Thursday, February 21, 2013

My Sam

My firstborn son turned six this week! Six sounds old to me, because I remember being that age so well. The new awareness that my baby is growing into a boy has caused me to stop a moment and reflect on these years. Sam has been far from an "easy" or "ideal" child to parent. In fact, learning how to be his mother has often felt like one challenge after another! There have been many times when I have struggled with disappointment, frustration and even bitterness about how difficult it has been to interact with and train my son. As someone who always longed to be a mother--I thought I would naturally be good at it! I failed to take into account that each child is different and there is no clear guidebook on how to nurture them. I also didn't recognize how much I still needed to grow and mature! Looking back, I see how lame my view of Christian parenting was. I would be the mature, happy mother, naturally pouring out unselfish love for my child, and he, in response, would love me and of course my God too. My child would never be compelled to scream in anger at me, or stomp away in defiance. And I would never lash out in my exhaustion or complain about him to my friends! oh no, I would not do such things.

HA! God gave me Sam first, and I am so glad He did. What felt like a slap in the face, was an act of grace. Mothering Sam has humbled me in ways I never could have been otherwise. Parenting an intense, persistent, sensitive, emotional child has forced me to face my weaknesses. I quickly learned that I cared too much what people thought of me. I found out that I get really impatient and angry without consecutive sleep. I became aware that I had trusted my own wisdom/ability too much and rarely asked for help from God or others. I discovered the depths of my selfishness. I saw that I found my identity in being in control of myself. And I could go on... but you get the point. My journey of motherhood has been arduous. But after six years, I can say that God has used these challenges to help me grow on so many levels! Sam is still a more-challenging-than-average child to raise, and I still feel completely lost and even angry at times. But I am learning to love him--for who he is--and love him well. The Lord has graciously opened my eyes to see that *I* am the core reason that my relationship with Sam isn't what it should be! It is my responsibility to delight in my child and patiently train him and serve him even when it hurts. And as I learn to do this, I am able to enjoy the many wonderful things about my son! And as he feels safe in my love, he is blossoming in his love for me and motivated to mature in other ways too. This is exactly as it should be--still my fireball Sam, but with a tender heart. I am a far better mother because of this complicated boy. 

I haven't publicly praised Sam enough. For my closing thoughts I just want to record a few things I love about the Sam I am now able to see with new eyes:
He is passionate about everything he does.
He is such a tender and fiercely protective brother.
He loves to show physical affection to all, especially his Mama. 
He makes friends with everyone.
When he is happy, his joy overflows. 
He is super fun.
He thinks about and questions important things. 
He enjoys learning.
He loves participating in almost anything. 
He is a very good helper and rarely complains when I ask him to fetch things for me.
He loves his family.
He cares deeply when he knows people are hurting and wants to do something.
He is good at sharing. 
He is trustworthy and reliable. 
He's a sweetie. 

And he's my firstborn sweetie. I'm so grateful for what I learn both from knowing him and being his Mom. Love you, Samuel Parker, and can't wait to see the man you will become! 


Christie Minich said...

((((BECCA)))), that was a beautiful post and tribute to Sam. :)

Susan said...

Well put sweet girl. I'm know you've learned a lot and that he is what God has for you, but I'm sorry for him and for you, that it has been so exhausting. It's hard to hold on to joy when you are exhausted. Thanks for pressing on. I know you are both worth the effort!!!

You are a better mama than you realise in those defeated moments but humility will keep the door open between you in ways being "right or perfect" never would. Thank you for being a faithful mama and not giving up on my dearest boy!

Susan said...

ps, you probably have a better idea raising him, of why Nana "gave up" on me in so many ways (-: And as everyone says I have a lot in me like Joe, you probably have a double dose of whatever "it" is...