that showing our kids? The sons and daughters we're raising to be functioning adults one day. Are we raising them to do what everyone else is doing? Do we push them into the line of school, college, job, desk, paycheck, house, family and the cycle goes on. Do we push them to settle because that desk job pays well with benefits and a whopping 1 week paid vacation?
Or do we teach them to stand out a little from the crowd. Do we dare them test theories out? To experiment with an idea that has just come to them. Do we show them that failing is okay as long as you get back up and keep trying?
That was my life changing moment. When I look at him and I see what you see in almost every child. Optimism. Hope. The characteristic of "why can't I" or "why not me"? You start to see less and less of these amazing child-like characteristics as they get older. I don't know if it's the everyday homework, the constant reiteration from the parents that this is life. "It is what it is." Worst saying ever!! It is what you make it.
As parents, do we get tired of showing them that they can keep trying. They can keep getting back up after it doesn't turn out the way they envisioned it? Does it rest partly on me?
I am a graphic designer by trade. I am a freelancer for the non-profit, Adventure Mamas. I am a runner. I am a creative individual. I am a mother. And now, I am a children's outdoor company apparel brand...for him. To show him that a dream is a dream worth trying for. It's worth getting up every morning to pursue. I'm teaching him to build, construct and think outside of society's box. I'm showing him that he does not have to settle, he can go against the grain, to take calculated risks in life. To be happy. Because without purpose, a driven passion, it's hard to find the happiness that you once saw in their little eyes. I vow to teach him life is "just what it is". And he has taught me to actually take the first step in that direction. Through his eyes, I saw the life and hopefulness that once consumed the 5 year old me.
Motherhood is different for each person. I found my inner child through mine.