Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Sometimes You Have to Restrain Yourself

Last Friday afternoon I watched my son run in the Chieftan Challenge. It's a one mile race which is held at the end of every school year – in which the kids from the two middle schools in Okemos compete against each other. Joshua has been looking forward to this race all year, and I was excited to watch him run. He'd been hyping himself up about it for weeks, talking about how much he hoped to break the 6-minute mark. And I had offered up several prayers for him through the day, asking God to help Joshua do his best.

I arrived at the race before the kids started gathering and just stood there waiting. Before too long I saw Elizabeth with several of her friends. She came right over to me and gave me a big hug. I said hello to her friends, then was quickly left to watch a purse, coat, and camera which belonged to one of her friends, so they could run off and talk to other girls. I really didn't mind. I remember being a teenage girl. Besides, I was still contemplating Elizabeth's warm greeting – in front of her friends. How sweet was that?

Then I saw the boys coming and I turned to look for Joshua. After just a minute I saw him, and my heart skipped a beat. Oh, if you could have seen the smile on his face. He was so excited! I saw him high-fiving his friends and even body-slamming with one of them. Everything in me wanted to walk right over there and hug high-five him, too. I wanted to whisper to Joshua that I was praying for him, wanted to wish him well and let him know dear ol' mom was there to cheer for him.
However, when I looked at my almost-teenage son, rousing it up with his almost-teenage friends, I knew he would be humiliated if I did any of that in front of his friends.
(Oh, sure, at bed time he wants me to rub his legs and back. But I better not talk to him in front of his friends!)
So I stayed where I was, keeping my eyes glued on him, hoping that for an instant he might look my way and be able to hear me thinking, Hey, Joshua. I've been praying for you. I know you'll do great. I'm here to cheer you on! But I couldn't get over how hard it was to control the urge I had inside to go over and give my boy a hug.
(At this point, I think it was helpful to have an extra coat, purse, and camera to hold. Gave my arms something to do. *grin*)

And for just a moment I contemplated the incredible difference between an adolescent boy and girl.

But soon it was race time and I got myself into position at the finish line so I could capture this picture, just after he crossed the finish line.

Joshua's finish time was 5:59.
He broke six minutes and he was soooooo happy.
And this momma was proud!



O Mom said...

Way to go! Both of you...:)

luvmy4sons said...

Way to go mom! Way to go Joshua! LOL! I do not have any girls. Do you mean that I could hug one in public if I did! Wow! What would that be like! LOL! *grin* I have to tell you though that I have learned this control lesson too as they aged; but I should have learned it earlier. My now 18 year old when he was 6 or 7 was playing defense on a little mini football team. The quarter back went to hand the ball off and the guy fell so my son ran forward and grabbed the ball and ran for the end zone. Without even knowing what I was doing I ran INSIDE the fence along the side lines yelling his name and encouraging him to keep going and not look back. He ran it in for a touch down but I have NEVER lived that one down. I get teased about it to this day! LOL! thankfully he was only 6 0r 7 and didn't hate me forever! LOL! Great job mom! I think I see some fruit!

Patricia/NYC said...

YAY, Joshua!!!!
Gosh, this post gave me a few little tears!! So much emotion in this one!!

You are a great Momma!!!

Irritable Mother said...

O Mom - Thanks. *grin*

Leslie - Yes. If you had a girl you would get public hugs. :)
I am laughing with you about the football game. And I can understand why they haven't let you live that one down. LOL
The thing is, my 10 year-old son still hugs me in public. I don't mind it at all - just wondering when I'm going to need to learn to restrain myself with him.
Thanks for the encouragement.

Irritable Mother said...

Patricia - Thanks. Sorry about the tears. I hope your make-up didn't get smudged. *grin*

Sara K. said...

That's awesome!! What a great picture -- I'm sure Joshua was SO proud! And you too! Good job restraining yourself from public hugging. :) Kind of bittersweet, eh?

TheUnSoccerMom said...

Way to go Joshua!!! That is awesome. It's so wonderful for kids to set goals and the icing on the cake is when they accomplish them.

I cherish every moment Christen will show me any kind of affection. It gets fewer and far between and most of the time, it's only when she wants something. But I'll take what I can get! :o)

You are an awesome mom!!

Your prayer from the other day is helping and I so thank you for it!

Ronel Sidney said...

Your ROCK!!

When Lucas told me a few weeks ago I could no longer hug him in fromt of his class my heart hurt yet I know he still needs me at home, just not in front of his friends. *sigh*

Irritable Mother said...

Sara - I'm still trying to find the sweet part.
No, really. It is sweet that he's growing up. It's all normal and good. But the 'don't get too close to me, Mom' feeling is a tough one. *sigh*

Jodi - Yes. He talked about his finish time for a couple of DAYS.
You'll take what you can get? Sounds like a good idea! *grin*

Ronel - How old is Lucas? It all started for Joshua in first grade. He would walk me down the hall after I helped in his classroom, because he wanted to be with me for a few more minutes. But then he had to look up and down the hall to make sure the coast was clear before he would give me a hug and kiss good-bye. LOL!

gianna said...

oh, I can't imagine what life will be like in 7 years. But good for you in restraining yourself to save face. Not yours by Joshua's. I love you, Karen! You are a great mom!

Irritable Mother said...

Gianna - Thank you. *grin*
And don't worry about 'in 7 years'. Enjoy today!