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Monday, May 8, 2017

Turning 17 and Other Mother's Day Thoughts

On Wednesday, my oldest child will be 17. 17!!!  He is almost officially old enough that he will be required to sign up for the draft. Yikes! On the following Sunday, it will be Mother's Day once again. The year my son was born, he was 4 days old on Mother's Day. We had just returned from the hospital just a couple days prior, and mostly all I wanted as my Mother's Day gift was to be left to sleep and stare at my baby.

How has time flown so quickly?

So, I'd like to think that since I am the mother of an almost 17 year old that I have words of wisdom for those who have not yet gotten so old to experience such things. But, I'm not sure I have anything of importance to share. So, I shall just ramble what is on my mind.

My boy made ma a mother in 2000. This has been a journey like not other. I had decided to birth him naturally, and I'm so glad I did. My decision, however, had more to do with my dreaded terror of the epidural than of any sort of bravery or crunchy naturalist hippy concept. Since then, however, I have become more of a naturalist.

This child turned me into a mother and pulled me along learning how to be HIS mommy.

He was always a very high need infant. In other words, it is the story of how we started bedsharing with our infants till age 3. Another decision that I'm glad I made. However, I would have never thought it was a good idea until I found myself dogged tired with a screaming infant who just wanted to nurse and cuddle up next to me. I have read all of the dangers of bed sharing, but truth be told, I was always hyper aware of the infant next to me, and I never drank alcohol or took any prescription drugs or otherwise when they shared my bed. I couldn't even fathom how a non-medicated mother could ever accidentally roll over on top of their baby, but I guess it happens. It thankfully never happened to me, and bedsharing is another decision I'm glad I made.

OK, let's get it out of the way - Vaccines!  My soon-to-be 17-year-old is the one who cinched our decision to be non-vaxers. We didn't start out that way, but after he received his polio vaccine with a second dose of hep b vaccination, I spent the entire night with an inconsolable baby. I took a picture of him days later with the bandaid from the vaccine still in place and a ring of lost hair clearly showing up around his head. Of course, I've been told babies lose their hair It's normal. But, until they have held their own inconsolably screaming infant and then proceeded to watch his hair fall out with only one common denominator - the vaccine, I don't want to hear it.

This is the little boy who read fluently (seriously) at age 3. This is the little boy who has left countless strangers with open-mouthed amazement. This same boy is also often very awkward and uncomfortably shy in public situation. It goes back to the sensory issues I mentoned earlier.

Onto the next hot button topic - Homeschooling! It wasn't my son who cinched this decision. My husband and I had already decided to homeschool when we had children. I'd like to say that I'm glad we made this decision as well, and most days I'm thrilled about it. But, there are many days with this child in particular that I have doubted our decision. Curriculum does not work for this child. I often feel like I have failed him. We tried many different styles of learning. None of them worked unless I let him explore interest-led learning. With this, he thrives. I mean, he really thrives. He has tested 2 to 3 grades above grade level and was just shy by a few points of being college ready at 14 when he took the ACT. So, he thrives on his own, and we are currently unschooling him. Time will tell if I will be able to tell you I'm happy we made that decision.


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