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" . . . so ya can't please everyone, gotta please yourself!"

Thursday, March 22, 2012

From Rich Nelson's song "Garden Party" . . . ok from my distant youth! LOL

But I love that idea, because it really is impossible to please everyone, and when you TRY, you end up compromising what makes YOU happy most of the time.

I have just really been focused on how fragile life is and how difficult it is to "let go". But loss and "letting go" is part of that circle of life (thank you LION KING for that phrase!)

You look @ your kids as they grow up and you have all these plans in your head for them. College, successful career . . . you know . . . the things ALL parents want for their kids. But as things turn out, that plan might not be THEIR plan. So our job as a parent is to "let go" of OUR plans and help our kids with what THEY want in their lives. VERY hard sometimes.

As you who follow my blogs already know, my son enlisted in the Army and left for basic training on March 5th. It was very hard letting him go, but you know what, I DID. HE needed that in order to find his own way, his own path. And despite all the bumps in the road encountered during his turbulent Middle School and High School years (can you say ROLLERCOASTER RIDE?) I love him with all my heart & soul. Sometimes it hurt my Mom heart, though, because it was clear he didn't feel that love at all. **SIGH** Pretty typical of the teen years.

He has been in basics now for 2 weeks and 3 days. We have had very limited communication (totally understandable AND necessary). But the letters we've gotten from him (2 -- and I think I've read them at least a billion times -- ok maybe a billion and one emoticon) I see so much maturity and clarity infused into his thinking. . . something sorely lacking @ times when he lived here. Again . . . pretty standard for a teen. It brings me to emoticon sometimes.

The letter we received from him yesterday is a prime example. He indicated that it is tough but he's determined to honor this committment, even though it's really tough. I'll share some of his comments:

"I already feel like I'm changing. I want to thank you for raising me the way you did. I know it was difficult, but without you guys, I don't know what I would've done. " From MY SON!

"I'm looking forward to seeing you all (at graduation)." Wow! Again, MY SON said this.

"I miss you guys and love you guys much. They say home is where there is a roof. They say home is where people are, but home is the feeling that you can't feel from anyone else. I miss home . . . " OMG (ok, 'scuse me . . . going to get my millionth box of kleenex).

Back again. Never in a million years would I have anticipated John saying ANY of these things to us. NEVER. He was always an envelope pusher, tough guy, never show emotions. Seems like he's seeing it's not all bad to FEEL things.

HUGE lesson. I see this in my own life. When I started this journey, I ATE my feelings away. What the heck . . . facing emotions HURTS sometimes. but I've learned that in the long run, dealing with the emotions is HEALTHY. It allows us to move on. Seeing this is my 19 yr. old son (20 in August) totally amazes me. I don't honestly know if **I** had that kind of maturity at 19, almost 20!

So, though it's been an adjustment for all of us, it is a good thing. Change always takes so much courage and strength. And there are days when you think you don't have it in you, but you dig a little deeper and voila! Yes indeed you DO have it in you!

Thanks for reading this blog. As painful as change can be, it allows us to become who we're meant to be. That's awesome . . . totally awesome. Worry less about pleasing others and more about pleasing YOURSELF, accomplishing what YOU need to be a better, healthier, stronger person.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, feelings, and emotions with us. Certainly a strong woman raised a strong young man. Thank him for his service to our country from a proud American......Patti
    2237 days ago
    Hi - I could relate to what you have said about raising teens! My son sounds so like your son! My son joined the Navy - and after the first 12 weeks of enforced no contact - he suddenly realised that his family meant so much to him.. I got the same kind of letters - which I treasure!

    He is no longer in the Navy (NZ vigorously trains them but has nothing for them to do when they are finished) - but has come away earning top place in his intake of Marine Technicians (so gained confidence in his abilities finally); learned a lot about himself - and now knows how to iron!! :)

    Having children is the hardest job ever - heartbreaking and heart warming at the same time! :)

    I admire your amazing weightloss - you are now, where I want to be in the future!

    2243 days ago
  • FLGIRL1234
    I love this blog on so many levels! Thank you.
    2245 days ago
    That was a wonderful blog to read. So rewarding as a parent to watch your son grow in this way. Congratulations mom. You have obviously done a good job parenting him - better than maybe you give yourself credit for.
    2247 days ago
    Thank you, thank you for sharing this. You reflect so much of what I have gone through with my sons.
    When my son finished boot camp, he was much more mature also. It is beyond words what I felt at time.
    I always was told it was selfish to please myself (Catholic upbringing, taught by nuns). I now see where I made mistakes. But everyday is a new beginning and each day I work to please myself without hurting anyone else. The two are not mutually exclusive. That has been a real lesson for me. I am also learning to not be hurt when someone chooses to please themselves over pleasing me. Again, that is not about me...it is about their needs and their needs are to be respected just as mine are.

    Enjoy those letters and any phone calls you may get from John. That graduation is going to be awesome!

    Go Army!

    Blessings, Susan
    2248 days ago
    Oh Barb--my virtual sister---- Whatta nice boy!!--It almost made me cry--Just be there--support him--pick him up sometimes--and hug him--I guess that is what he sees now, in yer home--So nice!!---- I feel for yu!! You must miss him terribly!!! But--he will come home-always--- Hugs--Lynda
    2248 days ago
    What an emoticon blog, and it brought me to tears right along with you. No snots though - LOL. Oh, pass the tisshew. *honk* ;0)

    I'm so happy for you. You deserve this after all ... and they will get theirs when they have their own.
    2251 days ago
    You have so much to be proud of. It is so nice when you see kids actually learned some of the life lessons we try to instill in them and know it did not fall on deaf ears. But so important to SHOW them how to live instead of TELLING them. Sounds like you did it just right.
    2252 days ago
    Your blog really had me crying. I am so proud of John. You are a SUPER mom to have raised such a wonderful son. He will go far because of the way your raised him and the unlimited love you have given him. Continuing prayers for him and for you!!
    Blessings and hugs,
    2252 days ago
    Oh, I'm so happy to read this! The army indeed is a very maturing experience, even before or without the battlefield. You learn a lot about responsibility, hierarchy, solidarity... Lots of stuff. Glad he's already seeing thing in a new way, and it's wonderful to see how much you appreciate it. emoticon
    2254 days ago
    I agree with IOEINC.

    Your son has an amazing MOM!

    2254 days ago
    You have an amazing son! You did a good job raising your son. I didn't hear from my daughter for at least a month. I was so worried about her.I just knew her temper would get the best of her and she would haul off and hit the DI.Didn't happen thank goodness. Now that shes in Afghanistan I keep up with her on face book.I still worry, but know that she is doing what she wants.God bless our children!
    2256 days ago
    please, please me oh yeah!
    2256 days ago
    Fantastic blog...now, mind sharing some of your kleenex? How wonderful to see just how grown up and mature (and in quite an honorable way) your son has become. I am so happy for you and continue to look towards June for THAT blog.
    2256 days ago
    What a GREAT blog!!!!! As the mother of 2 sons who both "Pushed the limits", I totally understand what you and your husband went through.
    There is NOTHING like that first time totally away from home with no way to go back until boot camp is done to make you appreciate just how good HOME and your PARENTS are. He is realizing that and is finally able to express it to you. This is your reward for all the years of sleepless nights (at least it was for me). BOTH of my sons had epiphanies like this and put it on paper just how much my husband and I meant to them. I have saved their letters and STILL read them every once in awhile.
    I am VERY happy for you.
    2256 days ago
    as I wipe my tears, you are a good mom for letting your son grow up. He has life to experience. Good for you! My son is 37 now, and I know how it feels when they are really grown up. Brings tears to my eyes too. I think every day about our young ones in the military. I was a military wife too. It can be hard, very hard, and also can be joyful. Life brings change, and change can be really good for people.
    Enjoyed your blog.
    2256 days ago
    What a great kid you raised, and what an eye opener basic training has been for him. emoticon So use the tissues and pop your vest buttons! You done good, mom.
    2256 days ago
    I had watched that in my friend feed several times and I had a preconceived idea what it would say.
    That was a really excellent Blog, we have three sons, and letting them go with smiles and hugs and balling as soon as their back was turned.
    I totally agree with all you have said and you said it so well.
    It is great to look at those sons with love and you are correct none of them has been able to follow their dreams for one reason or another. I am happy they turned out to be kind compassionate men just like their Dad. I thought only I was shaping those men but DH most definitely gave them Wisdom. HUGS and Many Thanks to you. Pat in Maine. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2256 days ago
  • CANNIE50
    Okay, first I got chills, then I got teary-eyed. I am SO happy for you. You earned this, you and your husband so deserve this gratitude. What a wonderful young man John is, to be willing to let you know that all the sacrifice, all the tears, the worry, the sleep lost to anxiety, the time and energy spent directing and redirecting him - all so very worth it. I am happy for all of you. I, too, love that song and the message. We have to ultimately make decisions that we ourselves can stand behind because we are the ones that will be left living with the choices we have made. You have set a wonderful example for him of making poor choices (too much food for all the wrong reasons) and then owning up to it and making healthy choices and having the improved life to show for it. Nice job! emoticon
    2256 days ago
    Tears dribbled out of the corners of my eyes as I read your blog.

    Life has a way of teaching us what is inside of us, especially basic training in the military.

    I was a girl that wanted my own way when I lived at home with my parents. Dad had strict rules and in hindsight, knowing he would enforce them, kept me out of a lot of trouble I could have found myself in.

    Our parents are our first models in life. For some, their parents are not good role models.

    The military basic training has a way of causing you to recall precious memories. There is no place like "home." Your son is now able to have something to compare living at home with. I would rebel when asked to do things by my parents; in the military rebellion is squashed. You learn it is easier on yourself to comply with what is demanded of you and you think back to your rebellion when you lived at home.

    Your son is telling you, he loves you. He probably realizes it now in such a way as to not be able to word it or put it on paper just how much you mean to him.

    I would do what FLPALM said. I would frame one copy of the blog and put hers underneath it facing the opposite direction to give to him later in life or to find in your possessions some day.

    The other copy I would carry and pull it out to read when you miss him. With guys, it is hard for them to discuss their feelings. When they get together with other males, they don't talk about their feelings like females do.

    Your son is expressing that he misses you dearly and now appreciates the sacrifices you have made to raise him and to guide him. He loves you, you are HIS Mom!

    2256 days ago
    I hate to say this but I am going to say this anyway. I TOLD YOU!!! I could tell just by getting to know you that you and Jason did a fanastic job as parents!! SO heartwaming to read this. Made me teary!!! You deserve a great big emoticon . He sounds like such a wondeful young man, but after all you are his mother!!!!
    emoticon again. June will be here before you know it!!!
    DO I get to do my I told you so dance yet? (That's from Will & Grace-Debbie Reynolds played Grace's mom and she used to do the I told you so dance). I love it when I'm right!!! AM I getting to smug, sorry... Seriously so glad that things are working out.I couldn't tell you not to worry... we are moms, that's what we do best but know this, my dear friend, I am so happy for you!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    And I love the blog title. My girls thought I was crazy when I bought one of his CDS with Traveling man and Marylou. ANd he was cute too. And the girls ended up liking his songs. What a wonderful blog!!

    2256 days ago
    It is a hard lesson to learn that it is okay to have emotions, good and bad. I am glad he is accepting this! emoticon
    2257 days ago
  • AUNTIEA1959
    thank you for sharing this with us all. I had to reach for a kleenix or 2 myself while reading it. the letter you got from your son reminded me of something my mom told me about when my brother was gradusting boot camp in the Navy (coincidently, his name is Jon - no h). Mom & Dad were with my brother just after the ceremony. He was in his white dress uniform & he thanked mom for being so strict with us growing up because "it made boot camp a breeze". He didn't know his C.O. was behind him when he said that untill he heard the C.O. yell "A breeze?? Drop & give me 50 & don't get a speck of dirt on that uniform!"

    the C.O. then went to my parents & had a chat with them, his back to my brother so he would not see his C.O. grinning from ear to ear.
    2257 days ago
    I got all teary reading this too. I understand how that must feel. I am getting tiny glimpses of my "real" son again...and tiny bits of maturity too. I'm still feeling a bit shaky about getting up my hope, but I am very happy for him. I am SUPER happy for your family!
    2257 days ago
    what a wonderful blog
    God Bless
    2257 days ago
    I so needed to respond to this, but ALL FOR THE GOOD!!! I love how you opened your heart, and letter to us, and shared John's words and thoughts with us!

    As a parent, and grandparent, I want to let you know.....YOUR CHILDREN LISTEN, even when you do not think they are! Being a good parent, an example of love, understanding, and caring, THEY GET IT! This is a point, I am trying to "teach" our daughter, now the mother of two (which will become three in two weeks or less) during her "MOTHERHOOD/PARENT" younger days!

    You have taught your son well, even though you could see "HIS EYE ROLLS" hear his "HUFFING BENEATH HIS BREATH" or the numerous other "antics of any teenager!" You did WELL, my FRIEND! He KNOWS he was LOVED, his HOME is in his HEART, and always will be! Love him, teach him, and believe me, HE IS LISTENING! Trust me on this.....I've been there, done that, and learned this "myself" when I least expected it!

    Thank you for sharing....now print out YOUR BLOG, fold it and tuck it inside your wallet, purse, or whatever.....when you need to, you can pull it out read it. and SHOW JOHN, when he "HAS THIS SAME FEELING" with his own children......say 20+ years from now!!!!
    2257 days ago
    I will be keeping John in my thoughts and prayers
    and you already have a reserved spot in my heart.
    Pat yourself on the back Lady...You did a great job
    2257 days ago
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