Monday, June 30, 2008
Ok, seems like every time I read something lately, it is negative toward cheerleaders. Blogs, emails, books etc. They do not seem to have a positive side ever. Well I must finally tell my side of this story.
I was never a cheerleader....we didn't live anywhere long enough for me to even become a cheerleader. I hated jocks (how funny is that, since Z & K are both athletes)! I had my idea of a cheerleader, probably much like the things I have read about lately. I was never in the "in crowd", in fact the school I went to for the last half of my senior year, I knew NO ONE, literally. Ok, enough about me. I just wanted you to know, I really do know both sides of this story.
For you see, I have a cheerleader that lives in my house and here is what I now KNOW about cheerleaders. Maybe not all of them, but let me tell you about this one.
During her days as a cheerleader she...
worked so hard...practicing routines, jumps, cheers. This is not just something that happens. These girls are athletes that work their butts off to look good in front of the crowd each week.
She competed as a cheerleader...winning a national competition. She was a base and got beat up all the time by girls falling on her. Again a lot of work.
She dealt with more drama than she ever wants to deal with for the rest of her life.
Even though she was a cheerleader...she loved everyone not just the "in crowd". In fact, she spent a lot of time alone...being herself dissed by some of the "in crowd" because she wouldn't be what they wanted her to be.
At graduation, there was a young man in a wheelchair. After receiving his diploma and wheeling past where my cheerleader sat, he stopped and she got up and hugged him. Later telling me that every time she saw him in school he wanted a hug. Now, how snobby is that.
She also sat next to a special needs young lady during graduation that needed help and my cheerleader helped her instead of snubbing her.
She stuck up for the under dog many times. She talked to everyone at school and worked hard at not being known as a snob.
She was accused of things she didn't do by some jealous teachers and students.
To be a cheerleader is not something that just happens...these girls work hard every year to make the squad. While everyone else is at the games doing things they shouldn't be doing or just sitting around, they are in front of the crowd cheering for their teams. And a lot of time, being talked about and critiqued about every move they made. Even by some of the teachers!!!!
My cheerleader, she worked her butt off all during school to keep her grades up, to play softball, to play volleyball, to cheer and to be a friend to those around her. There have been many times that she has been called on when "friends" have been in crisis and those same "friends" were no where to be found when she was in crisis.
So, as you think such ugly thoughts about a cheerleader, maybe you should take another look at the person instead of just the uniform. I know I had to come back and rethink what I thought when I was young.
I am privileged to call a cheerleader my daughter.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
He woke me up this morning, yes he woke me up not me waking him up, got the rest of his stuff together, gave me a big hug (he gives the best hugs ever) and off he went. I noticed he never really looked me in the eye because I know he knew I was crying. I try not to but I just do. I stood there and watched him drive away crying the entire time. I got back in my bed and cried myself to sleep. I know, what a baby I am.
I remember every time I would leave my dad, he would cry and every time he left his mom, she would cry. I can still see both of them standing in their driveways crying as their loved ones drove away. Its like a part of your heart is leaving with them each and every time.
This morning I watched a young man drive away, taking with him the little boy that I raised. A part of parenting is allowing your child to leave the nest. To take flight. I think that is what I have been so sad over with Zach leaving this time. I know its going to be forever different. He is a man now and it will never be the same when he comes home. He has found his nitch at school and is really finding himself. Don't get me wrong, I am so excited for him and what he is doing and becoming and this is the way it is supposed to be. This is what we have raised them to be and do...to fly and become independent. My role now is to be on the sidelines, there when he wants or needs but not to be the kind of parent I've been for the last 20 years.
Its the strangest feeling because I am so happy for him and so sad for me all in the same breath. Its like every thing we have done as parents is for this moment and then when it comes we are heart sick over this huge shift in life.
I know he is going to be fine...I know I'm going to be fine and I know we will always be in relationship and for that I am thankful. We are just shifting and that is wonderful or it will be wonderful, after today.
You go Zachy, you be the man God has created you to be...live life to the fullest son. I'll always be here for you!
I love you!
Saturday, June 21, 2008
FRIEND...A word that has been really on my mind the last couple of weeks. A time of really pondering what this means to me and how it works. I think because I have been in such need of my friendships and am humbled at the response and love my friends are showing me right now.
It is said that we have some friendships/relationships for a season and some for life. I believe this to be true.
What I know is...God has been ever so gracious to allow me to have several real friendships in my life. He knows that I do not have family (past my immediate family) and that I long for family and so He has given me family thru friends. Like family, its not always easy and perfect but any relationship worth having is not going to always be easy and perfect. Because we aren't easy and perfect beings...we are actually pretty messy.
Friends don't have to be people you see everyday or even live in the same state (sometimes country). The distance is only in miles, our hearts are so close.
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Lonely...isn't it amazing how we can be somewhere, with people, being active and yet feel this overwhelming loneliness.
I feel this when I'm away from family. I think, I need to get away, do something, take care of myself. Then, when I go, I just want to be home with my family.
I am away from home tonight...talked to Kristyn...told her I missed being home. She said, WHY? I said I just like being where you guys are. She said, yeh, your routine...I said just being where you all are is what I like. She said, "well if you would have been home tonight, all you would have done was hear me come in and say goodnight"...I know but I guess that is all I need most times. Just to see their faces, hug them, know that we are close together. Thats what it is all about.
I have memories of being a little girl and going to spend the night with a friend. Then, the dread came, my stomach would hurt, my heart would ache and I would have to get home. I didn't know if everything would be ok if I weren't there. Would everything fall apart if I wasn't there to keep it going. A frantic feeling would come over me and I would just have to call my dad to come get me and let me be home in my bed. The best place ever! That is exactly how I felt sleeping away from for these recent nights, I just needed to be home with my babies. It was just like being that little girl again.
I am thankful I can still have peace in loneliness...it might be peace like a river but there is a peace. I know God loves me and wants the best for me and has a plan for me. The question, will I be still and listen and then will I obey...please Lord help me to do the right thing.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
"Lord, it would be nice if You would just let me see mama bird flying in or
out and oh what a blessing it would be to catch a glimpse of those little
babies leaving the nest. Otherwise, I'll leave them to you and mama
Ok, so I was pulling up to my driveway and looking at the mailbox and low and behold this beautiful mama bird came flying out of the paperbox. She was greyish but had this beautiful blue color on her back, like the egg shells I saw in the beginning. I looked back as she was flying away and she was hovering flapping those wings, telling me to get lost. So, I gently got my mail and took a little peek and there they were, those precious babies. Mouths wide open, probably, thinking "lady you are interrupting our dinner."Thank you Lord for showing me that mama bird...I so desperately needed to see You today and what a wonderful way to show me that You are still in control and You still hear me! You are the vine and I am the branch, help me to remain in You. I read that scripture on some else's blog today and it just stuck with me. I've mulling it over since.
Just had share and I cannot figure out how to get my text to be flush to the left again. Oh well.
Speaking of leaving the nest, I have one that is definately on his way out. Zach is 20 and just growing up. I had two people comment about him after Kristyn's graduation lunch. They both said basically the same thing, Zach carried on a nice conversation, seemed so much more grown up and out going. They didn't feel like they had to pull conversation out of him. Love him, he does have some of his mama in him, the gift of conversation. Now, I didn't say the gift of gab but conversation. He still observes, takes things in, doesn't just talk to be talking. But when he talks, I need to listen, because he is going to say something meaningful. My man/child, he is making his way in this world, choosing who he wants to be and become.
It's so fun to watch but at the same time, brings HUGE tears to my eyes. I know someday soon he will leave and then some day after that he will leave and cleave and it will never be the same. I know it isn't supposed to be, but, oh how I miss him already. He gives the best hugs of anyone I know, just a big ol teddy bear.
He is going to work at a Christian Athletic camp from June 28 - August 9. Its called Camp War Eagle and he is going to be a counselor. Two guys will have 12 boys, ages he doesn't know yet, to be with for a week to two weeks at a time. I beleive God has put him here for this season. Zach wants to be a coach and this experience will help him know if that is really what he wants or not. Here is the kicker, he has already told me that he wants to move to school August 11th. Umm that is two days after he gets back from the camp. He wants to be at school for a couple of weeks before school starts. This is how I know he is leaving the nest, he is becoming more confident, less and less dependent, standing on his own two feet (as long as we keep feeding him the cash of course), and just about to step out of that nest and fly. Soar like an eagle son, if you are going to go out into this world, put your mark on it strongly, be everything God wants you to be! What an exciting life it can be if you choose what your Heavenly Father wants for you. Now, that excites me! I can sing like the mama bird sings if I know he is going to soar. I may be singing thru tears but I'll be singing for him!
I just had the smallest thought creep into my heart, have never thought this before but what if God is taking him to this place...to call him to Himself, to ministry. WOW, where did that come from :) ! Who knows...I could be completely off base. Just a thought. I mean God is always calling us to Himself, to Glorify Him in everything we do, wherever we are, no matter the circumstances. I just had this vision of Zach in a place sharing the Lord. Crazy!
Well, I've gone from itty bitty baby birds to my 6'3" man/child...interesting how God can use the smallest of things to take us to so many places.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
I began to watch the nest, not seeing anything inside but not moving it in case there was. Sometimes I am bad about not getting the paper everyday (I really just like the Sunday paper but Zach likes the sports everyday) and then I became worried that if I didn't clean out those papers everyday the mama bird might not be able to get to her nest. Last week I noticed a very small light blue speckled egg that was cracked open laying at the edge of the mailbox. I thought omg there are babies in there or something has happened to them. A couple of days ago Zach got the paper for me and I asked him if he saw anything inside, he looked and said I see baby birds. I was so excited, I got out of the car and walked over and these two itty bitty baby birds were in that nest with their little heads rared back and their mouths wide open. They didn't make any sounds but those little mouths were open. I guess they thought we were mama coming in with some groceries. I have finally seen mama bird fly out of the mailbox.
Watching this event take place has just been a sweet moment in the midst of a lot of crazy moments. I thought, how smart of that mama bird to put her nest in that spot. It is high enough off the ground that an animal walking around couldn't reach it and so well hidden. No one would know it was there. She planned well for her babies.
The Lord says, "as much as I take care of the little things, how much more will I take care of you and love you". I needed that reminder that no matter what...God is going to take care of me. He never said it would be easy to follow Him, he never said everything would be perfect. In fact, the opposite is true, He says we will have trials and tribulations but He will never leave me nor forsake me. So, like the baby birds depending on mama bird to take care of them and to keep coming back to them, I'm depending on my Father to take care of me and feed me and protect me. He knows everything that is going on in my life and He promises He won't give us anything we cannot handle.
Monday, June 2, 2008
I commented on how slow she was walking and one of the other girls said something about how we are always in a hurry and there she is taking her time.
Kristyn's response: (You must walk with confidence, don't appear to ever be in a hurry, have confidence in yourself, it will be ok)
Finally, I know why she always walks so slow and always takes the longest to get ready. She is confident and is not going to get in a hurry for anyone. :) I firmly believe she does this just to drive me crazy as well!!!!
Just thought it was a funny moment and I would share.
Well, the day has come and gone. What a sweet, precious time with my 2008 graduate. The morning started pretty early. Graduation was at 9:30 and so we all left the house by 8:00. I wanted to be sure and get good seats.
Kristyn, being the senior class president, was the first person to speak. Before I tell you about the actual event, let me share the event leading up to the moment. I had the previledge of being the one that she practiced her speach on, well, me and Little Jon our dashound. He is 13 and getting a little blind and a little deaf. Kristyn put her high heels on that she would wear during graduation (to get used to them so she wouldn't fall off of them!) and she walked in front of me and LJ practicing. Little Jon would hear those heels clicking on the floor and he would bark while Kristyn spoke. It was so funny watching the two of them. We timed the speach and it was one minute twenty five seconds long. I would watch her practice and laugh and the next moment I would feel sobs coming up inside of me...tears welling up and I would just turn my head. I would try to speak and the word would just not come because of the emotions. I just watched thinking to myself, we are making a memory right at this moment, enjoy this beth enjoy this.
Ok, back to the actual event. The graduates walked in and the girl in front of Kristyn is what we call a CBI student. She has special needs. It was so sweet to watch Kristyn take care of this girl. Ok, so the speach. She walked up to the podium with such confidence and when she began to speak, it was loud and clear. She said good things in a small amount of time. She seemed to be a professional at speaking. I was elated!
During graduation Kristyn had to continually take care of her little friend. She told me later that the girl kept telling Kristyn that her hat was falling and needed Kristyn to fix it. There is also a boy that is in a wheelchair, after receiving his diploma and coming off stage, he wheeled by Kristyn and stopped for her to hug him. She said that everytime he sees her in school he wants a hug. Now, honestly there aren't many class presidents that would give others the time of day like she does.
She is the girl that I would look at when I was in school and want to be like. The one that I thought had tons of friends and everyone wanted to be her best friend. I've heard said many times over the years that the girls who were the most popular and achieved a lot were also very lonely. Now, I have raised the girl that has done so much, been so much and been so lonely.
- been on homecoming court her 10th, 11th and 12th grade years.
- won Homecoming Princess her senior year
- played volleyball since 8th grade
- played softball since 9th grade
- been a cheerleader since 8th grade
- Co-Captain of cheerleading her senior year
- Senior Class President
- been talked about badly by the people that were supposed to be her friends
- kept her morals throughout her high school years
- when everyone gets together and goes out (usually to party) never calls Kristyn
- was accused of terristoric threat by a teacher in her 10th grade year and had to go to juvenille court,(the teacher was crazy and obviously hated kristyn and was jealous of her)
- has had three speeding tickets since getting her license (this one causes me so much worry) and the words every time she leaves, "Kristyn don't speed". The last time I told her she couldn't go to UofA if she got another one...she has slowed down or at least hasn't got caught again
She has accomplished much and has been blaimed for much. I now understand the price you must pay to be in the top of the class. She has done it with style.
After graduation we had a luncheon at our house for her graduation. There were 43 people here to celebrate her. After everyone ate lunch we gathered in the living room for her to open her gifts. I had asked a couple of people to say something about Kristyn. I wanted her to be encouraged and uplifted and loved during her special day. People said the sweetest things to her and about her and the thread was weaved of her special talents and abilities as people spoke. It was so evident that God has His hand on this child and definately has a plan for her future, plans to prosper her and not to harm, plans to give her a hope and a future.
Then, she began to open her gifts...she just took her time opening each one, never getting in a hurry. finally, someone said, Kristyn you are so slow at opening gifts. Her comment..."I want to enjoy the moment and each gift." Now, me I would have been so worried about keeping everyone and worried about what they were thinking of me. But not Kristyn, she took this time that was meant for her and simply enjoyed!
I beamed for the priviledge of being her Mom. I feel so fortunate to get to know the Kristyn that is at home...the one that walks in her high heels practicing a speach...the one that left her high heels sitting on an end table when she left...the one that pretended she was in a pageant and walked back and forth waving to Little Jon while she was practicing. The one that got to hear the speach so many times, that I knew it by heart. The one that she calls after every thing she does every day. The one she calls "Beth" with such a little attitude but Moma when its serious or she really needs me. The one that leaves her chewed gum laying everywhere for me to pick up later.
I look forward to the days of becoming her friend and not having to parent as much. I look forward to being her confidant, the once she confides everything too.
I dread the day I take her to school and leave her there, knowing things will never be the same. But, I'm so excited for what the future holds for her...excited for fun times she will experience that I never had the opportunity too.
This summer...well she works parttime at Island Tan. Thursday morning after her senior breakfast, we met for lunch at Chili's in Jacksonville. By the time I left she had applied for a job of hostess and was interviewing. There were 6 other people that applied during this time. Kristyn got the job. She will be the hostess and then work To Go also. She starts at Pulaski Tech tomorrow (Monday) morning taking College Algebra so she doesn't have to take it in Fayetteville. She went in this morning for 2 hours of training...he had her stay for an entire shift. She worked from 8-3. So, there won't be any laying around being a bum for her...she is going strong.
Thank you for allowing me to share about this sweet child of mine. She is truly a blessing from God and I am humbled and thankful to be her earthly Moma Beth.
Thank you Kristyn for allowing me the joy of being your mom! You are the best, I could not ever ever have asked for a better daughter than you!