Our kids make us uncomfortable. In a good way.
For us moms, this often starts when they are still in utero with all the physical discomforts that pregnancy brings. And the first time that it happens, it is kind of surprising. I’m sick to my stomach, my boobs hurt, I can’t see my feet and I’m glad about it.
And then they are infants and we are sleep deprived. And toddlers and we learn we don’t have as much patience as we thought. And they go off to school and get their feelings hurt by their friends or their bodies hurt by their enemies and we know what it is like to remove our hearts from our chest every day and send it off into a world that is often not kind and sometimes dangerous.
And many of us, when asked, say that we would not give up the experience for anything.
I have done many, many things I would never have done if left to my own devices, because one of my children had an interest I did not have. It has pushed me outside of my comfort zone and forced me to grow.
My oldest was three when I got free tickets to a baseball farm-team game. He was enthralled. Thousands of baseball games later, he is a Division II baseball coach. I didn’t learn to love baseball as much as he does (probably not possible) but all those hours spent in a lawn chair in the midwest summer taught me how to make small talk with other parents, which was painful for my introverted, single-mom self. But, I’m glad I learned how to do it. You can plunk me down almost anywhere English-speaking and I can make people feel relaxed and comfortable.
My daughter wanted to take Tae Kwon Do, so I enrolled her. Then her brothers, and when I saw how much fun they were having, I enrolled myself. I’m never going to sign up for a Mixed Martial Arts fight, but I know enough to defend myself against someone shorter, older and weaker than I am.
My youngest is a rock and roller. He plays drums, electric guitar and electric bass. My album collection in high school included Joni Mitchell and Harry Chapin. I liked folk music and acoustic guitar. But, now, I find that I can really appreciate and enjoy music that makes my house shake.
By encouraging them to pursue their dreams, my world has gotten bigger and my life is the richer for it. Thank goodness. Otherwise, I’d probably still be in my room reading library books.