Beliefs of Individuals

In late 2013, early 2014, I guilted Chris into getting baptized. I told him that people whom aren’t baptized, go to hell. Being the “good christian” that I was then, I wanted/needed to save my baby from going to hell. At the time, I thought It was very important, that Chris grow up knowing the lord, and all that he can and will do for you, if you just pray and have faith. Although I have not led the most “righteous” life, I was turning over my life to christ. I rededicated my life to all things lord. I went up during the church’s invitation call; attended all four classes; officially joined the church; faithfully attended church, with Chris in tote; prayed throughout the day; read my bible; made and hung around like-minded people; faithfully tithed. I rededicated my life to christ, because I felt this was the answer to all of my problems. I was about to graduate with my Bachelors; I had a decent job; everything just seemed to be looking up for me. I was very optimistic about my life, and the direction it was headed. I tried to instill this same message into Chris, but like many children, he was not interested. So I told/convinced him that if he doesn’t get baptized, he will go to hell! Point. Blank. Period. If he was to be baptized, when he comitted a sin, all he had to do is confess his sins; repent, and all sins will be forgiven. I scared him enough to where he thought he would really go to hell, if he wasn’t baptized.

So today I sit here, thinking how stupid it was for me to do this to him. I was never the type of parent, who told my son about santa, or the easter bunny, or the tooth fairy. I just never spoke about these mythical creatures at all. I decided that I would let Chris come to his own idea/opinion/conclusion about them. I was/am the type of mother that believes that children should be able to practice individuality; should be free to roam and explore; figure things out for themselves. I believe that the reason Chris is the good boy he is today, because I let him make his own decisions; be his own person. So why did I feel the need to force this baptism on him? What was it inside of me, that felt the need to make him do this? What was I really saying to my child?

Around mid 2014, after Chris was baptized, we were talking and he dropped a bombshell on me. He told me that he believed in evolution, and the big bang theory. Honestly at the time, I really did not pay too much attention to it. He spoke to me in length, about the theory, and how cool he thought it was. And I just listened, and let him speak. The only question I asked him, was; “if people came from monkeys and apes, why do monkeys and apes still exist? (This is the proverbial question most people whom believe in christ ask). His response was; “that’s easy! Not all monkeys and apes evolved.” Just like that! He, nor I mentioned it again. By this time, I had given up on church; seeing that no matter how much I prayed, attended church; tithed; bible studied, etc. I was still poor and broke with 3 specialized degrees, in “lucrative” fields.

Fast forward to December 2015, Chris, one of my younger brother’ and myself went out to lunch. Chris and his uncle were speaking, and he mentioned the evolution theory to my brother. Well my brother went back and told my parents, and my dad had a serious issue with this. As Chris and my father debated (really argued), over the facts of evolution and God, I sat there listening, and was very surprised at Chris. Not because of what he was telling my father, but the fact that he held his own, conversing with an adult. He was very mannerable and respectful towards his grandfather; but he also made sure he got his point across. At that point, I realized that Chris really is an individual, and not just a child who needs to be governed. When we become a certain age, we don’t want our parents trying to control us anymore. We all want freedom to believe and think what we want. So why do we try to make our children, believe what we believe? I understand that as a parent, we will always want what’s best for our children, but at what cost? Is telling our children, that there’s a man in the sky, who can see everything that you do; knows all that you do; will punish you for being human, the right thing to do, or is it a scare tactic to make our children behave. For the majority of Chris’ life, I did not go near a church; up until that one time, I never had to threaten Chris to be a good boy; he just was. So a few weeks ago when he told me, he does not believe in God, what could I say? People are allowed to believe what they want to believe; this does not exclude children. So the next time your child tries to share something with you, please don’t force your opinions, ideologies and beliefs down their throats; you just may be pushing them away!

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Ode to Chris

He’s the only person in the world who’ love I never have to question, because it’s unconditional! My love, my heart, my reason for living, for staying strong, and keep going! What life was before him, I can’t even remember! No one on Earth could ever take the place of him! He’s my pride; my joy; my everything!! He was truly sent from Heaven to make me a better person! And although I am a constant work in progress, my baby boy continues to love, and give love unconditionally! I love you always and forever Chris!!

I was not financially or emotionally ready to have Chris at 22, but I made the best of my experience. 11 years later, I cannot imagine life without him. Although I always envisioned being married before having children, it was not what happened. I have been through so much with my son, and through all the trials and tribulations, I do not know where I would be without him. He is the driving force for many of my decisions; some bad, some good, but always with good intentions. Being a mommy is a badge of honor, that I proudly sport; it is a privilege to be Chris’ mom!

Chris, at age 11, is wise beyond his years. With much of the intelligence that millennials seem to possess. I always joke that Chris was half as smart as me at birth; by the time he was 5, he had already surpassed my intelligence. I started Chris off early; reading while pregnant; reading at birth. When he was 4 months, I used to give him “tummy time.” Although by 1 ½ months, he was already holding up his own neck. Between 3-4 months, I started training him to hold a sippy cup. I would fill the sippy cup with water, or diluted apple juice; sometimes formula. He would eat his Gerber Apple Puffs, or gnaw on Cheerios (at 4 months, he already had teeth). At around 6 months, I started using flash cards, although I wasn’t consistent with them until around a year. Fast forward to 3, I began grooming Chris to write, and he caught on quickly. By 4, he was able to read Level 1 books, that contained the sight words form the flash cards. By the time Chris went to kindergarten, he knew how to read, write, add and subtract. My purpose was to instill a level of educational- mindedness into him; something that was never instilled into me growing up. I always knew when I had a child, I would treat him, the opposite way I felt growing up. No spankings, no yelling; giving attention and affection; enhancing the importance of an education; always advocating for an education.

Chris at 11, has surpassed anything that I could have ever imagined. He is currently in the 6th grade, but reads and comprehends at a 9th grade level. Between 3rd-5th grades, he has received the highest level (5) on all statewide exams (barring the 4 he received on the ELA in 5th grade). He answers Jeopardy questions, especially science categories. Science is his favorite subject, as well as math. He is easily on the STEM track, and his goal is to become a Design Engineer. He would like to create games for Nintendo, in Japan. Although I wish he wanted to be a Doctor or Scientist; something that would be more productive in society, I would never take away his dream; only support it. I once had dreams and goals, that were not supported, and I would never want that for my child. My most important goal in life, is to see Chris flourish in life; the way at 34, I still haven’t been able to do.

This is my ‘Ode to Chris!’ I will always support your decisions, regarding your own life. I will offer advice, only when solicited. I will not meddle in your adult affairs, only give you the option to share my own experiences. I loved you then. I love you now. I will always and forever love you!

Love,

Mom

Destiny Unfulfilled

Destiny Unfulfilled

I felt shackled; shackled to whom I thought I was supposed to be. Mother, college graduate; career/goal oriented. But I was lost! Lost in a world that was unfamiliar; a world of sorrow, past passions and dead/denied dreams. I was a shell of the person, I once was; fun-loving, outgoing and somewhat happy. My goal for the past three years, was to climb the Human Resources ladder. I majored in HR with both my Bachelor’s and Master’s. How is it possible to spend all of that money, use up all of that time, and still not know what you want? I was so sure that HR was what I was meant to do. But after all that education, and 3 years pursuing HR, I am still unhappy. I come home unfulfilled on a daily basis; feeling like I was meant to do more. But what? What is my calling? What makes me happy?

Over the past few years, on the countless dates that I have been on, there is one question that is the same; “what do you do for fun?” I am always left speechless when asked this question. I never know what to say, so my go to answer is always; “B.C. (before Chris, my son), I used to really enjoy writing. I wrote for fun; I wrote when I was happy; I wrote when I was sad; I wrote about any and everything!” This statement contains the truest words, that I have ever spoken. I used to be a writer. My goal, B.C., was to double major in Broadcast Journalism and English. Become an Anchorwoman (laughable because I absolutely withdrew from the news, after my disgust with the paparazzi and Lady Di); become a Novelist. I knew that I would one day end on the New York Time Best Seller list. I would get married, have 2 children and write novels in my spare time. But none of my life worked out the way it was planned. I dropped out of school, had a child and worked many menial jobs before eventually going back to school to become an Accountant (my Associate’). Somewhere in between 2001- present day, I have been searching for myself; searching for the person who used to have passion and goals. When I tell people, that my dream degree is an English one, they look at me crazy; crazy because I already spent so much money on my education. “Why would you want to go back to school?” After the lack of support, I just shut down, and never shared with that person. Why share information with people, who are trying to kill your dream before it even begins?!

My passion for writing began when I was a child. I used to write stories about what I saw outside, or about my dolls, or monsters in the closet. When I reached high school, I would write about anything. I even wrote an autobiography. But somewhere in between teenage angst, and real-life adult situations, my passion for writing faltered. I have written papers for school, and meaningful Facebook posts; but I have not written anything for myself in a long time. At the moment, as I type this, I am still seeking what makes me happy; what I am passionate about; hoping to get bit by that creative bug. One thing I have realized over the past couple of months, is that sitting behind a desk is not going to make me happy. It is not what I was meant to do. I am a creative, and creatives cannot sit behind a desk and be happy. I was meant to roam, and be free; not feel trapped. The reason I have become a nomad, is because I have been searching for something. Although I haven’t written anything personal in over a decade, I know that writing was the only thing that made me feel better, when I was faced with a bad situation. It is the only thing I speak about, that makes my entire face light up. What I was searching for, was inside me all along. I just needed to realize this for myself. I now know that writing is what I was meant to do; it is my destiny fulfilled.