The holidays and heading toward another new year makes me think of all I am thankful for, while reflecting on the past year and what is most important to me. Being mother to my two sons is the greatest joy I can imagine.
What I didn’t know at the beginning when I worried so much about how to be a great Mom was how much I would learn from each of my sons. Every day I learn new things in fascination as I have watched them grow and explore.
Especially when they were young, I love the way my kids rushed in to experience the moment. I love watching my younger son run like the wind along the beach with such relish or follow pigeons or seagulls eyeing their every move. There isn’t the hesitation and constant thinking things through that many of us adults have, rather the pursuit of whatever fascinates their curiosity.
I am awed at times by the spirit and strength my sons have shown in situations that would make many an adult curl up in the corner. My sons have both had medical challenges at different times that they dealt with so gracefully. Periodic rough asthma episodes lead to difficult, sleepless nights grasping for the inhaler, but my son never snaps in irritation.
A rare birth defect that we didn’t discover until my other son was 2 years old prevented him from swallowing food properly. He went from endless bouts of mysterious illness before diagnosis to serious emergency surgery and a week in PICU with such sunshine and smiles he charmed his medical team and therapists. I also admire his ability to heal quickly, he was running around the house with boundless energy in the blink of an eye after returning home from the hospital.
The Power of Positive Thinking and Letting Go of Negativity…Fast
When something troubles my sons, they ponder it till they come up with a solution, talk it through, and then…they let go of it. Being happy, sunny people is a great gift and lifts the spirits.
Determination and Perseverance
Whether learning how to ride a bike or as a toddler figuring out how to crawl up a cabinet to reach a counter for whatever caught their eye, their determination to figure out how something worked or accomplished what they want is breathtaking.
One of my sons while brilliant has some learning differences that make school harder for him to get the results others spend a fraction of the time achieving. We’ve worked to give him whatever opportunities and support we can but I so admire the way he diligently, persistently practices the skills and studies relentlessly to make things work, using all the extra time and tools he needs to. He is determined to work through his challenges and while he gets frustrated doesn’t let that get in his way.
Nothing warms my heart more than watching my sons caring for others in such thoughtful ways starting with their incredibly loving relationship with each other. I can’t think of two brothers as close as they are. They are seven years apart and from the moment my younger son Josh was born Aaron has been watching over him, literally and figuring catching Josh when he falls. As Josh has grown older he in turn looks out for Aaron, and cheers him up if he has a challenge.
Aaron is also a devoted protector and companion to his youngest cousins. Most special, he started mentoring younger students who have learning differences. It clearly gives his great satisfaction to help others and share his experiences.
The Power of Laughter
No matter what might temporarily get me down, spending time with my sons lifts my spirits. They are quick to find the fun and humor in any given situation and it is infectious…in a great way. From the earliest silly knock-knock jokes to tween humor, no one can make me laugh faster than my sons.
Self Confidence in their Choices
I’ve been fascinated to see how they each gravitated to clear interests and passions. They know in their hearts what they like and they don’t question themselves. One gravitated to technology, youth theater, and robotics while for the other it’s violin, karate, economics, for both science, the gift of being a scientist’s son. What they love just evolved naturally.
One of the greatest gifts of being a mother has been learning from my children, always looking forward to what the next day, week and year will bring with them.