I am a control freak. I want to keep it all under my thumb. And I find that I am under major stress when I cannot do so. And the inner turmoil overflows and goes out to anyone who crosses my path. This is not the pretty me. This is the needy, whiny, annoying me. I do not like that particular part of me. I have been a closet control freak up until the last year.
It has gotten so much worse.
Example: A few weeks ago my boys had MPA's (music assessments) that they missed a half a day for. That night they went to Disney with the band and missed Thursday and Friday of school, got home Sunday morning at 6:00 AM and had to go to the school's musical practice which would open the following Friday night. They had practice every night from 3:30 - 9:30. They were tired. They were overwhelmed with work they had missed. They have 2 AP courses a piece plus honor band weekends coming up...and another ACT test. Not to mention it was the end of the quarter and one of them had a letter grade I cannot even say out loud. And to those of you who read this who were part of it - and heard my freakish tirades - please forgive me.
I was a mess. Of course I was sorry for them. This is too much for them to bear! Mama was going crazy. I voiced my fears to the assistant principal. Then to the band director. And pretty much to everyone who would listen to me. I was about to have a nervous breakdown. I wanted to fix it all. Give them more time. Move the musical (ha - as if). I wanted to blame people. It was all so unfair!
I had sound advice. This is good for them. Great life lesson. Life will be packed and they will have to put their nose to the grind stone and slug it out...yes - I heard it all. I felt I knew these things, but it didn't help. I was a wreck that week.
They did great. Yes it was hard. Yes they were exhausted. They recovered. All that energy I spent - the angst. Not to mention making myself look like a blooming idiot to all of the people I admired and respected. So ridiculous!
It was good for them. They managed just fine and I came through - somewhat smarter for the experience.
Since then, upon occasion I have reflected on my maniacal behavior. I have never considered myself a control freak. I am not a helicopter mom. I tend to be fairly laid back. That has all changed lately. I would like to say it is menopause. But though I understand that can in fact make you crazy, I do not believe that is what is happening here.
This may seem like a digression - but stay with me - I have a point
I see the Pampers commercials. The one where the mom is holding her newborn and kissing those sweet little rosebud lips and so emotional - the sweet feet and hands. I tear up. Every time. That is by far my favorite era of life so far. Being home with my babies. I poured myself into them. I loved them so well. And they loved me well. It is my favorite job to date. If I could go do it all again I would: the all night up with gas, the weaning from passies, the potty training. I would gladly go back and do it all again. I would fight harder to stay home with my youngest. I missed a lot of those moments in having to start work. But all of that to say my little world was safe. I controlled it. I tried going out with girlfriends initially, but with the feeding of the tiny two, and being they were in fact - tatty babies - and would not take the bottle - yep - all on me - the control freakishness was there - I just didn't define it that way. They woke up at 5:30AM went back down for nap at 8:00AM woke up for lunch and play time 10:30 - 11ish and then went back down at 2:00PM - slept until around 4:00 woke up for dinner and playtime with daddy and back down at 7:30PM. And that is probably why I would go back and do it all over. They were such good sleepers! They were so funny! But I protected that world. I knew it was just a short period of time I would have them that way. I loved every minute of it. Now anyway. It was so worth all the hard things.
As they have gotten older it was not too terribly bad up until the last couple of years. Their friends I didn't know the moms of, having to make decisions on whether to let them go do things that were new. And then when they all started driving I noticed a new cray cray feeling going on inside of me. I no longer entered into the equation once they left the house. It was all on them. What I had poured into them I had to trust was going to keep them safe while they were out. When they started dating (oh Dear Lord help me - and He does), I had to put their hearts in my Father's hands. And it happened, a broken heart. And he lived. He thrived - amazingly enough - with very little of my input. I prayed as they left that every cautionary tale and life lesson would prick their consciences when they left in that car.
And things happened to their friends. One died in a car accident coming home late one night. So many things that I pray over. And over. And over. Keep them safe. Bring them home to me.
Deep breath. I read the blog about putting the basket in the water. I know the trust I have to place in God each time my babies go out that no matter what happens I will have grace to deal with it.
(If you haven't read it - you should - go HERE)
And beyond that - it is not about the kids. My husband lost his job due to the economical climate about 8 years ago - maybe more now. That rocked my world too. That is when I started having to work and it was a dark time in my life. The security I felt in my controlled world was so messed up.
9/11 - was the first time I felt unsafe. Really unsafe. I remember dealing with that because my world got rocked and I could not FIX it. I can fix most things. As time goes by - I realize I cannot fix everything. And it is hard on me. Because I want to. Desperately.
So my prayer has become more along the lines of trusting God in all things. To BELIEVE that even the hard things I will be able to cope. I pray that I can be confident in this as things move forward. I pray that I will not spew my crazy all over the place when I am placed in a pressureful situation (yes I know pressureful is not a word- it should be). Even beyond that, that my faith will grow so that I do not have crazy to spew all over the place.
I am not as laid back as I once thought. I think that has been more about containing my worry and keeping it to myself - because I am indeed a control freak and my little world, which contains my husband, my babies - and my extended family and close friends, cannot be controlled. And the more I see it, the more I writhe against the inability to change some things.
But I cannot.
And with that - I have to lay that dern basket in the water. Again. And again. And Again.
And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again, “Behold, I and the children God has given me.”