Saturday, August 24, 2013

0 to 17...self discovery while parenting my son

There was laughter.

There was cheering.

People shouting.

I thought someone was gonna break out into a church praise dance!

Where was I, a concert? A pep rally?

Nope, I was at Senior Parent Night.

The class of 2014, or shall I say the parents of the class of 2014.

The place was wild. Hummingbird tagged along with me and kept giving me warning looks of "please stop screaming and clapping, you're embarrassing me!"

Hummingbird, my reminder that I am not at the finish line yet, like some of the other parents at the, the pep rally, no the Senior Parent Night. Oh well, I kept right on cheering. After all, this is a monumental stage of my life. Of course, the flashbacks have already started. Yogli has helped shape who I am as a person. During each of his stages of growing up, he wasn't the only one learning.

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I should have known that I would be in for years of learning with Yogli because he entered the world on July 4th, 1996. 4th of July baby, the year and month the Olympics were held in Atlanta. I recall being driven through downtown Atlanta, seeing the flames of the Olympic torch. Who knew a few months from then, I would be a single parent. Yogli was proof that I could do it and do it well. For once, it wasn't just about me. There was someone else to consider. At this moment, I was taught strength and perseverance.

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We spent Yogli's toddler years living with my parents. My mom became the babysitter and this happened at an opportune time in her life. Before Yogli was born, she had sunken into depression. Having a toddler around has a way of awakening one's spirit, among other things! While they bonded, I focused on working. When he turned 3, I embarked on a new journey of my career.  During this time, I experienced so much favor from so many different people. The favor began to rub off on others around me. My mom got a job at Yogli's school, further awakening her spirit. This stage taught me to have no fear of the unknown.

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There was a lot going on here. Change was all around us. Out on our own. Bought my first house. Stable career. New relationships. Learning how to integrate being a mom with being someone's wife. Learning how to have a husband learn how to be a father to a child not biologically his. Steady as she goes. Lesson here was "just keep swimming."

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This stage opened with Yogli trying to adjust to a more structured learning environment. Here is where I learned the importance of being an active parent. My involvement had such a positive effect on Yogli. During this stage, my support system developed. I built relationships with people who would become influential in Yogli's life, helping me to, basically, raise him. It's amazing how those people became closer to me than my own family. This stage also brought both a new edition to the family and an exit a couple of years later. The latter part of this stage ushered in many emotions, wasn't sure I would make it. Lesson here was to strip everything down and start anew. Easier said than done.

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Oh my! Way too much happening here. Loosing control, can't keep up. Emotions running high. So much fear. Middle school was a blur because we were in the rebuilding stage. Familiar territory for me and Yogli but now we had Hummingbird to consider. Yogli went into Protector mode. This stage still makes me emotional, so much happened here. During this stage, I learned that I was lost.

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Discovery! Not just for me but for Yogli as well. He was branching out, hanging with friends, an all around teenage boy. During this stage, he learned that he could entrust me to MonkeyMan, no longer having to be my protector. Seeing him take responsibility for himself is a clue that I've done something right. There are only a few more months left in this stage, can't sum up the lesson learned here yet. Well, maybe partially. So far, I've learned to live and let go. I've learned that everyone makes mistakes, but few own up to them. I've learned that I can parent as well as have a life, to be a wife to a husband who is fathering two kids that are not his own, but who he treats as his own.

Yogli developed into a great kid that most parents would love to have. Grades have been an issue, but overall, it's been great having him as my kid.

So, you already know that I am gonna keep this concert, er...pep rally, Senior Parent year thing going, right? After all, we both are about to enter new territory yet again.

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  1. HI Tiffany, I was you last school year, a combination of pride, fear and sadness, in that order made it (pride) he is driving himself to school now, oh no, friends in the car, driving in the snow, talking on the phone, you get the idea (fear)and where did my baby go? the chubby curly green eyed baby turned into a slim, military hair cut kid working part time at the school for his theater production class (sadness). He graduated last may and while is working this summer he is trying to decide what to do in college. Hand in there mom! It's going to be an emotional ride this year for you! Can't wait to read some more...on a side note...I have to start all over again because I have a 5 year old ready to start K this september, LOL...yeahhh...I know what you're thinking...don't ask...hahahhahaa Lizy

  2. Hi Lizbeth!
    The years fly by so fast! I am proud but yet sad because he won't be in the house as much anymore. And yes, I am right there with you, my daughter is 7! So, I certainly won't be bored.

  3. This is so easy to relate to, my son went off to college last year, and though he calls regularly, I still miss him all of the time.

    Thank you for linking up to Super Sunday Sync.

    1. Hi mail4rosey,
      It's gonna be weird not having him in the house! Not sure how often he will call. He went away last summer for a week and did not call, I had to initiate the calling. So, it will be interesting to see how the regular the ocntact will be. Thanks for having me over on Super Sunday!

  4. This is bringing up so many feelings inside of me! My oldest just started kindergarten a few weeks ago, so I'm still adjusting to him growing up and (gradually) away from me. It's such a complex mix of emotions...Anyway, thank you so much for your post. It gave me a glimpse into what the future holds. Blessings to you!

    1. Thanks, Dara!
      Wow, I pulled out his storage box of stuff, all the way from PreK to now! I cannot believe how much he grew, I mean I am talking pics, old programs from plays he was in, certificates. Amazing, I raised that, my own product about to be showcased to the world! Definitely cherish this kindergarten experience.

  5. That was a really nice summary of your son's and your milestones. We are still in the early stages here ... both of mine are in elementary school 4th and 1st grade this year. I try very very hard to live in the moment and really enjoy them for who they are now.

    New to following you from MBC!
    Let's link up through networked blogs!

    1. Hi momof2,
      you're at a great stage, seeing them grow at this age. I think these early stages show you a glimpse of how your relationship will be once they are teens. Yes, teens change but sometimes not for the worse.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Thank you for sharing your son with me, it is amazing how quickly they grow up. My daughter is your son's age and I can't believe how much she has grown up over there years and is turning into a fine young lady.

    1. It's so good to hear that other moms have good teens. There are so many horror stories of teens gone wrong! And, yes, they grow up so quickly. I am trying not to freak out about graduation and then going off to college. But I know that I've got to hold it together so that he won't freak out!Good to hear from you again, Christy!

    2. I am not ready for her to leave home yet. She is a sophomore in high school this year and it is going by fast. I can't believe that she will graduate in less than three years.

      I hope that your son has a great year.

    3. I know Christy. The thing I keep telling myself is that I know what I've put in him. Soon, we will see if he will stick with that stuff or go different way. Our kids will do fine and because we are doing such an awesome job at raising them, their visits home will seem like they never left!

  7. Aww... My son is now 19. He graduated last year from high school and is now a college kid. It's been fun! It sounds like you're raising him well! Thank you for sharing him with us @ My Favorite Posts SHOW OFF Weekend Blog Party!

    The Wondering Brain

    1. Ok, sis, you gotta tell me how to make this transition fun! It's awesome that your son is off in college. As always, thanks for having me over on the Weekend Party!

  8. Oh, my goodness, I LOVE this post! I kept going back to re-read it! So many women can relate to it. Thank you for sharing your story and your son's growth!

    Maria @

    1. Hi Maria,

      Thanks so much for reading this post. It's hard yet rewarding to see your kid grow up. Does the heart good to see that they've grown into an awesome person.

  9. Congrats, Mama! I am on the early end of these years and I admire you for surviving it all!! :) Lovely post!

    1. Thanks, Jessica!
      I would be lying if I said it was all a walk through the park. Especially the time when he wanted me to turn his naturally curly hair straight by perming it!!!!! Hilarious, but I think those types of things that helped to shape him into the young man he's become.