The No’s Have It!
The last few days have been an examination of so much old stuff, finally loosed from beneath the layers of a being imprisoned into a life, long lived pleasing and taking care of others. Fully brought to consciousness this last Thursday afternoon when I picked up my son from his last day of boot camp, where he presented to me his report card papers of passing grades which allow him to start as a freshman next year. Followed by his remarks of his idea of my schedule for this summer…
I sat there just letting it all sink in as I studied the paper in front of me, which so perfectly described much of the last few years. Low grades, when I begged, struggled, argued, defended and held my breath as we got through each grade level. Till I noticed how the paper spelled out this last school year, the low grades, the lack of honest participation, the total release to allow him to suffer the consequences as he would have to figure this out for himself. Till he pushed the limit of excuses, of tardiness, sloppiness, failure to participate, and plain old “I know I can get someone else to hear my sob story” finally netted him the visit with the school offering for me, by the suggestion to try the boot camp program for him, at the only cost of having to get him to school at 7 and hang around in town an extra hour to sign him out at 6.
Now showing me the proof of trusting myself that it was the best thing for both of us, as his grades went from C’s and D’s to all A’s and B’s. Rounding out the year with completions in all subjects, perfect attendance and no tardiness from a young man who is beginning to understand I am going to have a life. I am going to take care of me, myself and I first. He is welcomed to participate, as long as he does his full share. He is responsible for all of his actions and I am responsible to say no, hold my ground, honor my heart, love myself and speak up for my rights as both mother and father, breadwinner, bill payer and fully engaged in living a life of desires, fun, and adventure. All drama can go elsewhere.
The layers of fears from others description of how and what I should, could, or better be doing, came raging out, dancing around me as I burned this humongous pile of weeds and brush that I have been digging and clearing off my place since the first lawnmower breakdown three years ago. The tears, the frustration, the confusion, and the loss of certainty from the times I had to literally almost choke on pure anger and terror of screwing up, going too far, or making the wrong move in each of the most telling steps of this long road of raising my sons. Setting them free to realize and except their full responsibilities to do and take care of themselves, so that I can live, laugh and love with or without them.
Followed by two days of discovery of several small no’s that are still tripping me up just a bit. I went to make my last two bus runs yesterday to be presented with several snacks, gifts, and leftovers from my students and colleagues. To then check my email and find an invitation from a man I use to date, inviting me to be friends on line. I was trying to be gracious, but I don’t eat any of those things, the last date ended badly, and I found myself struggling with to what to do… politely. When the total truth hit me, I still suck at saying no. I so want to tattoo it to my wrist in plain sight, paint it all across my vehicle, on every wall in the house. Till the fire was finally just a smoldering pile of ashes, as I smelled the stinkweed and soot I had been tending, tear stains down my dirty, ashen face. To look up, see the sunrise, see the four and three-quarters acres finally cleared. The grass cut, trimmed, and horses quietly grazing. As this deep, peace settled in…
I was taught to please, to take it, to tough it out, to listen, to be understanding, to care, to fix, to do so many other things. But I succeeded anyway… I taught myself to live, to love being alive, to figure things out, to adjust, to become, to choose, and if things didn’t work out. To choose again, try one more time, put just one foot in front of the other. But mostly to trust. I was and am being guided by a wonderful since of awareness that constantly beckons me forward… The light of hope, tomorrow and life!