Tag Archives: Moms

The Gift I Really Want for Mother’s Day

 

Mother’s Day has me looking through old photographs, reminiscing.  My kids are older now, 19, 17 and 14. They aren’t thrilled to have their picture taken. I have so many good ones from when they were kids.  I love the pictures of them all together, the way they hang on each other, lean in to one another and show up as a team.  That’s a mother’s heart, right? That her kids would support one another and walk together through life. I was thinking about Mother’s Day and what I really want.  I think we all really want reassurance that the way we mother and have mothered is good enough.  We want a nod from the future telling us it’s all going to be okay.  We want to know the kids are alright. Amen?

So, here’s my letter to my kids this year about what I really want for Mother’s Day.

Don’t worry about getting me a trinket for Mother’s Day. Here is my heart’s desire.

I pray that you like yourself. That you feel content in the deepest recesses of your heart. That you know how loved, how wanted, how cherished you are. That you live fully and love deeply and spill kindness out of your pores. That God’s light would wrap you up and keep you warm and propel you to shine. I pray you show up with every ounce of your being. That you love honestly and with integrity and with purpose. That people leave your presence feeling good about themselves…that you have a generous spirit.  That you will greet each day as an adventure and an opportunity and that even in the boring and tough days you will laugh and see it all unfolding as it should.

Will you gift this to me? Are you willing to acknowledge this dream of mine? This longing in my heart? Will you live your life…full, authentic, honest, expectant and joyous? That’s what I want.

I want to know that my mistakes and blunders and outbursts only added flashes of temporary color to the memories but no permanent stain. That in my humanness you witness a redeemed soul, far from perfect but living real…my heart set on being better every day. That you receive life as a gift. Precious but not too much so. That you allow yourself to get dirty and take the tough knocks and come out standing, victorious. I pray you jump in the puddles and dance on the table and laugh with abandon. I pray that you listen intently and stay awake to the world while staying apart from it in your heart, careful to not be snared into foolish traps. I pray you find stillness and contentment and joy. I pray that grace would lead in your language and your actions. That faith will always be your cornerstone…deep abiding trust that all is well.

That is what I want for Mother’s Day.

I want you…fully alive and present for the life that awaits you.

This is your gift to me.

 

 

©2017 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big YES™ All Rights Reserved

To My Daughter with Learning Differences

Update!!! So excited this  was also shared on Huffington Post! Click link to check it out!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/to-my-daughter-with-learning-differences-whom-i-once_us_573a3382e4b06dede18b9937?hd45lep4nfyctyb9

This letter was written and submitted to The Mighty before I posted it here.  It is also posted on www.themighty.com with a few minor edits. I’m so grateful to my daughter for letting me share her story.  I pray it encourages others.  

Dear Daughter,

Thank you for being my child. I need you. Thank you for being you.

Although I never thought I’d say this, I’m grateful for the struggles we have had surrounding your ADHD and dyslexia and sensory issues. While I know for you, this has made school difficult, and it has made life challenging, I want to go on record and say that you have made me a better person.

I spent years wishing you were different. I didn’t want you to have to suffer. I have to admit it and we’ve talked about it before…it’s not easy to parent a child who is struggling. You become a mom who is struggling. You look at all the kids who are “thriving” and you wish they were your children. You start to resent the other moms. You close down and protect and build walls. I did all of that.

But you know what else I did? I fought for you. I fought with you. We stood together and reckoned with the future. Sometimes our fists were up and sometimes our hearts were open but we were in it. We were strong and courageous. Together.

I told you that you could do anything and you listened. You did it. High school graduation is upon us and you are headed to college.

 

natalie book

I think back to kindergarten and the teacher telling me that you didn’t quite understand the letters. In second grade when you were formally diagnosed with a learning disability, they kept saying, “She understands, she’s so smart, she just can’t decode the letters”. Or “She knows the material, she just can’t get it on paper”.

While often we were focusing on the decoding and the “treatment”, we tucked away the truth, “She’s so smart, she understands” in our hearts and we believed. I hope and pray that’s what you heard.

We had years of doctor appointments and therapy and meetings at school and tutoring and scary trips to the neurologist and so many questions. We fought for extra time on tests and notes written out. The paperwork alone takes up a whole room.

We were blessed with a school district that had resources and teachers who understood. Except for a few losers. Remember the one time we were so happy you got a D- we jumped up and down and cheered? Remember how I called your one teacher an “Asshole who doesn’t understand”? Well, I stand by that. Some people don’t get it. But because of you, I do get it. I am so grateful to be firmly planted on the side of understanding and compassion.

You can always be assured we’ve got your back.

Oh how I worried about you. I sought to understand you. I didn’t understand you. I cried and felt sorry for myself. My sense of entitlement was called into question. That one time when I was complaining to Dad and he said, “It’s not about you” was a moment of truth that changed the way I parent and live.

In an effort to get you what you needed, I called in the experts and I read the books and I prayed in a way that required surrender and trust. You gave me courage and you taught me to ask for help and you brought me closer to God.

You are heading off to college next fall and while I know I am not always a perfect mother, I can honestly say you are the perfect child for me.

I read a quote the other day that said, “Why do you keep trying to change the people God sent to change you?” This hit me like a ton of bricks. I’m sorry for trying to change you.

I think at times I might have justified my desire for you to change by explaining that it would just be easier for you if you were “like everybody else”.

I take it back.

Can I take it back?

You are a gift. You have changed me for good.

This is only the beginning. Now you get to go out and bless the world. I will be cheering you on forever. I’m thankful that I have been close enough to see you…God’s unique, beautiful creation…becoming.

So thank you daughter, for helping me become a better me.

And thank you God.

For knowing what I need and giving her to me.

I’m forever grateful.
©2016 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved

The Measuring Stick

It’s Day 9 of 30 Days of Thanks.

I’m grateful for Ann Voskamp.  All of her writing is absolutely beautiful.   I’m especially grateful for this post from her blog.  Please take time to click it – it’s worth it.

http://www.aholyexperience.com/2013/11/how-the-hidden-dangers-of-comparison-are-killing-us-and-our-daughters-the-measuring-stick-principle/

I’m so grateful for women who lift other women up.

We are enough. Let’s put the sticks down.

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