Talks on the Beach

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“A mother is not a person to lean on, but a person to make leaning unnecessary.” — Dorothy Canfield Fisher

“When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.” –Sophia Loren

“The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.” –Honore de Balzac

My 8 year old son and I took a long walk down the beach today.  I knew immediately that it was one of those times in my life that I would never forget.  What memories are made of.  When we’re alone like that with no distractions but the shells on the ground and the waves coming up on the sand, he opens up, I open up, and it feels magical.  We talked about old times when he was small, we talked about how much his little brother is growing up and holding his own in the world.  We talked about his future plans as close as going away for camp this summer and as far away as which college he might attend and which NBA team he’s gonna play for.  We debated which type of sand felt better on our feet and which cuss words were the worst.

I remember those talks with my mom…not on the beach, but in the bathroom.  When my mom would say she wanted to take a long bath,  I would always say “Can I come in and talk?”  Of course, now I realize that she probably wanted the bath to relax and unwind after  a long day, but she never turned me down.  In that tiny little bathroom, I would sit on top of the toilet and discuss moral dilemmas, the birds and the bees, popularity at school and family history with my mother.  I remember those days like it was yesterday. So I was thinking that whatever I said today on our walk should be said with lots of consideration and love.

As I’ve grown up and become a mother myself, I  have found that I can be pretty hard on my mom and how she raised us.  I always wished for that mom who volunteered at the school, baked cookies at least once a week and told me that I was always the smartest and the prettiest.  But as an adult, I’m glad I didn’t get what I wished for.  My mom raised me to be independent, resourceful and humble.  Probably what I needed to learn most of all.

I have this belief.  I believe that every soul has lessons that they must learn here on earth.  I believe that each of us chose our parents before we were even conceived as a guarantee of lessons learned.  All parents have shortcomings and strengths to help lead their children on the paths they choose.

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately worrying about decisions I am making that will impact my boys.  I don’t know what the right answer is to any of my questions, but I am starting to realize that if I am guided by the love I feel for my kids, I can’t do wrong.

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