Tag Archives: mom

Clapping and Crying with all the other Moms

I always weep at endings.

The end of the school year slays me every time.

More than any other ending, it marks time for me. The slash on the calendar is dark blood red. This ending has been earned. Yet I don’t want it.

The door closing feels heavy and even though I know I have no power to stop it, I feel like running toward it, asking nicely if it could take it’s time…close slowly…tenderly…give us a few more days.

The slamming seems final. And it is.

Another year of lunches and rides and notes and homework…the cycles of sports and choir and band and art…the friends that hurt and the friends that helped us heal…the joy of newness and the scary stuff…the failing and fumbling and the tears.

All the laughing and running and playing is dying down over here.

No more Barbie Jeep, no more sparkly streamers hanging from handlebars.  No one wants to play on the slip and slide.  I remember days of baby pools and strollers and swing sets…the messiness…the laughter…the living.

Star Wars figures have taken their place on the shelf…dusty and alone.

I’m wandering around the house trying to look busy (to who? I don’t know? The busy police?)…trying to be busy to take my mind off the ending.  But I just wander…not really understanding how I feel.

I look at the bookshelf…a safe place to get lost for a while.  The books mark our journeys from Junie B. Jones to John Green and I can’t seem to part with any.  It’s like a living scrapbook of words that have fed our souls and kept us company.  We will never have too many books. They are our friends…constant and reliable.

I just saw a friend who is moving in a week.  She welcomed us when we moved into the neighborhood 11 years ago.  We have had many a cup of coffee and a glass of wine while the kids played and the years passed. I love her. She was boxing up things and I was in her empty house and I just couldn’t take it.  We both just stood there and cried. No words.

Another ending.

I always weep at endings.

The last of my kids finish up at elementary school this year.  The adorable, loving, little, everyone knows your name elementary school.  The place where they have taught and nurtured and loved my kids for 11 years.  Talk about the end of an era.

We “Clap out” our kids at the end of school.  All the parents line up and clap while the 5th graders march out.  I think they should call it the “Cry out” for me.  I’m anticipating weeping at that ending too.  Hey! We should call it the clap and cry out…clapping and crying at the same time pretty much sums up motherhood.

Weeping seems bad, right? Like I’m unhappy. But I’m not. I swear.

I’m just confused.

How did I go from eagerly anticipating my first baby to having three kids out of grade school (and two in high school!)?

How did I go from spoon feeding peas to worrying about drinking and driving and dating?

My son said the other day that he “hates change”.  He said, “Change is bad”.

Oh no I thought…I have to help him see change in a positive light…change is the only thing we know for sure will happen.  We have to get used to it.  We have to accept it.  It’s not bad…right?

Maybe he thinks it’s bad because I’m over here crying looking at baby pictures.  What have I done?

I specifically remember my mom talking to me about this.  Many times.  It’s an ending sure but it’s a beginning too…or it’s a beginning and it’s exciting and you are happy but the reason you are crying is because it’s an ending too…how many times over the years are we in that space…that in between…the ending and the beginning.

The sadness and the excitement…the saying good-bye and saying hello.  It doesn’t even matter how many times…I always weep at endings.

I remember once I was crying on the phone to my mom during the college years…I was distraught…things were changing…I just had a break up…I was down.  This is what she said to me…no joke…and it worked…”Honey, seriously, stop crying…wash your face, put on some lipstick, get a Diet Coke and Get out there.”

Diet Coke and lipstick…the cure all.

And now I’m the mom. I have to buck up and give the advice now.

Of course I can’t tell my son to put on lipstick.  What’s the equivalent for a boy?

And telling them to have a Diet Coke seems archaic like I didn’t get the memo…so do I say…have an organic green smoothie?  That doesn’t have the same ring to it.

How about this?

Change is part of life.  It’s difficult and it’s okay to cry.  When we cry, we know we are most alive because our heart is feeling things.  When we are sad to move on it means we have loved where we have been and that is a gift.  A treasure.  You are building your story and God is moving you along as you become who you are meant to be.  You take all of this with you.  All of the memories, the people, the experiences, the feelings, the knowledge, the wisdom…you are like a sponge and you absorb it all.  Things are changing yes and so are you – you are ready.  Be grateful. Take a minute.  Let the grateful tears fall…acknowledge that you are a little scared of something new…recognize that you were comfortable and that felt good.  But part of life is getting comfortable being uncomfortable.  Learning that you can do hard things.  Trusting that all will be well.  It’s time to move on now.  You do not go alone.  Dad and I are with you every step of the way.  And God is with you…he knows what you need and He can’t wait to give it to you.  Life is amazingly beautiful. Get out there.

Step joyfully into this new adventure

I will be stepping out with you…clapping and crying all the way.

graduation first step

©2014 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™, All Rights Reserved

Blessed to Be Called Mom

Happy Mother’s Day!

I am so honored I had the chance to speak at my mom’s church for her Mother’s Day Tea!  The youngest girl there was 4 1/2 and the oldest woman there was 93 years old.  It was an amazing day!

Wishing all the moms out there many, many blessings!

©2013 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved

 

Share Your Prayer

Natalie and Jack

I have spent a lot of time over the years praying for my kids.  I don’t think there is any little corner of their lives that I have not covered in prayer.  That is, until something else comes up.  My kids are getting older and as they do, my prayers become different.  All the usuals apply of course, I pray for their health and their protection and their happiness.  But I pray more specific prayers now.

I recently asked a friend to pray for my daughter.  She not only said she would but she emailed me the prayer she was praying for her.  As I sat at my computer screen crying and thanking God for friends who get it…I was struck again by the power of prayer.

We pray because we cannot possibly do this on our own.

We pray because we need God’s power and grace.

We pray because sometimes just putting it out there, releases the tight grip it has on our heart and mind. 

We pray because we don’t know what else to do.

I have been blessed to have many friends (and my mom) with whom I can share my worries and concerns and what I’ve realized lately is that we all have a lot of worries and concerns.

A lot of these things we wrestle with are often not appropriate to talk about at dinner parties and happy hours.  These are private things.  Often we feel we should not share, we are embarrassed,  we don’t want to break our child’s trust – all of that is valid.  But if we don’t get it out, we suffer.

I was talking to my friend, Kate, yesterday…sharing some of my worries with her.  After we hung up, she called back and said, “I think we should write a book – a book about the REAL prayers moms say for their kids.”

So that’s what we are doing.  We want it to be the REAL prayers moms say for their kids, not the polite prayers we think we should be saying.

Honest. Authentic. Vulnerable prayers. Prayers that we say in the middle of the night when we can’t sleep because we are so worried.  What is your prayer for your child?

We are going to collect them and put them together in some form.  I say “some form” because a book is expensive and takes a long time and we need an agent and although that would be amazing, it’s really about the prayers and we are interested in getting this prayer wagon rolling immediately.

We are doing this so we can build a community of moms – a community where we will all feel less alone.  Here’s the thing…everyone has something going on that worries them.  Someone may see your prayer and thank God that they are not alone.  They may realize for the first time that other people are going through similar things.  Imagine all moms feeling less alone.  Incredible.

Here’s how it works.  Send your prayers.  I will not include names in anything.    The whole thing will be anonymous.  Send to or comment on the blog.  I will not “publish” the comment or any names (no one will see who it came from) but I will include it in our compilation of prayers.

We will not edit the prayers.  We are looking for raw unedited prayers.  Please don’t feel like you need to be polite.  Just be you…talking to God.  Some of you may be hesitant to send your honest prayers but in order to be truth tellers and soul sharers, we are going to need courage to speak from our hearts.  I know this can be difficult but we need each other.  We need you.

Not only will we see that others may be struggling with the same thing, but we will be able to pray for them too!  Oh my gosh, the power of this!  Can you imagine!  All of us praying together for each other’s kids!?!?  And for each other?!??

So cool.  Let’s do it.

Please send your prayers.

pray without ceasing

©2013 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved                                               picture of my oldest and Kate’s oldest about 10 years ago 🙂