Finding A Way

3 Jun

It wasn’t intentional but it happened anyway. I stepped away for a minute.

Apparently I’d been carrying a heavy emotional workload and was unaware of this burden. It was emotionally draining and produced an unexpected writing sabbatical.

The last week of school happened and emotions were fully charged in everyone’s hearts.  Some fifth-grade moms in tears, some fourth-grade moms with emotional anxiety of what was to come next May. I overheard countless conversations about how these moms didn’t know how they were going to handle their kids graduating from elementary school, how their kids turned 10 this year and how fast that decade passed. This realization hit them as the school-year came to an end.

But this wasn’t something that made me sad.

The year hadn’t gone by fast at all. Our family had the power to stop time when life was good, with gratitude talks at night and notes in The Jar of Awesome. We also found a way to move ahead when life was crappy and things didn’t pan out the way we had hoped. The year moved at just the right roller-coaster speed.

But I was happy the school year had ended.

While it was an amazing year of triumph, growth, energy, and awesomeness for my daughter, it was a time of heartbreak, rough edges, disappointment, and life lessons for my son. This year was the most difficult for him and we haven’t even gotten to middle school.

That seemed to worry me.

I was happy for my daughter, but sad for my son. A tough spot to be in for a parent, but I imagine not the first time I’d be feeling this exact feeling. I imagine it happens often for parents. The ups and downs of family life.

And I know we’re supposed to go with the flow, but in truth I was relieved when the year ended. I was glad that my son didn’t have to deal with the harshness of friends who were no longer his friends, of eating alone during lunch because he didn’t know any of the kids in his new class, of kids who friends with him when they were in the same class, but who turned into acquaintances that sometimes said hello and sometimes didn’t because they no longer sat at the same table, or because he was into sports and they were into video games, or of being with a teacher who didn’t see his potential and wasn’t as inspirational as Stand and Deliver, but he still managed to find a way to get good grades make it to the end of the year.

The thing was he seemed all right. These social difficulties didn’t dent his spirit, as he’s always been independent. I’ve always tried to tell him not to follow the crowd, but to follow what makes him happy whether it lines up with what’s popular or not. He often played sports at lunch and got along well with the underclassmen. It was just difficult to see him have to find a way to get through the year instead of it just being a good year. It was the finding the way part … I thought that would happen when he was much older, but this lesson came early.

The year ended and relief set in and I had to take a moment.

As a parent I tend to worry a lot about what’s going on with my kid, is he doing all right, what happens at recess, how’s it going in science, why is this kid not your buddy anymore, how’s it going in class. All these questions pop up when I think about him, but when I was going to school, I don’t remember thinking any of these things myself as a student. I just went to school. I learned. I played tetherball and basketball. I studied. I don’t remember wanting to be cool or worrying about playing by myself. I always just played. I found a way to make it through school.

I had to remind myself of that. I had to remember that he’s a strong kid and that sometimes I worry more than I should about the ups and downs. And although there were times when chocolate ice cream and hugs needed to be there after school, most of the time fourth grade was all right. It wasn’t a spectacular year, but it was all right. He found a way, we found a way.

This year will still mark a decade of his life, but just part of it, the part filled with love of science and math, of playing America Ninja Warrior, soccer, and basketball at recess, of eating alone at lunch sometimes and being O.K. with it, of working on more book reports and oral presentations than any other class but being great at it, of knowing enjoying board games and Pokemon cards, of trips to the beach on Sundays, of watching Wild Kratts, Animal Planet, America Ninja Warrior, Star Wars, and Forged in Fire with his sister, of Boys Scouts, hockey games and baseball practice, of still letting me hug him before school and giving him my blessing, and of him charging me and hugging me tight everyday after school.

As we reached a milestone I was reminded of his innocence and resilience, of his heart and of his strength. As life didn’t turn out the way we expected this year, he found a way, (well together we found a way) turn things around. Hope you’re finding your way …


Buen Camino, my friends …




7 Responses to “Finding A Way”

  1. tracymartin June 3, 2018 at 6:58 AM #

    Beautifully said. Your son is lucky he has a strong base of support in his family. Knowing that probably helps him build resilience to get through the more difficult times…now and later when stakes are higher…or so it seems.

    • The Guat July 5, 2018 at 2:00 PM #

      Thanks so much! I was worried there for a bit and just tried to be there. I appreciate you stopping by and giving me positive thoughts. It’s always tough when you see your kids go through things like this.

  2. Sorryless June 7, 2018 at 4:07 AM #


    This kid is going to be tough in all the ways that count. He’s not a follower, and that fact possesses rough edges in the short term. But he’s going to be just fine for being such an independently minded kid. And he has a mama who loves and supports whichever road he takes going forward, that’s big.

    I KNOW you do all the most important things, time being the essential ingredient. You’ll give him hugs when he ain’t asking for them. You’ll surprise him with something when he needs it most. And you will please explain to him that Pat Riley is the greatest coach/executive the NBA has ever seen . . even if he ain’t interested. Just because.

    I forgot how much I love these posts you pen on family.

    Peace and Pokemon,


    • The Guat June 10, 2018 at 7:46 PM #

      Thanks for the kind words and good vibes, sometimes as a parent you think you bring your A game and you’re really not even on the bench. But I keep trying 🙂 and since this is A House of Sports you knooooooooow Slick Pat is a chapter we’re gonna cover 🙂 so glad you stopped by to check in. Hope you’re doing well!!!

      • Sorryless June 11, 2018 at 5:50 AM #


        As parents we are harsh critics of our parenting. It comes with the imaginary handbook! lol.
        Yes! You ARE the house of sports indeed! And let the kid know if he wants to slick his hair back at any point in the future, there is a responsibility that comes with the ‘do . . .:)

        Peace and happy Monday

  3. My Ox is a Moron June 12, 2018 at 4:21 PM #

    I can relate to your feelings about your son. I have a daughter that had nothing in common with most of the kids in her grade school. She spent many lunches and recesses playing by herself. I was worried and sad for her. Daughter, however, was not. She was happy with who she was. She knew what she wanted in a friend and was the kind of friend that she wanted. With love and support, these “different” children can become wonderfully and absolutely who they want to be.

    You are a fabulous mother to understand this. Keep being there for you kids and they will become wonderful, caring and independent adults.

    • The Guat July 5, 2018 at 7:58 AM #

      Duuuuuuuuude Like any parent I was totally felt just like you and just wondered all the time if he was all right with it. But just like your daughter, my son is Ninja Warrioring his way through the playground and finding his way with new kids. I high five him and give him any support I can as the playground is a completely different world now. 🙂 Thanks so much for commenting, I always like to hear if people are going through the same ups and downs. Thanks and have a great weekend!

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