Starting school, making friends and my hopes for my children’s future

As the school year begins, I have been thinking about my childhood a lot.  I actually have a friend who I have had since I was 5 and a neighbor that became family when I was in 4th grade.  Since then, I have gathered a great group that have made me who I am today.  My “oldest” friends are the ones who know a little piece of me that no one else knows does. They have been there since the beginning.

As the school year begins I think about how my children are starting their “beginning.”  When they go to school they hopefully will find forever friends like I did.  All too soon they will be listening to those friends more than they listen to me and that is terrifying.  Other influences will guide them through school, sports, nights out, big dances, academics and everywhere in between.

These are the people that they will laugh, cry, and grow with.  They will think that the world has ended with a break up and think that missing a party will ruin their lives forever.  They will lie to me, hide things from me, and grow in a blink of an eye.  I just pray that we have raised them well and that their choices in friends have had the same.

They are growing up in a world that is filled with so many more challenges than I ever had to face.  I think we are the first generation to say, it was easier when we grew up.  Social media didn’t run our lives.  Our bullies said it to our faces.  As cruel as it was, it wasn’t the massive amounts of people who can hide behind a screen to say words that crush someone’s soul.

Our football players fought with their fists.  Now they fight with guns.  I wasn’t fearful for my safety.  Columbine shook our lives with the unheard of massacre of many.  Now it’s a part of life that you can’t fly, go to school, the movies, work or a playground without being on high alert.

We didn’t sit at home searching the internet.  We were out riding our bikes and playing endless hours of baseball.  My neighbors watched me and an army of adults were in contact with my parents.  I was held accountable for my actions by everyone.

If I got in trouble at school, I would be sure to hear about it when I came home.  Being a teacher, my student’s parents would blame me for their child’s actions.  They had  little follow through with accountability thus raising an entitled generation with little remorse.

I trusted the teachers and coaches that I spent countless hours with to strengthen and make me a better person.  Are teachers even allowed to do that anymore, or do they just hand them standardized tests?

The only person taking pictures of me was taken by my mom to be put into a family album, not spread on the internet for the world to see.  I grew up with privacy and felt safe.  I have happy, happy memories of my adolescence but remember it not being easy.

My children’s lives will not just be uneasy, it will hands down to hard.  And as a mom I’m so worried about it all.  Right now their tiny hands fit in mine when we cross the street and I pick their play dates.

Some day they will be embarrassed of me and go places that I’m not sure exactly what that they are  doing.  At that point I will rely on the way that we have raised them and their  forever friends that they have chosen.

My babies will always be my babies and they will be thrown into a grown up world well before they will be ready.   As my daughter stands before me in her princess dress I can practically see it as a homecoming dress. I can only hope she wants a beautiful ball gown that makes her glow from the inside out instead of a skimpy dress that she feels appropriate in this overly sexualized world.

As my son runs around in his super hero shirt, I pray he will be safe and this world won’t need saving.  He thinks he can fly and has super strength.   He already has made everyone’s lives better that knows him.  I just hope his ambition and spirit never fades.

I see their innocent smiles and I just want to freeze these moments in time so I never have to see them cry.  I just want to hold them and keep them with me forever.  But I know I can’t do this.  I want and need them to find those forever friends to be something that I can’t.

I need my daughter to understand that although boys are great, every girl needs really good friends.  Men try their best to figure us out, but friends don’t need to.  They just get it!

Their friends will get them through things that really matter when they really matter.  I want them to accumulate all of the wonderful memories that I had and continue to have with my friends that I love so much.

I don’t feel old enough to say that I have friendships almost 30 years but I do.  I’m not sad about my age.  I am proud that I have achieved so much and created so many important relationships during this time.  I’m so happy that I am secure, confident, loved and stable in so many ways.

I no longer have people in my life that are unimportant and as a girl it takes a long time to be happy with yourself and I am.    Life can be so hard yet so wonderful.  I can just pray that my children find people to get through the hard parts of life that I can’t be there for and make the wonderful memories all that sweeter.

May they grow to be happy and healthy.  May they find forever friends who guide them to make good choices and as they guide others.  May they laugh and value people for who they are inside.  May they teach others while they learn so many lessons.   And please God, may they be safe!  As they leave my nest of safety I trust you will watch over them and that the good people of this world will do the same.

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Key to happiness with Migraine

My happiness

My happiness

The key to happiness….hmmm.  I think just like beauty, happiness is in the eye and mind of the beholder.  I have always been very happy and grateful for my life.  I have had a life surrounded with people who love and support me along with privileges that not all people get the opportunity to have.  But instead of taking this for granted, I’ve been happy and tried to give back in gratitude.  I’ve had low times that I consider the migraine blues and it’s only natural.  Being in chronic pain is depressing and often times difficult to look forward to the future when the future consists of more pain and potentially levels of pain that seem unprecedented.  But as the question asks, does overcoming hard times allow for greater happiness?  I can say that I see life differently especially after having cycles that seem unending.  The day a migraine cycle ends I’m happy in a whole new way.  Music sounds sweeter, the sunshine feels like sunshine should, I smile, and I even laugh…..a lot.   A positive attitude is something I try to keep and mentally remind myself to stay in because the alternative does nothing but bring me down.  I’m happy because I choose to be happy a lot of days.  I surround myself with positive people and people who I am positive around.  I’ve never been the girl to have shady friends.  I have a large group of girl friends and they are real.  My friends; high school, college and beyond, I consider to be keys to my happiness.  They aren’t a group of women who tear each other down.  They build each other up to levels that can only be brought to by positivity.  I laugh with my friends and I cry with them.  But after I leave them, I’m always happy and fulfilled.   It is not uncommon for me to text my friends immediately after they leave because I miss them the second we are apart.  My dog is another key to happiness.  She’s this hairy, sometimes smelly, thing that walks around with my socks in her mouth yet she makes me smile.  I hit the jackpot to happiness when I found my husband.   I laugh and smile with him like a school girl with a crush and we have been together for more than 10 years.  In my dad’s speech at our wedding he talked about how my husband seems to take me out of all my bad moods and it’s the truth.  I may have bad days, but every day with him is a happy day.  While speaking of my dad and family, they aren’t the key to my happiness, they are the door.  You have to get through them to get to me.  They lay the foundation to my happiness and continue to build the concrete walls to my house of happiness.  Lastly, the biggest keys to my happiness are my babies.  How can I not be happy when I created the 2 most perfect beings on this planet?  Their hugs, laughter and kisses fill my soul.  To say I knew love before them would be absolutely correct.  But putting into words how much I love my children and how happy they make me would be impossible.  So what’s the key to happiness?  For me, people.  The things I do with those people and the love I give and get from those people.   Without those people I would not be able to be happy and positivity would be difficult to sustain.  I may suffer from chronic migraines but it hasn’t stopped my happiness.   Life isn’t easy, that’s life…but with my keys, I’m happy!