I was truly inspired by all the responses I got to my blog 'Support People' a couple of days ago. A friend (I love you, J!) even wrote her own blog about her beautiful 15 y/o son because of it. All of you are right that the reason I have such a supportive family is because I am supportive of them. We have had some rough times, but there is nothing I wouldn't do for my family.
I got pregnant with Mikhail when I was 33 years old. I never had any miscarriages, abortions, etc. I was never pregnant before so my pregnancy was a totally unexpected miracle as far as I was concerned. Lenny's only other child was almost 22 when I found out I was pregnant.
I named Mikhail 10 years before I got pregnant so the day I found out we started calling him that. I KNEW he was a boy. I couldn't accept that I was pregnant even with all of the signs, but the day the Dr confirmed it I named my son? A little strange, I know. I was 12 weeks pregnant before I went to get a test. I had my heart broken for years by Mother Nature. I wasn't about to go there again. I had given up on having kids several years earlier because it was too hard to hope anymore. I was finally okay with being childless. I wasn't about to get my hopes up so the Dr could just tell me no.
I actually always thought I would have twin boys so the names I had chosen all those years earlier were Mikhail & Samuel. Mikhail's first 2 names. Samuel just happened to be Lenny's first name too. Weird coincidence, huh? I found out when I was pregnant that Samuel means 'Asked of God' (Hannah from the bible asked for a baby & was given Samuel) & Mikhail means 'Gift from God'. Mikhail is the Hebrew form of Michael. I'm sure you are aware of the Angel, Michael. St. Michael.
When I was pregnant with Mikhail I started writing a journal to him. I made some promises to him that I hope I have been able to keep. I promised first & foremost that I wouldn't break his Spirit. My Spirit was broken when I was a kid & I was 30 before I was able to start repairing it. I'm not sure that you can ever completely repair a broken Spirit so I figured it was better to keep it whole in the first place.
Mikhail is a great kid, but boy oh boy is he sassy! (think of me as a 12 y/o boy!...Yikes. LOL!) Unlike my father tho, I don't consider sassy bad. Disrespectful is bad, but sassy doesn't necessarily mean disrespectful! It's like spoiled. Spoiled isn't bad. Brat is! Big difference!
Mikhail is what many people call 'an old soul'. He is so wise beyond his years. If I break his Spirit I undoubtedly would harm his soul.
The next promise I made to him was to always protect him. I've been called 'overprotective'. I don't believe that you can be too protective of a child. You wouldn't buy a plant, take it out of its pot & just throw it into the yard to fend for itself, would you? You put it in the right size pot, water it, feed it & protect it from the elements! The least you would do is acclimate it before you put it outside. We OWE our children acclimation! I don't believe a child needs to be exposed to the big bad world as a child. There is plenty of time for that as an adult.
I promised to love him unconditionally. Before I had my son I did not believe in unconditional love. I thought that I had never experienced it. I was only loved when I behaved the way I was supposed to behave according to whoever was giving (&/or withholding) the love. Sometimes Mikhail does things I'm not super crazy about, but it never changes how I feel about him. I do not find potty humor funny. My 12 y/o son does. It doesn't change my love for him. I dislike the humor, but I do not dislike Mikhail because he likes it.
I promised I would always listen to him. This isn't always easy to do. Our opinions differ. He is as strong willed as I am. I've had to agree to disagree with him. He has the right to his opinions & I respect that. I think this is the most difficult when he won't listen to me. I want to just shut down the discussion, but it's not fair. If I listen to him he usually realizes that he needs to listen to me too. We might not change what we think, but we do both get our say.
I promised I would show him respect.
I promised I would always show respect to his father. Even if, Bob Forbid, we weren't together as a couple.
I promised I would respect myself.
I promised him a great education.
I promised a safe, warm, healthy place to live.
I promised he would have good, healthy, nutritious food.
I promised I would teach him to take care of his body. Including with exercise.
I promised he would be clean & comfortable.
I promised to teach him morals & virtues.
I promised him emotional, spiritual, mental & physical well being.
I promised to give him the best of me.
I promised he would have good relationships with his family. If they ever become detrimental to him I will end them.
I promised he can always come home.
I promised I will always come to him. He never 'cried it out' when he was a baby.
I promised he could trust me.
I promised discipline would be fair.
I promised to never call him names.
I promised to believe him.
I promised I would believe IN him!
I promised not to lie to him.
I promised to teach him empathy & sympathy.
I promised to trust his instincts.
I promised to teach him by example. Words don't mean much if your your actions aren't the same.
I promised to show him diversity.
I promised I would stand up against bigotry.
I promised to teach him not to back down from his beliefs.
I promised to teach him that everyone is equal.
I promised to walk away from a fight.
I promised to teach him about Peace instead of War.
I promised to teach him anything he wants to learn about. I will learn it first so I can teach it correctly.
I promised to help him come to the right conclusion.
I know I have not been able to keep all of these promises every minute of every day since he was born, but I have always done my best to come back to them. I have slipped with the ones about being my personal best, but my love & dedication to him has never changed.
My parents made lots of mistakes, but when I became a parent I was able to forgive them because I finally understood that they were just people with their own insecurities, faults & baggage that they weren't always able to handle.
I still have Mikhail's journal. I haven't written in it in a very long time. I didn't write out each & every one of these promises to him. I made them to him in my heart. Some I tell to him every day. I tell him every day that I will always love him. That he is the most important person I know. I have great expectations for him.
I know everybody thinks their kid is somebody special. I KNOW mine is. I want to give my son everything. I'm not talking about material things, but, yes, I would give him $100,000 car for his 16th birthday if I could afford it. It goes back to my comment earlier about 'spoiled'. My son is spoiled in that he has many toys, BUT he is grateful & shows appreciation for everything he has ever been given. He never has broken toys or been destructive just for the fun of it. He takes care of his things because he has respect for his father & me. He knows we work hard to give him good things & he appreciates it.
If I have never or will never do another good thing in my life I do know that I have done an awesome job raising my son. Only a person who knows empathy & sympathy can teach empathy & sympathy. Only a person who has self confidence can teach self confidence.
When I see what a great person my son is I know that it is as a direct result of my parenting. I have done right by my son. I am doing right by my grandsons. Even tho I am not raising my grandsons alone I know that I am a great influence on them. They, too, will be wonderful people for having had me for their Nana.
I know that genetics play a role in how my son looks & acts, but his upbringing is what gives him the ability to take all of it and use it to the best of his knowledge & capability. I have given him the tools to be the best Mikhail he can be.
The promises I made need to be kept. I do not make promises lightly. If I make a promise I make it true.
My son is the love of my life and knowing that I have the responsibility for him has made me a better person. For all the things I have taught him, he has taught me more. I owe him the best mom because he is the best kid.
Mikhail wants me to share this clip with you all. It is proof that we don't always agree on what is or isn't funny. He is, after all, a 12 y/o boy & well, I am... not. Judge for yourself.
Ultimate Spider Man Season 2 Episode 15 clip 01