Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Raising Lucas

A couple of Saturdays ago I watched Lucas in a situation I would never want to be.  I wondered with the way I raised Lucas how would he deal with the situation.   I had to just sit and watch.

After my marriage failed it became clear to me that raising Lucas was going to be my responsibility.  I left my marriage because it wasn't good and I didn't want Lucas to grow up in such a hostile environment.

When Lucas was a baby it was easy because a mom's job was pretty natural for me- my love carried me through all the breastfeeding, diapers, sick times, fun times, sleepless nights and bumps and bruises.  As a boy gets a little older they start to develop their own little personality.  From the beginning I knew Lucas was strong headed.  Lucas was also very lovable and a lover of all things with eyes.  His stuffed animals were some of his favorites and giving one up was impossible.  He was the same with any living creature we would come across.  Still Lucas was very strong.  One time when his father was fighting with me Lucas; just starting to walk stood by me and yelled/cried at is dad and waved him away.  Lucas was only about 2, but that was a time when I realized I couldn't stay in my marriage and put Lucas through that. 

So then he got a bit bigger and I wanted so bad for him to grow up and be a good well rounded man.  I wanted him to be strong, compassionate, loving, respectful, and a man with faith in God.  So I needed to feed him well, show him my love and compassion, teach him to be tough and respectful and get him to church and around people of faith.  My father played a big role in Lucas' life from the beginning and I am forever grateful!  There were times I had to be aware of somethings that most mom's might not think of if there is a dad around.  Lucas because I was with him all the time was a sweet boy, tough at times, but when I would see him on the football field or just playing on the play ground I started to notice his stance.  Although to me Lucas appeared tough compared to some other boys he wasn't as rugged.  I remember one night talking with him about his walk.  I tried to teach him how to walk like you are bigger than you are....weird I know.  I could see boys who's father played a big role in their life had the natural ruggedness- probably from wrestling around and doing dad/son things from birth.  You don't realize, but something as simple watching a dad shave in the morning has an effect on a boy.  After talking with Lucas about his walk he did change it up a bit- it was cute and he actually looked like he felt better.  I know it has been tough for Lucas and when we would see boys in our neighborhood hanging out with their dads it was really tough.

As time went on Lucas developed his likes and dislikes and I seen a lot of me in him as well as a lot of my father. Still sporting functions were always different and I know it bothered Lucas that other dads would be there on the sideline with encouraging words and Lucas had me and my parents and even though my dad is the loudest of them all Lucas still missed the dad figure.  I know that because he would make little statements about the other boy's dads.  Lucas adores my father like a father, but he would never call him dad because he wasn't his dad.  They have an incredible bond and dad was there at the beginning and still there every day.

So we kept going and in stepped Rob and single guy with not much kid experience.  What Rob did have is a lot of love to give.  So simple- but I believe Rob's heart is what made things work for us.  Lucas never gave me much fuss about Rob at all.  It's like kids just know when someone is good.  It was an adjustment, but the more Rob was in our life the more Lucas bloomed.  When we finally all moved in together I could see Lucas just soaking up another guy in the house- his smiles would say it all.  Now I see Rob in Lucas.  This year Lucas decided to try wrestling.  This was exciting because it was Rob's favorite sport in school.  To watch him coach Lucas along is like a dream come true for me and Lucas too I'm sure.

A couple of weekends ago Lucas had a wrestling tournament- he was determined to place in the top 3 for his weight!  Rob went over tips with Lucas and he was all pumped up.  He wrestled his 1st match and he did exactly what he said he was going to do- win.  Since Lucas was little I always talked about mind over matter.  The night before the tournament the only thing I could offer were words- like you know this boy, you know what you need to do.  Lucas said to me- "I'm going to win my 1st match".  I said back the saying- "The body will go where the mind leads it."   I was so happy that some of what I taught Lucas has come to the surface.

After a match the boys go over and shake hands with the opponents coach- well Lucas was so excited about his win he went with his huge smile straight to..................Rob.
Rob is always right there as close to the mat as they will let him.

His next match would not be so easy another seasoned wrestler with a perfect record- no losses.  Now this match was important to Lucas because if he lost he would have to wrestle a teammate in his next match.  A teammate Lucas had become close to, a friend.  Well Lucas didn't win and the first thing he said to Rob was "Now I have to wrestle ______"(his teammate his friend).  Now this boy wants the win as badly as Lucas and we know a bit about this boy.  I feel for this boy because he lost his dad.  I feel for the whole family because it wasn't too long ago I was faced with thoughts of leaving my family.  I wondered how Lucas could wrestle a friend.  I thought to myself- me, I might not do my best.  I would feel so bad beating my friend.  Now I know I raised Lucas with a lot of compassion and he is very compassionate, but now he's a teen and he needs to be tough.  As I watched Lucas walk down the bleachers after his friend as they were going to their match I had no idea if the compassionate Lucas would come out or if the strong Lucas would win out.  To not give a good fight would be disrespectful to the other boy, I know Lucas has a huge heart.  I had no idea how it would turn out.

Watching them I felt for both boys who had to deal with adversity growing up- I wanted them both to win.

Well Lucas ended up winning- I cried for the other boy.  The boy smiled his usual adorable smile- because of his bringing up he was a gentlemen about not winning.  The strong Lucas came out BUT guess what?  Lucas gave that boy the biggest couple of hugs I ever seen and then I cried some more.  My Lucas showed his strength, respect, and compassion that morning and I was so proud.

The hard work of parenting does come back with huge benefits!

I don't take many wrestling pictures because I'm too nervous watching- These pictures were from a local match - I have no pictures of the tournament.

Thanks Dadone
going on some sort of adventure 

Lucas and Dadone cutting down a Christmas Tree

Thanks Mom
a fun time

 Lucas' 1st day of school

Thanks Rob
our cabin vacation 

Lucas' last birthday

this years tree cutting

You go boy!

I know he'll make a great dad someday!
Lucas with his little cousin

And I'll get to spoil grandchildren
Lucas with his Home and Career baby



Jackie's Journey said...

Wow! This was beautiful to read, Danielle (made me cry). I can imagine how proud you must be of Lucas... what an incredible young man you have (maybe some day we can get him and my daughter together. ha!! - just kidding - well kind of..). Being a parent is the hardest job on the face of this earth.. but also the most rewarding! You should be very, very proud!!! Love & Prayers Always!!

Sista B said...

What a nice "teary-eyed" post. You must be so proud. Funny how things turn out. I'll never forget Rob's speech at your wedding - not only about you - but about Lucas and how he loved coming home to a family and playing catch with Lucas in the backyard. It's been wonderful to watch the three of you become one and to watch Rob become a great part of Lucas's life. And now with the wrestling they share a bond that has brought them even that much closer. Love the pics of him growing up. His eyes are so full of adventure!

Love B

Danielle said...

Oh - thanks you guys. Since everything happened I have a bit of a hard time writing about Lucas- it's just so emotional for me.
Jackie- I would love to have Lucas meet your daughter- She is so beautiful and so sweet. She hunts too- right? Perfect...lol.

Thanks Becky- you have been so welcoming and loving to Lucas and I. We are blessed.

Amy said...

Oh D how touching and wonderful this was to read. You have overcome so many trials and tribulations and yet you are still at the top of the mountain with victory of a wonderful family and many blessings from god. you are a phenominal mother. As your friend I am proud of you for overcoming all that you have and still remaining so strong and positive for yourself and your family. Lucas truly is blessed and lucky to have you!

Love ya

cpauline said...

How great! Wow! I hope Lucas
can see and read this.
Your fantastic. Thats why Lucas
is becoming a fine young man.
You have taught him well.
(You have put me to shame!)
Love you and all you continue to
do each and every day.
Your a true inspiration.

Danielle said...

put you to shame- Mom you did raise me! At least I thought was you...lol.
Love you