August 1, 2011

when it's not all pretty...


sometimes
it good to be real and honest
or
at least a bit more real and a bit more honest
~
sure, i could dress up this post with beautiful words to cover up how i'm really feeling and throw in some amazing photos that would lead you all down a path of thinking i live in a fairytale, but that's not what i'm going to do today. i'm also not going to share all the real ugliness behind how i'm feeling, because that's a weight only i can carry and the details at this point don't really matter.
but what i am going to say is that sometimes life 
just isn't as beautiful as that museum piece of art we thought it might be. 
~
we have had some struggles lately with our son. he has recently made some poor decisions and choices that have ultimately come back to land on our shoulders. a weight so heavy that we feel like we've been in a bad game of football, where we're the only ones being tackled to the ground. 
not surprising, each time we get back up, we check our mouth guards to make sure none of our teeth have fallen out in the process.
~
i've always had the belief that "it could be worse" while dealing with anything "bad" and maybe that's what has kept me sane all these years, but this time, i've been feeling a bit less hopeful with some of the things that are going on and that's just not how i like to live.
but luckily, i talked to a neighborhood friend this morning, after our paths crossed on our morning walks and her son, who seems to have been made from a very similar mold as my son, 
has finally started to turn things around, 
and as she spoke, i thought maybe i saw the glimmer of a light. 
that light they say you see eventually. that light at the end of a very long and dark tunnel.
~
okay
i realize that no matter what i write, i do throw in "pretty" words. well not actually pretty words, but words that well, you know what i mean. it's just how i write. 
so even though i said i wouldn't, i think i did.
~
anyhow
at this point, i guess i'm just asking for lots and lots of good thoughts from all of you, for our son.
oh, what the heck,  let's go for full blown out prayers.
and 
with the leftover ones, well you can throw those towards me and my hubby. 
we'll gladly take them.
and
no matter what 
i know in my heart
i really do
that things could be so much worse
*
{ps...i'm thrilled it's august, only because this is my birthday month. not thrilled that summer is passing us by way too quickly and the fact that i'm seeing trees losing their leaves already, but thrilled that i'll have candles to make a wish on}

63 comments:

  1. I hope everything works out. I truly do.

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  2. Gosh, Beth, I hurt for you. I raised five children, one being a son, and know where you are. Hang in there. You're stronger than you think. and yes, things could be worse. Life is full of challenges and opportunities to be creative whatever the medium or genre. Thoughts and prayers :) Jenny

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  3. Pretty words or not, you wrote this beautifully, from your heart. Life isn't like a piece of art from a museum nor is it a Hallmark card...the downs when they are "down" can be crushing. Being able to say how weighted down you feel, wondering if things will ever turn around is a good thing...and I hope it helped to make you feel lighter, at least for awhile.

    Many prayers, good thoughts and much good ju ju being sent your way -- for all of you ♥

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  4. I know it's difficult right now. Just wait until he's older and through all of this 'poor decision making' time in his life. Things DO get so much better. :-) Time passes so quickly and this rough patch will smooth itself out.

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  5. I know you've heard it...

    Hope Floats. That's the light I see flicker throughout your words.

    Coming from a parent who has also seen a hell of an ordeal through...at the end of the day, what we really seem to have is the hope that things will get better. And the knowledge, if we're really lucky, that we did the best we could with what we had before us.

    Keep floating, Beth.. you'll make it to the shore, and so will your son. In his own time, and through his own mistakes and lessons learned.

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  6. Praying for your son, peace and wisdom for you and your husband. There's nothing like the heaviness a mother feels when her child is making bad decisions. There is also nothing like the strength and hope you get from a community of friends who've been there. :)

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  7. You're in my thoughts. Sons take so much longer than daughters to mature (I'm told, as my own struggles to find his way at 19), and they may not always make choices that are the best for themselves. Letting go (while still loving them and gently providing direction) is the hardest, most difficult part for me. ((Hugs))

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  8. May the God of all comfort, comfort you and bring peace and wisdom to all.

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  9. Sending positive thoughts your way for you to bend like the willow to the current gale force winds...

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  10. We've talked with each other back and forth on the matter of our sons and I am so very sorry that you're going through all this. I know what it's like and I am so glad that your neighbor was able to help. Please - does she have any advice for me?!!

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  11. the angst of parenthood... i'm glad God realized my shortcomings and decided not to make this happen in my life as i surely wouldn't hold up under much grace... God bless you all, dearie.

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  12. sending thoughts and prayers your way - and being real doesn't mean that you stop looking for light in dark places... it's scary when your babies grow up and become independent and make (sometimes wrong) decisions, but i believe that the love a child grows up with goes a long way toward helping them come back to the right path, eventually.

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  13. Parenthood is not for the faint of heart. When it comes to our children...what can I say? My positive vibes are flying your way in hopes that you and your family stay strong and that these rough seas smooth sooner than later. Comforting hugs to you Beth.

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  14. My thoughts and prayers have been with you and will continue! I'm glad you crossed paths with that neighbor - I don't think it was a coincidence!

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  15. I'm so sorry to hear that you're going through such a difficult time with your son. I'm not the praying kind but I am sending oodles of good wishes your way in the hope that things get better for you all and several big bear hugs because who doesn't need a hug every now and then.

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  16. Believe me, it does get better.
    The best to all of you.

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  17. Colleen in NHAugust 01, 2011

    On a wing and a prayer..good vibrations to you and yours...raising young men does have it's challenges and if they learn that those bad choices not only affect them but others too, and start to make better choices, there is the good...I'll save my birthday wishes for you this month

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  18. There are days when I wonder why they have to make it so difficult for themselves and their parents. Prayers and positive thoughts sent your way. My very overweight son that sits and does very little has finally today decided to start going to yoga and to take control of his weight. It is only one day, but I will celebrate that day and hope for another. Take care, hugs, and my heart is with you.

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  19. Looking in your heart what I see along with the pain, is the hope things will get better.
    Sending loving prayers for your son and you and your family. I hope that the light at the end of this tunnel is closer than you think.
    Hugs from far away

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  20. Thanks for sharing from your heart. Your family will be in my thoughts & prayers. This too shall pass!

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  21. Beth---sending good thoughts your way (prayers, if you like) and know that everything unfolds in Divine order. You are loved. Know that in your heart. I also know that what you are writing here is "real". I wouldn't want it any other way. We all know that life has its ups and downs and I would rather read what is going on in someone's "real" life than be lead down a garden path. I have experienced similar stuff in the last couple of weeks too. It's hard not to feel weighted down. But, like your birthday candles portend, I hope you get your wish.

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  22. Sending prayers, lots of good thoughts, and virtual hugs your way. Keep your eyes focused on the light and the love you feel for your son. And try to imagine that the good thoughts and prayers are lifting the weight. Fessing up to the ugly feelings is a good thing.

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  23. I'm glad you were brave enough to lay this out here and ask for support. Every sorrow and grief really is a little lighter when more than one heart carries it. I know I speak for more than myself when I say, "I'll carry a part of your load in my heart and prayers."

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  24. My prayers, vibes and ju-ju for all of you and all of the lives touched by his decisions. Always.

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  25. Hi Beth, Margie sent me over here (Margie reads your blog regularly). Last week I wrote a post. It is I want to say - almost identical to yours - also a son - sounds like same problem(s)
    http://www.typepad.com/site/blogs/6a00e551e161a2883400e551cbb1d98833/post/6a00e551e161a28834014e8a04adb4970d/edit
    Check it out. Beth I will pray for you, your son, and your hubby. My best advice is stay on him - stay on him every minute - don't let him get away with anything. How old is he by the way? I told my son whether he likes it or not since he has shown that he is not capable of making good decisions I will make all future decisions for him until I see a change. I am living this right now Beth. Of all the things I tried this seems to be most effective.
    You're welcome to contact me by email Beth so we can discuss more.
    Cathy

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  26. what a wonderful moment when your paths crossed with your neighbor, to help lift your spirit just a bit.
    I will of course remember you and your husband in my prayers , for strength and peace ...

    and for your son to turn those bad choices into something better..big hugs friend !

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  27. sharing can be such a positive thing because you never know what can come from it. Hopefully by releasing some of that built up frustration with others, something unexpected will lift your spirits and help you through these rough times. here's a great big hug. ((0))

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  28. Hey Beth, we each had two boys, pre-teenage, when our worlds collided.
    They all made it to adult hood in tact but it was scary at times. That has been one of our daily mottos ... 'it could be worse', the other is 'we do the best we can.' They have been utterd alot lately. I'm keeping good thoughts for you and yours.

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  29. I am sending out big hugs to you and your husband...can you feel them? I have no answers...just big hugs.

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  30. You have written so vulnerably here - I would love to encourage you but do not want to offer simple words that might be interpreted as trite. I will only offer prayers for you all and a reminder that Christ is pleased to use broken stones to build a glorious house.

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  31. hi beth...i have been down this road...not with a child...just life stuff..sometimes i would just sit on the steps and cry...and prayed alot... sometimes it seems everything "bad" happens at once...

    we sold our house...moved into a tiny house and lived it while re- modeling all the while watching my mom slip away with pancreatic cancer and then losing my dog Buddy to heart failure....what a horrible couple of years...i wondered if i would ever smile again.... but it does pass...in time...

    please know i am praying for you and am thinking good thoughts for you, my sweet friend.

    during some of the worst times...the love, support and comfort of "blog buddies" got me through some pretty dark days..we are all here for each other...that's what's so great about this community of GREAT people...

    sending love and a hug,
    kary
    xx

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  32. I was just on a walk thinking about my story. I'm thinking about starting to blog again. To start writing again. It's the way that I process things, and maybe by sharing my struggles I will help someone else. I've been reading a lot lately, and curious how people can share their most intimate details with the rest of the world. On my walk, I thought about you. What would Beth say? What would Beth do? And then I come back and read this. As always, you speak to my heart.
    I believe that the right teachers come along when we need them...just like your encounter with your friend on your walk this morning.

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  33. We've never met, but I enjoy visiting with you every day. Photography astounding. Commentary so enjoyable. When it's our children who are troubled, the angst is so much deeper. The world is not right until they are all right. You and your family will be in my prayers. What joy you will feel when life turns around to the good side.

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  34. Oh, how familiar this road looks. Prayers do help and I have come to depend on them. Saying a prayer for you right now that peace envelops your hearts and minds, that your son has an awareness of the pain he is causing his family and himself, and decides on a better path for his life. My heart goes out to all of you. Wishing you peace and blessings. Amen.

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  35. Our children have to grow up and many times it is not picture perfect. Having had a hard time with our third daughter (now a grown woman who still has her ups and downs) I felt like life was the pits. Everyday was painful between the age of 12 to 15. Then she met a boy who seemed to coax the good in her. We actually became better as mother and daughter. Let me tell you thought I feared the worst during that time.

    Don't ever be ashamed or embarrassed first of all. Seek help whether through friends or counseling. Sometimes they have to learn a hard lesson. So do we. Parents need a support team when a child is making decisions that effect their lives.

    If you need and ear I have one...I don't know it all but outside family can help.

    Take care.....and like you summer is passing too quickly.

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  36. Oh boy!! Parenting sure isn't always a picnic is it? Sometimes not what we envisioned at all. Just do "what you can live with". That what I always told my sons I had to do. You sure are not alone & do not need to be embarrassed.
    Prayers & good thoughts for all of you.

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  37. I'm sorry for the struggles you all are going through.... yes, things could be worse, but that doesn't make these issues any less important; it only helps to keep us from forever slipping away into a black hole of self pity. So, b/c these are important issues and it sounds like things are pretty sucky right now....I will keep you in my prayers, friend....

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  38. Beth,
    My prayers..you've got them tenfold.
    xxx
    z

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  39. Beth I am sending prayers your way, for you , your hubby and your son.
    you are right there are others worse off than us, but you know that does not make your problems any less, and when it is with your children well I can only imagine the struggles, dashes hopes, worry you have gone through...I hope all works out for your family Beth, your in my prayers every night. hugs and love to you.

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  40. Real is good. It takes up so much energy to polish up a bad time in your life, to make people believe you''re fine.

    If you admit that you're not fine at all, you may get the space you need to sort things out, or you may even be offered help!

    I hope all will work out with your son!

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  41. Beth, i know from experience, things will get better. Continue with hope and faith. I wrap my prayers around you and yours. Blessings

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  42. Beth... Sorry that your going through this right now....I hope and pray that the situation gets turned around soon for all of you.

    ...I know that we as parents hate to see our kids make bad decisions, but they also, if of mature age, have to take responsibility for their actions...I have five kids, two older, three younger....my son is 21, never had problems with him but my daughter who is 19, recently dropped the bomb that she is pregnant, and as much as I would like to control and take care of everything for her, I can't. She is responsible for her situation and although we will be there to help(she is still under our health insurance), I have to keep reminding myself it is not my responsibility, she is old enough to make her own decisions,( as she tells me everyday), so therefore i need to step back and let her go down her own path, to make her own choices, to make herself stronger, with each good or bad choice she makes.

    Beth

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  43. You definitely have my prayers!!
    And things do get better...hang in there!!!
    Hugs
    SueAnn

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  44. I pray for your peace and your strength to do whatever you need to do...

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  45. Please remember that the foundation of love and values that you gave him is still there. Try to trust that at some point he will get down to that foundation and things will get better. In the meantime, please add my prayers to the growing soft place for you to land Beth.

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  46. oh hon, i've been there. i know it's difficult for the time being. as parents we wonder when the young, adult male's brain will kick into common sense mode. in our case, i'm going to say about 24...

    i hope he hasn't gotten himself into anything too deep. just remember that time will heal this and he (and you) will be stronger for living through it.

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  47. I so enjoy reading your blog and your photos brighten my day. My son has done some things that have truly made me turn my head skyward and say "okay, are you done testing me?" Don't say that. It seems like things run in cycles...I am still waiting for him to grow up and he is almost 23! He does great and then comes a poor choice that turns into three or four poor choices. Each year, it does seem to get better - or maybe I grow up and realize I can't fix him...he needs to find his way without momma always cleaning up the messes. My heart is with you. - Kelly in Michigan

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  48. I miss you, my friend. I've missed you.

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  49. Sigh... I was struggling with sharing that part of me that is also not pretty, but real and honest. So on a completely unrelated note- thank you for making me feel its okay to just tell it like it is sometimes...

    I will keep you in my full blown prayers and pray for some guidance and wisdom, and continued glimmers of light...

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  50. i read your blog a lot. rarely comment, if ever? anyway, just know that there are warm fuzzy thoughts and prayers coming your way. just cuz you need em and were brave enough to ask.
    love and light- suzy

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  51. Beth, whatever you are going through with your son, I wish you strength to get through it all and my prayers, of course, are with you, your husband and your son.

    I guess we all have these rough patches in our lives, from time to time, but, somehow, things seem to get resolved. I trust this will be the case for you!

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  52. Beth, wish I knew this sooner, but let me tell you...I lived through six years of child-ugly. I didn't think I'd live through it. My doctor told me to go ahead and mourn the loss of the child that I thought I had, but didn't...I was filled with grief, hatred, anger, fear, depression...you name it. I never believed it would end, let alone end okay. But it did. It really did. Amazing. A miracle. Six years...hopefully a lifetime of okay. Sending so much love and understanding to you that it should bubble up and overflow. Email anytime, my friend. Love always, kath

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  53. Beth, I'm coming to your post a bit late - I read your last one and then came here for an explanation. My husband and I have gone through the years of turmoil with a troubled and troubling child. Now we have emerged, I can't say unscathed because we are all changed, but we are also all still standing. To tell you not to project too far into the future is probably futile, but it does help a bit not to worry before an event actually happens. Sometimes, a child really does need the freedom to fail and pick up his/her own pieces. It was hard for us to come to that decision (though we had been counseled to do so). However, when there finally was a "last straw," the learning and healing process could begin for her and for us. She calls herself our "rebel child." She is now married to a good person, has a little boy and a responsible job.

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  54. Like Barb above me, I missed this post and came to read it after today's. This parenting thing... it's tough, isn't it? All the things you think you do right, and those kids just keep on making their own choices... sometimes in spite of (or maybe to spite) all you have tried to teach.

    Here's what I found out... I have one who insists on behaving as though she is 12, but wants to be treated like an adult. She is, legally, an adult, but for the purposes of reality has a way to go.

    I finally realized that the only way to treat her like an adult is to do just that. I gave her the gift of being responsible for herself. And that, my friend, is the most difficult thing to do, because you always want to save them from pain, or pick them up after.

    It's been difficult, but it is turning around... and there is the light at the end of the tunnel (I just hope it's not the train coming at me). Bad choices are a part of life, some of us make worse ones than others... but most of us eventually realize that if we want to move forward we have to change that.

    I am sure your son will too... I will be sending good thoughts and prayers... and you just remember, you aren't alone in this.

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  55. Oh dear. AS I said the other day, stupidhead boys. You know I have been through my own "been there done that," and sometimes wondering if we are past it all...and that is only with one of the sons, the other one still worries me... all that to say I am thinking of you, and don't hold you breath 'cause you might pass out, but it does get better. It just seems to take them so damn long to grow up these days. xoxo

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  56. I'm so sorry to hear that you're going through difficulties with your boy. No matter what, we always want our kids to sail through life and it just doesn't always work that way. Sending you positive thoughts, and wishing you strength and wisdom to deal with whatever comes your way as a family. Hugs to you and yours.

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  57. Wow, I can sympathize. My son was a Culinary Arts student at the time that he and two friends decided to take a BB gun and shoot it out of a moving vehicle. NOT a smart idea. My son was in the back seat and didn't shoot the gun, but he also did not try to stop his friend that was shooting or stop the friend that was driving. They all got arrested, spent the night and next day in jail, we had to bail him out, they had to pay restitution and spend two more weeks in jail. The prosecuting attorney wanted to give them 10 years. It was considered a felony drive-by shooting. Very stupid thing to do. They are all doing very well now and were able to get the felony reduced to a misdemeanor. He still can never legally own or shoot a firearm and I'm not certain, but I don't think he can vote either. Oddly enough, that whole thing brought us closer together. My thoughts are with you and your family. Just love him, he's an adult now and will live his own life, good or bad, but still needs your love and acceptance. My son was most worried that he had disappointed us.

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  58. Sweetheart...I know there are days when you feel like there's just no point in getting out of bed....But there IS a point. I know we've talked about how your son and my daughter were from the same type of mold, so I hope you also remember that you are not alone and that although I don't know your troubles spificily, I do know your pain. If I could take any part of it away...I would. But sense I can't I hope my prayers to "someone" who is much, much stronger can life the burdon even if only a little. My heart goes out to you, and know that that's where you live...I'm here and I have very big sholders___=^..^=___Kittie

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  59. i was thinking so much of you the other day. looking at the calendar, wondering when a good time would be to suggest us getting together. you were kind of quiet, so i didn't want to disturb the silence.
    i am thinking of you and of course you know, i always keep your family in my prayers. please let me know if i can help.
    love... i send you love too.
    ; )

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  60. I wish I had read this on the day it was written....but I am sending my love and praying for you all starting right now.....feel hugged!!!
    love you
    laura

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  61. Of course I will pray. I have no idea what's going on with your family, but I've got a stepson who has been causing lots of heartache and anxiety for 9 years now, so I think I can partially sympathize. Also, as a word of encouragement--this is a very different situation, but once, when things were at their worst between me and my ex best friend and I was so torn up about it, someone told me that they had gone through something similar with their best friend and it had turned out all right, they were able to become friends again and this encouraged me, just as your neighbor has told you that she had a similar situation and it turned out all right in the end. Now, 7 years after those encouraging words--after I had long despaired of them coming true, to be honest--my ex best friend suggested, with no prompting from me, that we speak on the phone. And so next Thursday we will, for the first time in 7.5 years. So the light at the end of the tunnel is definitely there, no matter how long that tunnel is. I will pray that you're able to keep sight of it. <3

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  62. Oh Beth.... whatever it is that you are going through with your son, I send you love. I am not a mother and can only scarcely imagine how difficult things can be. But I have a mother who has bravely shared with me recently how her son/my brother has broken her heart over the last few years. And it damn near broke my heart.
    So I send you both...actually, your entire family as much love and hope as I can send over the airwaves.
    Be strong. We all love you xoxoxoxo

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**I love reading the comments you leave, as they make me feel like we're sitting in my kitchen, having a cup of tea, discussing life and wondering where all the time has gone ...beth