5/24/2011

Perfection

Newsflash:  I'm not perfect.  My kids aren't perfect.  Even though I pretend that everything is just perfect, it isn't.  Some of OS' high school classmates graduated from college this past week, but he didn't.  It's very hard to read the posts on Facebook of the moms talking about how proud they are of their kids.  Oh, I'm proud of OS, and I'm proud of my friends' kids.   I have a pang of jealousy when I read those posts.  I'm confident in believing that the other kids' college careers didn't have some adversity; why is it that you don't hear about that?  Why is it that we have to make people believe that we have perfect lives and that our kids are perfect?  
Why do some kids have to learn things the hard way and others seem to breeze through their life?  I keep asking myself "What did I do wrong?"  During Mass on Sunday, the priest's homily seemed to be talking just to me:
So, don’t ask, “What do I do next.”  Or other practical questions, such as, “How do I keep my marriage, my kids and myself happy and holy?”  As long as we allow Christ to be near us, everything will be fine.  It may be difficult, like carrying a cross, but it will all be OK.  Just pay attention to God’s presence and you’ll get where you’re going.
Wow.  I couldn't believe he said that.  After Mass I slipped into the Adoration Chapel and said a Rosary.  Sunday, the mysteries that are meditated on are the Glorious Mysteries.   For you non-Catholics, we have "cheat sheets" to help us keep focused and remember what the Mysteries are.  Anyway, the Fifth Glorious Mystery caught my eye:  The Coronation.  "A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and on her head a crown of twelve stars."  (Rev 12:1)  The Fruit of the Mystery:  Trust in Mary's Intercession.  I felt a big weight come off of my shoulders, and suddenly, everything was okay.  I have to learn to let go and let my kids live their lives, even if it's not the way I want or thought they would.  I don't want anyone to think I'm disappointed in my boys, because I'm not.  I have great kids; each of them has their own good qualities.  Even if they're not perfect.

19 comments:

  1. Don't be so hard on yourself. We've had major struggles this year with one of our kids as well and though it's not perfect, they are finally getting back on track and we are just praying that they get into college. *sigh* Have a great day and thanks so much for stopping by yesterday from MMOM! :)

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  2. Parenting these older kids is tough! I'm sure he'll find his way to success...some take a little longer than others. I think boys especially need more time. My hubs is a good example of that. He's come a long way since those Poor Richards days : )

    I love the message you took from the sermon...I am more aware than ever that in this season of parenting there are less practical things we can do to help our kids than in the younger years. They need to make their own way which so often is not our way. Keeping them in prayer is the biggest thing we can do to hopefully make that way less bumpy.

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  3. Great words. Just proof once again that God is aware of each aspect of our lives.

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  4. Beautiful. You look at all the statistics and you know that people's lives aren't as trouble-free and perfect as a blog may make it seem, yet it also seems people rarely show the things that might make other people realize they're not alone. I admire you for opening up. I hope that OS finds his own path that leads him to happiness and that you can find peace as you watch the journey.

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  5. No one is perfect and no one's kids are perfect. Perfect is boring anyway. If we reach perfection, what is there left to do or learn?

    I was on the five-year plan in college and not just because I changed majors a few times but because I partied too much. Birdie just graduated but she hit a couple of really difficult obstacles along the way. But she persevered. And learned.

    All of our lovelies have hit obstacles in their growing up- and what makes me most proud is the way they've handled those obstacles and learned those life lessons. It's made them even stronger young women.

    My BFF and I adopted the saying- Let go and Let God. Sometimes, if we're not careful, we as parents can get in the way of what God has in store for our children.

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  6. In my family, if you don't graduate from college and make lots of money, it doesn't matter what you do for a living, no matter how many people you may help. In the man's family, it's the total opposite. I am forever seeking my parent's approval and love, whereas my husband is secure in knowing how his parents feel about him.

    OS KNOWS you are proud of him and that you love him - and THAT is what matters.

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  7. but OS is in college, right? or am I confused with MS? You know my thoughts about this, I had the less than perfect kid starting beginning of high school, LOL, so it was hard to read and see about other kids' achievements, I did worry too "what did I do wrong?" But in reality, I think we did a lot right. Our children choose their own paths after they get to a certain age and we hope they follow along with advice and guidance we have given them. Sometimes their paths are soooo different than the ones we want them to take, but they do need to discover what is best for them. If they make mistakes, we try to be there to support as much as we can and know that that in itself is a learning process too. You are a great mom, you know that, and I know your kids know you love them and are proud of them. Even with all the "icky" things son did, I would always tell him "you are a good kid, you have just made some poor choices, but you are a good kid".

    hugs to you

    (and it is okay if OS didn't go to college, I just thought he was in college, son has no interest in higher education, this is his fourth year out of high school, he did graduate, so I would imagine many of his friends are graduating college this year.....)

    betty

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  8. Awesome post, Mary! I appreciate your honesty! The Rosary at Adoration is always just the thing, isn't it?

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  9. Dear Mary, what a true and honest post. I don't know any moms who do not go through these exact feelings. I know that for me, it usually means I'm judging myself as a parent on what my children do or do not accomplish (in their short lives.) I gently remind myself that these kids are not reliving my life, mistakes and all, but their own.

    Your priest had an amazing homily and it is so true. It may not be easy, but as long as you keep your life centered around Him, it will be bearable!

    You are a great parent! You continue to sow seeds and you know what? You may not be around to see the fruits of your labor, but you WILL have fruits!

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  10. WHAT? I AM NOT PERFECT????? Just kidding...Welcome to my world....Kat and I were both 5th year seniors...neither of us could make up our minds....none of my kids....nor me are perfect....and when I finally quit trying to be....life changed. I love my kids...and I know you love yours....and life is life. Mine has never been easy....and I have had to always work hard for what I get....I always have wondered...how come...that is. Sigh! Oh well!

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  11. I have walked in the shoes you are wearing now. Trust me, LOTS of people have walked in those shoes. Parenting adult/almost adult kids is hard. Some of the posts we read about people's "Perfect Children" is pure fiction. Nothing is ever perfect all the time. And sometimes our perfect plan is not necessarily God's perfect plan. OS is on his own personal journey and he'll get there in God's perfect time. There are many things to learn and they're not all within the college walls. ((HUGS))

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  12. I really thought you were perfect.
    Kidding.
    No one is perfect and that includes our imperfect (but WONDERFUL) children.
    It is sometimes hard to NOT compare our kids (and ourselves) to others, but in the end, we have our own path to lead.
    Take care Mary!
    Suz

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  13. Mary, great post! I think there is this expectation to pretend that all is well. It's what society expects. However, as we all know, nothing is perfect. We're all dysfunctional in some way or another. Children make mistakes, as do parents. Your son is exactly who he's supposed to be right now. God is working in his life, and the fact that he hasn't graduated yet is part of that plan. His ups and downs will make him into the mature man that he will be...eventually. ;)

    I think it's important that we stay honest with ourselves and around others. That's keeping life real, and it helps others to see that it's okay to not be perfect.

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  14. I think I missed something along the way on OS. It's not easy and no matter what our dreams are for our children it is their life to live. I love that you had a weight lifted and what you said. I know that what you have been seeing on Facebook won't even matter a year from now!

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  15. I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago about how we put ourselves under pressure to never admit that we're weary, or tired, or just plain fed up. Motherhood isn't easy and we all have days where we struggle with what we think we "ought to be" or "should feel". At the end of the day we're all the same. We just go through the motions on different days. The day we're finding our kids hard to handle are they days that other mums seem to have it all down to a tee. I'll bet the shoe gets to be on the other foot though, it's just we don't realise it.

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  16. I didn't get any perfect kids, either. ;-)

    Don't you love it when you hear God speaking to you through His priest in a homily!

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  17. Your priest said to "be aware of God's Presence, and you'll get where you're going..."

    One of our homilies this week centered on joy....the awareness of God's Presence.

    Be joy-filled!

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  18. Stopping by from your comment on "Reasons for Chocolate".

    I have 4 grads now, three through college and married. I think my children are amazing people- but *not* perfect. It has taken me a long time to realize that I need to let them work on their own journey and do just what you did- pray. I suspect that many of us hoped to raise our children in a way that helped them to avoid some of the heartaches in life. That just may not be possible.

    BTW- I am jealous of your girl scout cookies (from your other post). We did not get any this year. :(

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