Become the exception

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This past week has been straight from hell!  I am not even talking about trying to diet, this time it’s just life, plain old life.  My mom has told me before that “God will not give us more than he knows we can handle”.  Now I am not one to challenge God but I am starting to wonder what the hell he thinks I am capable of! 

There are things in life that we fear.  I personally have a very clear list of what I am afraid of and no matter what the wording may be, the bottom line is that I am afraid of losing those that I love.  Not only to death but to the world and all of the evil that lurks within it.  I would much rather just think that everyone is good and kind.  That no one would ever do anything wrong or try to hurt someone else.  In my mind it just seems so unthinkable.  However, every once in a while reality slaps us right in the freakin’ face.

As a mother we protect our children.  When they are small we are able to scoop them up into our arms and hold on tight to keep them out of harm’s way.  I am learning at about 8 years old they no longer allow us to do that.  I can’t even start to count the number of conversations I have had with my children about drugs, alcohol, smoking, sex, being kind, having morals, loving others and just being outstanding in who they are.  I quit my job to be at home to be involved with my children.  We have dinner together we spend about 20 times the amount of time together than the average American family.  I know my children’s friends.  I know where they are at all of the time.  I know their friends parents.  They have curfews and their friends think we are the “strict” parents but some have also admitted that they love us and wish their parents were more involved.  Every day I ask each of my boys about their day.  What was the best part?  What did they learn?  They share stories about their friends, icky school lunch and everything in between.  On my boy’s bathroom mirror is this saying “Return With Honor”.  It is there so that they can see it every day before they leave the house.  It is my small way of subliminally reminding them of whom they are and who they can become. (Sneaky) 

So in my naive motherly mind I feel like I have done everything I can to teach them and protect them so that when the time comes they will make the “right” choices.  You would think after once or twice of being proved wrong that I would ”get it” but not as a mom you don’t just “get it”.   Now I am not going to spill all of our little family secrets on here but I feel it is important to share some things that may be helpful to someone else.  Never ever think your children are an exception to the rule and the temptations that are out there.  I am learning first hand that no matter how diligent you are in trying to teach them right from wrong at one point you have to let go and let them make their own choices.  Sometimes the choices will be mistakes.  In today’s world unfortunately choices can forever change their future and even be deadly.  My son just lost a friend to a poor choice.  A senior in high school, he just didn’t wake up the next morning due to “a choice”.  I know without a doubt if he could see what that choice caused he would have chosen differently, but that is just not how it works.  This young man was a son, friend, brother, student, grandson, nephew and so much more to so many.  He could have been yours or mine. 

This post comes from me having to face things I never thought I would have to face.  I thought I did it all right and to look from the outside it is perfect.  You know what I have realized is that I have.  I have done everything I can and now I have to fight.  Fight like hell to be an exception.  The odds are slim but we all need to do it.  We need to become exceptions.  No matter how involved you are it is never enough when it comes to your children.  Drive them crazy with your presence, annoy the hell out of them with way to many questions but be there.  Most of all let them know you love them, that they are your world and that you are fighting for them too.  Because at the end of the day no matter what the choice is they have to know we are there for them, no matter what.  They have to know that good choice or bad we will help them through it and NEVER give up on them.  

I can’t help but think about the strung out crack heads and drunks you see out there in the world.  They are someone.  They are a son or daughter.  They were filled with hope when they were a child.  They are everything to someone.  My hope is even though they are in a horrible state that they have not been given up on.  I hope that someone is fighting for them when they no longer have fight in them.  That somewhere deep down inside they know that they are loved, that they can be the exception.      

XO Shannon

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