My son and daughter in love asked, “Can you stay with the dogs while we are on vacation, Mom?”
I agreed to do so because I love my children and I adore their sweet pups AND they recently remodeled their 100 year old home and it’s stunningly beautiful.
Their front room is a quiet parlor with two bookcases on both sides of the room. Books, pictures, and special momentos of their lives line the shelves. As I read my Bible in the quiet room with two dogs snoring next to me, I glanced up at the books and my heart skipped a beat. Book after book was about our great country and those who founded it and others were about living a spiritual life and others focused on personal growth.
I smiled big – sitting in that room all by myself. The smile came from memories of trying to get my middle school son to do his homework or read a book from his summer reading list. He hated reading. He hated sitting in a school room unless the teacher made it fun and exciting. He bored easily as a young boy and it was a constant battle to get him to sit still in class and not act out the class clown bit.
When he hit his high school years, he was a leader in his class — and still a class clown too. He never did anything bad. Never got expelled. We never received a call from the police station. He was a good son yet he drove me crazy about waiting until the last minute to get his science project completed or write that book report (which always came from Cliff notes purchased at the last minute).
I worried about him — as all mothers do! But worry was a big part of my life and I did it well. Along with the worry, I prayed for him too.
He spent two years after high school working with his dad in his business and then one day came home and said, “I want to go to college. I need to do something with my life.”
My prayers were answered! God was good.
He already knew where he wanted to go – Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. He was always very mechanical and could fix just about anything and aviation was in his blood line from his Poppy’s DNA. That was the turning point of my son wanting to learn and apply things that mattered to him and not the things that mattered in high school curriculums.
He excelled in school and he has excelled in life. Anything he puts his mind to – he does it with excellence. He even excelled in choosing his wife. He is amazing! I’m one proud Momma.
And here’s what really struck me about the book covers he had on his shelf.
When I started the tea party in 2008, my son and my entire family thought I had lost my mind. They even thought maybe I was having a mid-life crisis. I had never been involved in politics or cared so strongly about America. And suddenly here I was starting and leading a band of patriots against government regulation strangulation. They kept asking, “Where was the Momma I knew before. What had happened to her?”
What had happened was this: I was watching my entrepreneurial clients laying off people and some were shutting their doors because the economy had just stopped. Just stopped. It was as if someone had turned off the economic water hose and nothing was coming out of it anymore. I didn’t know what had happened. On behalf of my clients, I learned from my own research what was going on in my country and I woke up. Woke up big time. I realized that while I was raising my son and his sister and trying to get him to do his homework, I wasn’t doing mine! I was homemaking while the government was trying to wreck it. And let me tell you something, when a Momma realizes someone – even the government – is trying to wreck her home — watch out! When Momma ain’t happy, ain’t no one happy at home or in our government!
I began a self-imposed study about the Constitution, our Bill of Rights, and other important documents that were a part of a contract between the people and the government. I had not done that kind of research since I was in school many many years ago. It became an obsession with me and the things I learned curled my toes and set my heart ablaze to return America back to the great city on a hill.
People like me were called all kinds of names during those days and we were known as right-wingers. I like to call us right-thinkers and right-protectors. We don’t have all the right answers and we do appreciate those who have gone before us to protect our rights!
After we started the tea party, my life changed. Books about America could be found on our tables. A flag pole was erected in the front yard. Red, white and blue became a part of our every day lives. We talked about America. We wrote about her. We defended her. We loved her more than ever before. We cried at ball games when the flag was flown and America’s national anthem was sung. We became more patriotic than ever and we didn’t see anything wrong with that. Who doesn’t want a little patriotism in their soul?
And little by little, my children began to accept this new Momma and even gave Mother’s Day gifts to reflect that love. Red, white and blue coffee mugs and scarves were the normal gifts now. And I in turn gave tea party sets to the Grands to remind them of the Boston Tea Party. We just became one big God-fearing, patriot-loving family.
So the glance at the books on the shelves that made my heart skip a beat was because my son and his wife had found their way too. The son who didn’t read in school was now reading books about his country and patriotism was pouring out of his heart. They even have a large flag painted by a local artist hanging proudly on their new pantry wall too. They are a God-fearing, patriotic family and the circle of life is unbroken!
The evidence of his Momma’s influence was all around me in my son’s beautiful home. The son who I worried about making it in life was making it and making it well. My work was done. My prayers were answered. And God is good – all the time!
Yes I’m a proud Momma today as I write this to you. I have two beautiful children who married two incredibly awesome spouses. All the hard work. All the difficult times. All the “get your room cleaned or else.” All the worries and all the prayers — were worth it all.
Raising children is hard work. If you are at that place of “have you done your homework” – just keep at it. Your influence is being noticed. Your children are watching you. You just need to make sure the cover on the outside of your life matches the contents on the inside. They can tell the difference so live life out loud and be truly transparent to your children. Grow with them too. Never, ever believe you have made it in life.
Because you may be like me who at the age of 52 learned all kinds of things about her government and changed her focus on life completely. I’m not the woman I was when I said for the hundredth time – “Did you write that book report?” I’m different in all aspects of my life and I will be different 10 years from now. I want to keep growing and learning so I never become ripe and rotten!
One day the books on your shelf will be handed off to someone you love or even sold in a garage sale once you are no longer here. Just make sure those books are filled with wisdom and knowledge so you can leave a lasting legacy in the hearts of those who read them.
And my friends…do not grow weary and worry too much about that child of yours who can’t sit still in class. Just keep praying and one day you too shall sit in his home and realize all that worrying was a waste of time.
I love my children and I adore each of you following my writings and sharing your thoughts with me. I wish you the best as July 4th looms ahead on our calendars. Maybe you need some red, white and blue to ready you for the most Patriotic Day in America. May your heart be true to the red, white and blue and forever in peace may she wave!!!
Before we sign off – here’s a little red, white and blue from my son’s front porch. And don’t you just love the pooch? I do!
Peace, Love, Out…