Living creatively, love of photography, and passionate living.

Getting Through It All.

Oh, I should be in bed now.  My son has already let me know it’s past my bedtime, now that I’m back in the working world of steady paychecks. (Yea!) But I meant what I said, I love blogging and I don’t want to give it up.  I may be busy as can be right now, but I have no intentions of slowing down.  That’s just not me.  If there’s a way for me to push one more minute out of the day, believe me, I will.

And this is just another part of my life that I am getting through.  Not rushing through, not hurrying through, but living through.  And it feels wonderful! I don’t want to let all that I have on my plate right now keep me from enjoying one little minute of it.  It’s just life.  So much to do, true, but when is it not like that — at least if you are a single mother anyway?  I’m sure all parents, in general, tend to feel rushed at times.  So I know I don’t hold the trophy for busy parents.  And, Lord knows, I’ve done it long enough that I ought to be used to it by now. 

I’m just going to keep on doing what I’ve been doing and not let anything stop me from living and getting the most out of every precious moment of life!  And thanks and praise to God!

And if you’ve been keeping up with what’s been going on in my busy life, you know my son (my youngest), just graduated from high school.  It was a special moment, for sure.

Here’s the moment I lost it. 

Yep, that’s right.  From the moment that kid walked out to find his seat, I started feeling the insides of me come pouring out.  I was thankful I had my camera to hide behind and to make myself focus.  It was one of those just-bite-your-lip-till-it-bleeds moments.  A trying time to steel my emotions and keep it together. 

And if it weren’t for the giant jumbo-tron, I don’t know if I would have ever caught a glimpse of him walking past those first few steps because I was shaking so much trying to keep from breaking down while holding my camera (hence, the blurry pics) that I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to enjoy watching the moment instead of trying to record it.  (Note to self: Don’t attempt to ever take important family moment pics again or I’ll miss the times of my life!)

When my son finally did sit down, I can honestly tell you right now that I’ve never stared at the back of someone’s head for so long and with such intent as I did for those long minutes before he got up to receive his diploma. 

My eyes (and my heart) never left the back of his head.  With every sideways glance he gave his friends, with every nod, with every smile and laugh during those minutes, I thought of all the goodness that is my son.  My heart sang with happiness and pride for the long road we’ve been down to get here.  I’m not going to sit here and tell you that he’s overcome some disease or drug problem or disability.  I know there are plenty of kids that go through stuff like that.  Kids that go through troubled living environments. 

But what I will tell you is my son is the product of a divorce.  Something that he did not ask for nor did he deserve.  Nor did his sister.  My son is the product of a single-parent household.  He was a latchkey kid who had to come home to a house alone and to no adult supervision–unless you count the over-the-phone check-ups and threats to “get that homework done!”  He was responsible for his own laundry and his own snacks and sometimes his own meals so that I could keep a job and pay the bills to keep a roof over our heads. 

And never did this boy give me one ounce of trouble. 

Yes, there were the usual arguments over teenage problems like getting his room clean and staying off the video games till homework was done.  But he never ran the streets, never left the house without my permission, never fell prey to anyone who tried to steer him in the wrong direction.  He’s got a strong will and a strong sense of right and wrong.  And I just couldn’t have asked for a better son.

And if you’re tired of hearing me sing his praises, we’ll you better just stop reading now because this is my blog and I love my son! 

We are close and always have been.  I was thinking of all the times I made him peanut butter cookies while he was growing up as I watched him walk up the stairs to the stage.  I thought of the time during winter, toward the spring, when he was about 4 yrs. old and there was snow on the ground.  He’d been sick with a cold and had been wanting to go outside and play.  Finally, he got better and the sun had come out and it was warm enough to take him and his sister outside. 

I’d been telling him all about snow angels and what they were and how you make them.  The sun had already begun to melt the snow into puddles of muddy water here and there in the yard in between mounds of snow.  I was helping his sister roll balls for a snowman when I looked around for him.  I didn’t see him standing anywhere close and I sort of panicked for a second.  Then, as I walked toward the driveway, I spotted him lying on the ground, smack dab in some half-way melted snow, arms outstretched, with the biggest smile on his face I have ever seen on any child.  I said, “Son! What are you doing in that water?! You’re going to get sick again!”  He just looked up into my face and said, “I’m making snow angels, mommy.”  He was so happy.  My heart was filled with so much joy to see the joy he had inside him to just make one snow angel. 

That was one of those “just stand here and cherish it, burn it into your mind for safe keeping, and don’t ever forget it” moments. 

This day was another one of those moments.  So that’s exactly what I did.  It’s there forever.  And I will never forget how happy I was seeing the smile on his face as he felt joy again for this accomplishment in his life. 

Everything our children do are such  milestones in their young lives and something to cherish, for the moment passes so quickly.  Even a camera can’t capture that time and make it hold still forever–it’s just a glimpse of a memory already gone by.  But…it is such a joy to know that we had some part of making our children into the fine young men and women they become in life someday.  I feel proud, for him and for myself.  

20 responses

  1. Jackie Paulson Author

    Congrats! Keep on keeping on

    May 24, 2011 at 1:29 am

  2. You are such a wonderful, beautiful, loving mother. Praise on!



    May 24, 2011 at 8:25 am

    • While motherhood is so challenging, it is something I have never regretted. Cheers to all of the women–you included–who overcome obstacles everyday in order to make a good life for our children. Amen!

      May 24, 2011 at 6:10 pm

  3. aprillaugh

    Awwwwwwww. This is such a lovely piece! Congratulations! And keep the posts coming! Xxx

    May 24, 2011 at 10:17 am

  4. lovely post–it brought tears to my eyes. love the photo of your son and all the blurred hats around him.

    May 24, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    • How sweet… you must be a mother, too. We liked that photo, too! Don’t know how I did it, but love the effect it gives. Like I was able to stop time for a brief second and capture the man inside the boy.

      May 24, 2011 at 6:26 pm

  5. congrats. your pride shines through with your pictures.

    May 25, 2011 at 12:19 am

    • Thanks, Patty! I hope things have slowed down for you now and you can get some writing posted. I’m looking forwart to catching up with your blog this weekend. And you’re right, this time of their lives dose seem busier than when they were little — probably because of the amount of control we don’t have now compared to then, as you said.

      Thanks for sticking with me through this busy time! 🙂

      May 25, 2011 at 6:06 pm

  6. Awwww, I’m about to cry. What a wonderful job you’ve done, Rita. Love the photos. Congratulations! XOXO

    May 25, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    • Well, Miss Jenny, I know your boys have a ways to go till they get to this point my son is at, but it will come–make no mistake. I hope that your memories that you will look back at during that time will be as wonderful and joyful as mine were! I have no doubt that they will. 🙂

      May 25, 2011 at 6:08 pm

  7. You have a great son and you are a great mother.

    I was a latchkey child too but never had I ever received any check-ups over the phone or threats. When it comes to learning and studying, my mother firmly believes that I am fully responsible for it, whether or not I score well or I screwed up, I have to bear the consequences for my own actions. Even when I have to made a detour in my education path, she was indifferent. When I had a perfect GPA score, she simply nodded. Perhaps it was because I grew up in such an environment, there were times that I doubted her, whether she really cares.

    I teared, reading your post. I was considering whether to invite her for my graduation, especially because I never knew these might be one of the moments that mothers will not want to miss. After reading, I can feel and understand better. I am definitely going to invite her.

    Thank you.


    May 26, 2011 at 5:32 am

    • Oh, yes. You must invite her. She may not show it (my mother is one of those that showed little emotion when we were growing up because she wanted us to be strong in life–though I don’t agree with that way of mothering), but she will be very proud inside. Maybe it will come bursting through to you, but if it doesn’t, don’t think that she doesn’t love you and that she isn’t proud. She will be.

      More importantly, this is a proud moment for you to be proud of yourself. Sometimes in life we have to give ourselves what others cannot, or will not, for whatever reason. Self-love is very important for our own well-being. I pat myself on the back whenever I have done something that was a hard accomplishment, because I know what it took for me to do it. Yes, it would be nice for someone else to recognize my accomplishments (and many times, my friends do), but if there is no one there to do so, I won’t let that stop me from enjoying the moment and getting all the joy I can out of it. I hope you do the same. It makes you much more confident in life to recognize your own accomplishments and to take pride in what you deserve to take pride in having done. Congratulations and I wish you much success in your future! 🙂

      May 26, 2011 at 6:49 pm

  8. I also love the picture of your son with all the blurred hats in the background. It’s perfect! Everyone always looks the same in their cap and gown, but you managed to make the most important person stand out!

    May 26, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    • That’s exactly what I thought! It was cool to look through the pics and realize how this one makes him stand out amongst the crowd. I don’t think I could reproduce that if I tried! We’ll, I mean, I could in Photoshop. But I didn’t even have to do that in Photoshop to get that effect. Whatever happened, I’m glad it did!

      May 26, 2011 at 6:53 pm

  9. Congratulations

    May 29, 2011 at 6:51 am

    • Thank you! Thanks for visiting, too.

      May 31, 2011 at 12:41 am

  10. He sounds like a great kid. I bet he’s already saving up to take you out to dinner for Mother’s Day next year. I mean, that’s what I would do… : )

    Sincere congrats to both of you!

    June 2, 2011 at 8:00 am

    • Dinner?! He’d better be getting started on building a statue in my likeness to put in the center of our downtown area! 🙂

      Seriously, though, he is a great kid. (But I’m still going to show him what you wrote as a big-time hint on what he might want to be thinking about come next May. 🙂 )

      June 2, 2011 at 9:34 pm

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