Have you ever felt you just don’t measure up as a Mother? Believe me, I am pretty sure we all feel less than perfect when it comes to being the most influential person in your child’s life, the biggest responsibility we are given. After all, as they say, kids don’t come with an instruction booklet. We are all thrust into this land called motherhood with little experience.
Louis was always a sensitive and sweet boy. He was quick to hug and kiss and always brought a smile to our faces with his dance moves and his love for entertaining all of us. His heart was pure and his spirit was gentle.
When he was around ten years old his Father decided he needed a little toughening up. He registered Louis for Pop Warner Football, a sport Louis had never shown an interest for.
At the time I was working in a management position, a very rewarding but requiring position, with a large financial services company. My work schedule was demanding. Fortunately Tom’s job as a manufacturers rep allowed him flexibility so he was available for our two smallest children. He was a hands on Dad able to pick up the slack when I had to be at the office.
We had bought a small pair of cleats and the equipment required to join the little league football team hoping to muster interest from our gentle little guy. And, the day finally arrived when he was to report to his coach and team. Unfortunately Tom had an appointment he could not reschedule so he dropped Louis off at the practice field with some encouraging words and a big hug and watched as Louis slowly made his way to the group of players assembled around the coaches.
My cell phone rang while I was at work and I picked up the call from an unfamiliar number.
“Is this Louis’s Mother?” she asked.
“Yes, I am Louis’s Mom, is he all right?” I replied.
“Well, he is but he seems a little upset at the moment. He has been sitting on a curb in the parking lot crying.” she said.
I felt my heart fall suddenly deep to my stomach. There is no worse feeling than to know your child is upset and you are a twenty minute car ride from him.
“I’m on my way, can you stay until I get there?” I replied.
The kind lady agreed and I grabbed my purse and ran to my car.
When I reached the field, I could see Louis still sitting on the curb wiping the tears away from his freckled cheeks as this angel of a Mom sat next to him, soothing him as best she could.
“I don’t want to play football.” Louis pleaded through the tears. “They want me to hit and be rough.”
That day ended Louis’ football career. But, as God would have it, he took up the game of golf, which he was perfectly suited for. And he loved it and was highly competitive.
When I reflect over the years of raising our children, there are many mistakes we have made. But, we have honed and sharpened our parenting skills over the years. And while we still make mistakes, the good far outweighs the bad.
God gives us charge over these little mini-humans and leads us along the way. If we raise them in faith and love, praying for them and providing a solid foundation, the little mistakes serve as lessons that strengthen them right along with us, as parents.
Today, Louis is the proud father of two little children and one on the way. He and his wife are figuring it all out too, just as we did and our parents before us.
Don’t be so tough on yourselves. Use each lesson as a tool to grow your skills. The rewards are greater than any other gift you are given.