“Like My Mother Does”… What I want for my Son.
This week, I heard a song by Lauren Alaina (yes, of course it’s country!!)….
I smiled, as I listened, and I thought about my own mum and all that she has given to me.
Apparently we look very alike – I can’t really see it. I’m tall, she is petite. I have blonde, fair hair, her’s is fiery red. My husband says we both have the same skin/complexion and shape of face…which he describes as ‘pinched’!!
I guess people see her in me with my mannerisms and how we talk, laugh etc. I’m not complaining I happen to think that she’s pretty neat. She has been absolutely amazing these past 3 years as I’ve been learning how to be a mum to little Reuben. She’s taught me all I know, given me breaks when I have been exhausted and loved me unconditionally when I have said things like “I can’t do this anymore” or “I am not cut out to be a mum, it’s too much!”. I know I would not have coped during this season (and many others) without her.
But it’s not just want she has done for me that has impacted me. I probably don’t tell her enough, but she is a real inspiration to me – she has worked hard all her life and is brilliant in her chosen career (it hasn’t come easily and there have been many sacrifices). She has faith when faith is hard to come by; she has time for people when she really should be taking time for herself; and she has endless supplies for energy to cope with a very busy work, family and church life. She’s a real gem. I am so very thankful for her – I must make sure she knows that!
But all of the above, especially the song, did get me thinking. I wonder what Reuben will get from me? Gavin would tell you he absolutely hopes he DOES NOT get my insane little fears over silly things (like dogs, thunder and lighting, driving in snow and ice and ALL types of insects). He’s also tried to ban him for having tomato ketchup (I have it with EVERYTHING!) and definitely does not use his internet radio to encourage him towards Country Music.
I would say I can already see lots of Gavin in him – especially when he’s stubborn or having a temper tantrum! But his love of life, confidence and social nature is all Gavin. To be honest, I would be very happy if he developed my love for sleep, reading, writing and music. But who knows!
Joking aside, I really have begun to think about the opportunity I have to influence my son and what I would love that influence to promote. I suddenly feel a whole weight of responsibility, even greater than that of making sure he’s not hungry, sleepy, or wet. My son spends 90% of his time with me, and possibly will, for the next couple of years I often ask him if “Mummy is his best friend”…sometimes he will say “Yes!”.
I am responsible for teaching him so much – by what I do and say and also in what I do not do and I do not say. So I began to think, if Reuben was to write that above song, what would I want him to say that he gets from me? Here’s some of the things that I’d want him to come up with:
Faith not Fear – Life isn’t easy. There’s too much we don’t know, can’t understand and just wish weren’t so. But a life that’s lived in faith, and not fear, helps to overcome so much of the unknown and uncertainty. I want faith to sustain him rather that fear contain him.
Love and forgiveness – Hurt people, hurt people. Sometimes it’s by accident, overlooking or by design. It happens to us all and by us all. But love and forgiveness cover a multitude of sins and I want him to pursue a life free of bitterness and live encompassed in love which he receives from others and freely gives.
Truth – The truth sets us free. I firmly believe that. Who wants to be held by lies, deceit or ignorance? Into the truth is often the harder road to walk, but it’s really the only one worth it.
Be sure of who is he – I’ve always struggled with this, I think many of us do. I want Reuben to look in the mirror and into his heart and be sure of who he, proud of who is he and develop who he is.
Life is not all about him – I want Reuben to learn to love, care for and serve others…even those he doesn’t like or agree with. I want him to remember that life doesn’t owe him anything and that playing his part is more important than receiving the glory.
I wrote this a couple of weeks after he was born – I’ve just come across it again:
“My prayer for Reuben is this – that he grows to live a life of forgiveness, courage and hope. A life where wrongs can be done by you and to you, but do not have to hold you captive. Where the past can be left in the past, and there is always the opportunity to move on. More than anything else, I want him to learn to believe in, live for and stand up for something that is bigger than himself.”
Those things sound wonderful but are a big challenge – I don’t measure up to the standard I want for my son. So it’s really struck me how I need to pray that God would teach and transform me in those areas, for my own well being, but also so that my son has a strong example to follow.
Being a Mum is hard – physically, emotionally, financially and spiritually. I have struggled with all of those areas and probably will continue to, over the years to come. I have come to consider it well worth it. Being a good example for my son will be difficult, there will be many times I get it wrong. However, it’s a challenge I am willing to accept – I want him to be able to say “Like My Mother Does” for all the right reasons!