Singing to Baby Boy: Be a Simple Man


My son graduated from high school today, and tomorrow he moves to another state. Though he will be surrounded by other family members and I know this is the next normal step for a young adult…my mom heart is breaking.

Like any parent, I want to keep him safe. I want to protect him from the ugliness of the world, the cruelty of mean people and the heartbreak of some experiences. I want to keep my little baby safe, like when he first entered my world.

I remember the little baby boy who loved to snuggle with his green turtle pillow. Oh how he loved that pillow, and oh how I miss that little baby.

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As he grew, my little blond-headed ball of energy developed a smile that could melt my heart, and any anyone else’s for that matter. His happiness was infectious.

I could have the worse day at work, but come home and play with him for hours. He (and his sister) became my light, my purpose and my reason. Those kids kept me going through difficult times. They made me want to do better, be more. I never wanted to be the cause of sadness or disappointment. So I survived, adapted and continued, even when I really didn’t want to.

We didn’t have the best life. Nor did we have the worst. However, we always had each other. Of course, there were times I sucked as a mom. I didn’t say the right things at times. I was too lenient when I should have been strict. I was too busy or tired to notice they needed me at moments. Their dad and I couldn’t make it work. And…I basically abandoned them for three years of their lives while on deployments. I can’t change any of these facts and I worry.

Did I reassure them enough? Did I discipline them enough to be strong, but kind adults? Do they know I love them? Were their future relationships harmed by the failure of their parents’? And though they now understand I had to deploy, when they were little, all they knew was that mom left. That is hard on kids, and I did it not once, not twice, but three times.

All these things swirl around in my head as the hours tick down. After saying goodbye to his friends, I will forced with saying goodbye. At dawn he will be on a flight and his next chapter begins. Yes, the logical part of me knows that I am still his mom. I can still call him. I will still see him. But the logical part of me also knows, this changes everything.

He will be out on his own to an extent to learn a skill, find a job and discover life. He will inevitably experience the pain of a crappy friend’s action, of a young woman breaking his heart and of the disappointment of failure. We all did growing up and he will be no different. Yet, I want to make sure I have told him all I can before he leaves. I want to prepare him for it all to soften the blows, if that’s possible.

I want scream: don’t be afraid to love, but be choosy; take risks, but be careful; seek adventure, but wisely; be the good friend you want to have; never do anything to anyone you wouldn’t want done to you; live with passion and embrace each and every moment you can: don’t waste precious time on anger, hate or revenge; pray for those who plot against you but avoid them; eat your veggies and proteins; make time for family and friends; work hard at something you are proud of; chose honor over money…..my head swirls with it all in these final hours. However, I know I can’t bombard the poor young man with a checklist of life’s lessons as he boards the plane.

So all I can do is hope and pray I did enough and leave him with this song, my last bit of motherly advice for a young man running off to find himself in the world.

Mama told me when I was young
“Come sit beside me, my only son
And listen closely to what I say
And if you do this it’ll help you some sunny day”

“Oh, take your time, don’t live too fast
Troubles will come and they will pass
You’ll find a woman and you’ll find love
And don’t forget, son, there is someone up above”

“And be a simple kind of man
Oh, be something you love and understand
Baby be a simple kind of man
Oh, won’t you do this for me, son, if you can”

“Forget your lust for the rich man’s gold
All that you need is in your soul
And you can do this, oh baby, if you try
All that I want for you, my son, is to be satisfied”

“And be a simple kind of man
Oh, be something you love and understand
Baby be a simple kind of man
Oh, won’t you do this for me, son, if you can”

Oh yes, I will

“Boy, don’t you worry, you’ll find yourself
Follow your heart and nothing else
And you can do this, oh baby, if you try
All that I want for you, my son, is to be satisfied”

“And be a simple kind of man
Oh, be something you love and understand
Baby be a simple kind of man
Oh, won’t you do this for me, son, if you can”

Baby, be a simple, really simple man
Oh, be something you love and understand

~~~~~~~~~~~~

For the Daily Prompt ~ Sing.

The Texture of Life


My youngest child is about to graduate and move away to start college. Like most parents, I have mixed feelings. Of course, I am proud of him and excited that he is about to start this new chapter in his life. However, on the flip side, there is a sad mom that is scared and sad that her baby is leaving.

Being a mom has been the hardest and most wonderful role in my life. I adored my kids toddler days: their chubby little hands; their funny, never-ending questions; and their pure innocent and honest faces. Oh, how I miss those days.

Now, the teenage years were different. Their cute little hands were slamming doors, their questions were laced with attitudes and their faces had moments of downright guilt and contempt. Nonetheless, these stressful times were always smoothed over with laughter, hugs and discussion. Eventually. I had a front row seat to this self development. I witnessed, and experienced, thousands of little moments.

My memories with them are the glitter in mind. They make my past sparkle, even in my darkest of days. I laugh when I think about my four-year-old daughter pushing her newborn brother around in her baby doll stroller and watching her play mommy. Now, years later, she is still pushing him around, but in ways to motivate or uplift him.

I remember watching my little blond-headed boy sit up on his knees with such interest while watching the River Dance and asking him how he liked it afterwards. His little preschool answer was classic and still true to his character today: “The boy fight dance was cool. The girly dance was dumb.” Now, his favorite things are playing paintball and driving around in his car that has its own booming stereo and light show.

There are countless other stories to tell of course, as most parents can relate. Beautiful moments I will never forget and others that still bring tears to my eyes. I wish I could have protected my children from difficulty and sadness, but I know that is impossible. All these moments, good and bad, are part of life. And it’s all those little moments that we’ve shared that have woven the fabric of our lives. Like the best fabrics, a good life is rich in reality, according to Ralph Fienness.

” Little moments can have a feeling and a texture that is very real.”

~ Ralph Fiennes~

I couldn’t agree more. Some of best memories are so very simple, yet…they are the best and most powerful. Many have built upon each other as well, forming something unique and wonderful. Not that I would wish some of the same pains upon my children, but surviving those things has made them who they are

If I were to change their past, would they still be the same? It’s hard to say and an answer I will never get. So all I can do is appreciate the young adults they are, and pray for the people they will become.

I pray that these little babies of mine will continue to blossom. I pray that they can learn to live in the moment. I pray that they can really the magnificent details in life. I pray that they can embrace the glorious textures of experience for what they are.

Overall, I hope they find happiness and come to appreciate just how wonderful they are. Though they are different, I can’t help but find both of them equally terrific, my little blooms.

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For Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Black & White.