Ever see the play/movie Gypsy? The jist is that the mother is so determined to make her daughter a star, live out the life she always wanted, that she turns her daughter into a stripper. It sounds more raunchy than the story is but it’s about a mother forcing the child to be something that she wasn’t.
I struggle so often with Drew because I want him to be something different. Actually seeing those words in front of me sounds more harsh than the reality of our life. It’s true though. I want him to be the kind of person that walks up to his loving, devoted great-grandparents and gives them a big hug and a kiss. That’s not him. It’s not that he’s not warm, he’s just not comfortable being outwardly warm like that. I could give a laundry list of how I want him to be more academic, more open minded with his interests, more flexible in circumstances, etc. etc. The bottom line is that he is, who he is.
Sometimes with children, they don’t have a choice. He may not like greeting my grandparents warmly, but it is polite to do so. So I make him do something that he doesn’t enjoy. But to force him to do guitar lessons or join the chess team would be an effort in futility because that’s not who he is. There are some times, as mentioned with my grandparents, that its necessary to push him but there are other times, I’m learning, that I’m better off letting him be.
I never thought of myself as a mother who would stand in the curtains shouting “sing louder Gypsy Rose Lee” (from the play/movie). But there are times I see myself becoming that.
Drew can tell you any stat in the world about any sports team out there. It’s amazing. It’s not necessarily a skill I ever recognized nor dreamed up for a child of mine but it’s an unbelievable skill of his. I try to focus on the things about him that I am so impressed and proud of, rather than his shortcomings. A lot of this level of parenting has taken me awhile. I can’t help but want him to “sing louder” in my heart at times.
On the heels of Thanksgiving and how very thankful I am for my children. I’m going to try an embrace a level of acceptance. I owe it to them for blessing my life with their presence. And despite the fact that they may sometimes say or do things that displease me, I’m so very thankful that I have them.
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