About Me...

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In a nut shell : I'm a full time working mom, a Star Wars geek, comic book nerd, Disney enthusiast, hockey Mom, a breast cancer survivor of almost a decade and oh let's not forget such a happy, sassy, southern mess!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Life Lesson #131 ~ Finding Your Direction

"If you want to find the right road, follow many paths, be willing to try new things and don't be afraid to change the direction along the way. Leave your doors open."  ~ Anonymous

It's unbelievable for me to fathom today my baby turns 18. Today he officially becomes an adult, a man in the world's eyes but in mine he will always be my baby boy.  Seriously eighteen years ago today I gave birth to our second born. I had no idea then how fast time would fly, and how much this little baby would change our lives forever. How could I know our Micah would challenge me to think so far outside the box or how he would inspire courage within myself in ways I never dreamed? And yet he has, over and over again.

From early on we knew our son was authentic, genuine, the real deal and most definitely divergent. We saw his life, his direction moving towards a much less traveled path. Micah was not different, he was his own person, unique and contradictory in every way from societies cookie cutter silhouette's. Micah from the start pushed against the grain, and to this day he is an original, unconventional and quiet frankly, refreshing in his honesty. Micah, he's absolutely distinctive. For some he's an acquired taste, moments a bit startling  with his directness but Micah's always remarkable, incomparable and sincere in the way he lives his life. What I know as the mother of a child on the spectrum is this, many times as a society we are uncomfortable by those who are divergent. Those who make us think, who stand out living life without a filter and those who are real, not fabricated lesser versions of themselves. When I stand back, I see the man our son has become. I may not always understand every thing he does or even why, but I don't have to because he has purpose in every step he takes, forwards and backwards. Brene Brown puts it this way, "Authenticity is not something we have or don't have. It's a practice, a conscious choice of how we want to live. Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It's about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen." This is exactly how Micah chooses to live everyday.

As parents it isn't always easy to know the right thing to do or say, how to direct our children or what doors to lock and throw away the keys to. Many times we tend to over react or be too passive, but behind all the uncertainty of raising kids are these two words, unconditional love. I am by far the farthest thing from a perfect parent, believe me just ask my kids, they will tell you. But I do know, Johnny and I despite all our missteps have raised our boys to be 100 %, completely themselves, no questions asked and all with unconditional love. As parents we feel it's own job to shape and prune our children's lives, to teach them and while this is true we tend to forget that they are many times our teachers as well. At 18, Micah is absolutely a rare kind of unparalleled limited edition. He doesn't seek forgiveness for who he is and while some of that coms from living life on a fantastic unfiltered spectrum, it is also who he is. He is not defined by his quirks, but instead those exceptional traits are defined by him. I think Osho says it brilliantly, "Come out of the masses, Stand alone like a lion and live your life according to your own light." This is the truth Micah has not only taught me, but brought into my life as his mom.

I can't take credit for the remarkable young man Micah has become. Micah is in no way a result of my hands, nor of Johnny's and in spite of what Micah himself may think neither is he. What Micah is, is fully and completely the invention of the One who knew long before this world was created Micah would walk this earth, making footprints of his own, both along side of and away from us. Proverbs 16:9 says this, "A person may plan his own journey, but the Lord directs his steps." And today, this very moment God is doing just that. We can't hold back our children, keeping them all to ourselves. We may wish for them to be little again but the reality is our children not only grow, but thrive as independent individuals. Finding their own direction is part of the deal. Hard as it may be as parents we have to be wiling to let them go, to make their own footprints. J. Craine puts it this way, "Raising your child well is hard. But learning to let them go out into the world and prove that you did your job is even tougher." Johnny and I are in this very same process as I speak. Micah is his own person, with a mind and heart all his own. His life is not meant for my dreams to be lived out through him, but for Micah to make his own hopes and dreams a reality his way, not mine. Micah, just like Gordon B. Hinckley speaks, is ,"A child of God, of infinite capacity." Looking at the man he is becoming I realize we won't always see eye to eye, or agree with Micah. And yes he may very well disappoint me, and I him, but he will always be my son, and I his mama. My arms will always be open, my heart always tender to his. No matter what the world can or can't see in my son, I will always see him as he is, standing tall, in the light...divergent, unfiltered and courageously himself.

Life Lesson #131 ~ Finding Your Direction, reminds us not to be afraid of change. After all, "Sometimes in the winds of change we find our TRUE direction." I honestly have no idea what direction Micah will take from here. Nor do I know where his authenticity will lead him or what footprints he'll leave behind for those generations who follow him. What I do know is this, whatever direction his life takes, it will be a pretty amazing one. And so today, I wish you my baby boy, all grown up, a very happy 18th birthday. I love you more than you will ever know. But who knows, maybe one day you'll come close when you have children of your own. Until then, know I love you unconditionally and no matter what, never stop finding your own direction.

"That feeling you always have in your heart? That's me loving you."  ~ Amy Krouse Rosenthal

~ Christina

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