If anybody has an excuse to be an overprotective mama, that would be me! It only took me six years’ worth of specialists with two in-vitro treatments, an emergency c-section and a two-week NICU stay to bring this kid home. My husband passed away, I was almost killed by a drunk driver after he t-boned my SUV missing my door by an inch, I’m 44 years old, can’t have babies anymore nor do I have anybody to make them with, and I haven’t found a bubble big enough for the kid on Amazon.
This kid comes from two people who grew up under completely different circumstances, but who were very strong-willed, independent, inquisitive, always going a mile further, always finding out by themselves what the fuss was really about.
Soon after I was born, I became gravely ill and it took a while for me to come out of the woods. Most of my childhood was spent in and out the doctor’s office with either asthma attacks or whole body eczema flare-ups. Eventually my parents found out I was deaf on my left ear, a result of the gentamycin antibiotics I received while being sick as a baby. As I grew up, I managed to get away from the asthma, eczema, and my protective parents.
The husband on the other hand, was quite a healthy kid who was going around San Francisco in a bus at the age of 7, who was climbing trees, delivered the paper on his bike, and was as much of a rascal as any boy could’ve been at his age. He spent his summers at his grandparents’ place, where he was a free kid raising chickens, fishing and playing ball with the rest of the kids.
The excitement and the joy I had were sky high when we found out the baby we were having was a boy! A boy who would do everything I never did as a kid and then some! Husband on the other hand, couldn’t understand why I didn’t want a baby girl, a little princess. Because I wanted a boy who would get in the mud and play rough and just enjoy life the way I didn’t!
The baby was born and the baby became a kid. The kid found his voice and he found his will. Kid not only got our best traits, he also got both our brains, and I make sure he understands how well built he is. Not too long ago, I was fixing scrambled eggs for the kid when he asked why I kept telling him “you have great brains!” As I was cracking the egg I said “come and take a look at this egg, now imagine your dad is the white and I’m the yolk. You kid, are the scrambled egg, the best of us!”
Raising the kid by myself and all of it being my whole responsibility became my greatest challenge the night the husband passed away. Steering the kid in the right direction, finding the balance between giving him enough space and being there ready to catch him when he falls. Making sure he grows up to become a great man with character and integrity and not just some adult.
As a mom, I’ve had to find that sweet spot in which I can be a good mama that gives the kid space to try stuff by himself, but not an overbearing mama that won’t let the kid do anything. I found I can let him fall down and get a scratch after I told him not to climb the fence. Don’t get me wrong, it makes my heart skip more than a few beats, but he needs to learn that his choices have consequences.
His elementary school had a day for kids to dress up like a good guy. The kid wasn’t happy when I didn’t let him wear his Deadpool costume to school. He was wearing his Ninja Turtles shirt, but once he saw other kids wearing a firefighter outfit or a kid with a Captain America shield, he was devastated. I left school with my gut telling me I needed to do something. So I went to Walmart, found him a really nice Captain America shirt and a Captain America costume. I went back to school, gave him the choice of the shirt or the costume with a warning. I told him the shirt was the easiest because wearing the costume all day at both school and daycare would be a pain in the butt for him, but he insisted and begged to wear the costume. Fine.
Later that day I picked him up from daycare. The kid looked at me and said: “mom, wearing this costume all day was a very bad idea! I was hot and itchy and this tag was bothering me all day!” I just laughed deep inside. He had to realize by himself that what he chose to do was going to be a pain in the butt, and it was, and he did!
The kid has broken his teeth 3 times and he knocked one off right from his gums. The kid has slammed himself on the corner of a wall, gotten bruises, scratches and black eyes just like any kid. He has dug trenches in the dirt, killed my St Augustine grass, gone down the stairs by sliding off the handrail. He watches videos on YouTube for kids of guys skiing or doing tricks with their skateboards and he tells me with the biggest smile on his face: “mama, I want to do this!”
Yes, I’ve been praying for a long time, from even before this kid was even thought of. I pray God for wisdom and for His guidance to raise this child to be the best he can be. Sometimes I wish there was someone I could share this parenting with, but God wanted me to have this responsibility, and it’s really an honor to be granted with such a responsibility.
So I know I cannot protect him from everything and I cannot be there for him all the time, but I can do my best to tell him what could happen if he does or acts in this or that way. I can do my best to tell him what to expect out of something. I can do my best to help him be prepared for whatever situation he may run into. I can do my best to help him defend himself if anybody wants to cause him harm. I can do my best to tell him he can come to his mama if he needs anything. I can do my best to let him know I can be his rock and his mama bear if he ever needs me.
…and if he falls down and gets hurt, he can come to mama, I’ll do everything to make it better while telling him: “kid I love you but didn’t I tell you not to do that?!!”