Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Learning To Love The Dream

One of the hardest things I've ever had to come to terms with in my life is learning to love the dreams that God has dreamed for me. Doesn't that sound horrible? How could I possibly not want all that God has planned for me? But there have been so many times in my life when I've simply wanted to do it "my way." I'm not talking about little things.  I'm talking about big things like my career path, my relationships before Wayne, my family, and really, just my life in general. There have been so many times when I have literally agonized over a decision or a situation, and yet I always knew deep in my heart the choice I needed to make. And now, when I look back on all those times, maybe I really do love God's dreams for me after all. His dreams have brought me much more joy and happiness than I ever could have imagined.

As mamas, we have dreams for our daughters, too. Alise was going to dance, she was going to wear big bows in her hair and smocked dresses for the rest of her life. She was going to have blonde hair and blue eyes and she was going to do all the things that I was always too scared to do. And she was going to cheer.

And now she's not.

For some mamas, this is not a big deal. A part of me is relieved actually. This past year has been crazy with all the things that we cheer moms have had to do.  The carpooling back and forth from school to the gym, and back to school, the 6:15 am pep rally calls, the bullying, the lost bows, the right uniform, the no communication, the disappointment on her face, and all the other drama (and money!) that comes with being a cheerleader.  It's been hard and it's been tiring. For both of us.

Learning to love the dream.

It's not about me anymore.  It's about her. It's her dream, her decisions now. So when she told me last week, "Mama, I don't want to cheer next year," my heart fell. Was I disappointed? Yes. Did I cry? Maybe a few tears, but it wasn't a full-blown meltdown like I always thought it would be if this day ever arrived. I have to say, I even surprised myself. I simply said, "Alise, it's your decision. I love you and I want you to be happy. If you're not happy being a cheerleader, then it's time to stop."

Two things.  I never wanted her to keep doing something because she was afraid of disappointing me or her daddy. And I didn't want her to quit anything because one of her friends talked her into it.  I always wanted it to be her decision.

And so it is.

The other part of be is like, ok, been there, done that, now let's move on.

And I will. But it's hard when your dreams for your kids don't come true.

I've always told my girls, "You do you."

And I realize that's just what she's doing.

15 comments:

  1. This hit me like a ton of bricks!!!! Spot on. Do you know how many dreams I have had for these boys and it was not to be. Sooo hard to accept sometimes but again, like you, I know God has the BEST dreams for them and they are their own, not ours but none the less growing pains for us as parents. Love you!

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    1. Thank you, Girl, for understanding where I'm coming from. This has been so hard for me. Not like boo-hoo crying, just disappointed. I keep telling myself she can always pick it back up again in high school, but we'll see.

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  2. I love your heartfelt words. I know it is so hard to let go and let kids make their own decisions. It was so good that you were able to respect Alise's decision, even though it was a little disappointing for you. I struggle with this one every day, realizing that my kids are not ME and that they will choose different things than I did and probably make some of the same mistakes I did too. Hugs!

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    1. It's so hard, Tanya! Mamain' ain't easy! Thanks so much!

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  3. Smart Momma Laura and just remember, the liklihood of her ever being a professional cheerleader are nil to none. So, perhaps she will get into something that she might possibly benefit from "down the road." Not that cheering isn't good for them and definitely teaches them life lessons. Our daughter cheered one year and hung it up. She said it wasn't the only thing she wanted to do and it just consumed too much of her time (and mine for goodness sakes) so she hung it up and began pursuing tennis. She was happy and went on to play at the state level. Alise will find her niche in something else and who knows, she may go back to cheering. Mothering isn't for sissies for sure. Hang in there, you are doing a good job! Blessings!

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    1. Thank you, Lea. I needed to hear your sweet words today.

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  4. it's one of the hardest things to give up on - that picture you have in your head is not their dream too. You are a good mommy!

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    1. Yep! That picture in my head for sure!

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  5. Ahhh - you have to be proud of your girl though for knowing what makes her happy & not just going with the flow just because.That says a lot about her character.

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    1. You had me at "not going with the flow." I've never wanted Alise to be that way. Thank you for the reminder. It made me smile. Sorry I've been MIA on your blog, Rebecca Jo! I promise to turn up again soon!

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  6. One of the hardest things about being a mom is watching them make the decisions to shape their lives. I wrote a post once...to mentor or manipulate...because at some point I realized I was sometimes using my power as a parent to manipulate my kids towards the dream I wanted rather than mentoring them to help them follow the path God set out for them.

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  7. Oh girl. I could talk for hours on this subject!! We always told our girls, the day it stops being fun is the day you quit! TRUTH. Easier said then done. The day our Elie said she was done figure skating (7+ years and don't even get me started on the amount of hours and $$$), we really struggled. Katie was also skating at the time. She said, "it's not fun anymore"...we had said..."the day it stops being fun, you can stop"...oh the tears flowed on both ends. We were fortunate enough that she had an amazing coach. He had put in YEARS of hard work (a lot of blood, sweat, tears and $$$) only to be 3rd at Worlds, the year they chose to only take 2 to the Olympics. While it was HIS dream, someone else shattered it. I would rather my child be the one to make the decision, not someone else making it for her. One went on to cheer, the other to play volleyball. As you know, both went on to coach. And, just before the holidays one left her job and coaching career...why? Because there was no thanks in it. 80 hours a week...no overtime, no thank yous, no nothing. She was an amazing coach, and an even more amazing educator. But, she wasn't happy! One thing my momma always said, "do what makes you happy". Some of the wealthiest people in the world are the most miserable. God opened a door for her not even a week after she resigned. She is now a Nanny for a beautiful baby boy. A first time "older" mom's "baby and pride and joy". She's already told my sweet girl she should write a book or a blog about being a Nanny or open a business consulting. She has returned to a passion of hers, children, just in a different way. She was a nanny throughout college, and it landed her a job out of college working for the company of the father, and now she has come full circle (she nanny's for them on the weekends again and they adore her). Bottom line, she's happy, is appreciated and is making a difference.

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Lauren! Your fabulous girls and the stories you tell about them give me hope because I know they've been "raised right." Stephanie had a Nanny growing up, but I think hers spoiled her rotten. I find myself trying to "undo" alot of things. As for Alise, I know she'll be fine and I am so proud of her, whether she cheers or not.

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  8. Both of our kids were swimmers. Our son originally planned to swim in college but then opted to go to a school with no swim team so he swam his last high school swim and walked away without looking back. Our daughter was on the same path (less competitive though) and when it was time for signing up for her junior year we were walking one day and I was saying you need to get the info...she said "Mom, I've been thinking I might want to quit swimming". I was caught off guard and we talked about it, but I told her if her heart wasn't in it and she wasn't enjoying it anymore it was time to walk away. I thought it was weird she thought I'd flip out, but I was totally fine with . (#momwin) All we can do is support them. You're an awesome mom Laura! I can tell😊

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