Updated: Dec 11, 2020
Wearing the stripes of working and motherhood.
If you have an opportunity to see me around my son, you will see a lot of me in him. I melt when I see him. He is a momma’s boy to the core, and I love it. Yes, I was the mom that at six weeks old dropped my son off with a stranger so I could go back to work. It is not that I did not love my son, I very much do. I wanted to set an example that you must work hard to play hard. As an infant my spouse was working, and I wanted to continue to as well, so I dropped him off each morning with an at home day care provider. He stayed in home day care until entering a private preschool at 18 months of age. Those around me thought we were crazy for putting him in school at such a young age, but he was ready. I am not sure if it was the Baby Einstein videos or two parents that worked to ensure our son learned something new every day. All we knew was that he was smart, very smart. Were my expectations of him high, yes and I was willing to put in the work as a parent to teach him at an impressionable age to be the best you can be. By the time he was ready for 1st grade he was reading, comprehending, writing, and had mathematical skills of a 3rd grade level. He was also mature, mature enough that he told us that he did not want to go to a private school anymore. He wanted to experience being with kids like him. “Like him” meant children that were not of money. Can you imagine a six-year old telling you this? My son did not realize that we had money because we live a humble life. A life in which good grades affords you a reward and bad grades have consequences. Give to others that are less fortunate because you have everything you need. Video games are only allowed after you are ten-years old. And love your parents unconditionally even if you do not like the rules sometimes. These are the family values he is being raised with.
“I wanted to set an example that you must work hard to play hard.”
Out the door went private school. We had done everything we could do to give him the best start in life we could, but when a child recognizes that he does not fit in to his environment, you must listen and make a change. I will admit we did not want him to leave the private school environment, but he did and that was what mattered. The compromise was that he goes to a magnet or charter school. He agreed, and we put him in the lottery and crossed our fingers that he was chosen. We got a call one week before school started that he received a spot as an alternate. The first couple of years made us question the decision as he was far more advanced than the other students and the teachers were not sure what to do with him. He was a different kid at home. He was happy, happy to be around children that he could relate to.
“Children know what you teach them.”
Children know what you teach them. The holidays at our house means giving to someone else less fortunate than you. Every year, he is so proud to adopt an anonymous family during the holidays that we can help that is struggling financially. As the years have progressed and I continue to excel in my career he has become aware of the fact our family is financially secure yet continues to live like his counterparts at school. He continues to maintain humility as he watches those around him struggle. When he recognizes someone struggling, he comes home and asks how we can help now knowing that we are in a financial position that we can. He is a friend that everyone wants to have, as he would give the shirt off his back. Sometimes I wonder if he is too generous as I worry, he may be taken advantage of. Then I realize I would do the same thing and that he will realize when he is being taken advantage of as he is a smart boy.