This blog is a collection of stories on the ordinary days of today and a documentary of the days of the past. Thank-you for reading and allowing me to share. Enjoy your ordinary days and hopefully the bits and pieces of mine will resonate with the moments in your lives that bring you happiness.
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September 29, 2013: Ben Lane's Mom
Yes, that’s me. I’m Ben Lane’s mom. As of late, I have
frequently been asked this question. From the kids working Angel Flight to the
parents watching him explode on the football field. “Are you Ben Lane’s mom?”
I told Ben that I feel like a rock star. And then I told him
that he needs to have another good game this coming Friday as I’m not ready for
this status to disappear. Although I am actually trying to motivate him with
some humor, it really will be difficult to come off of my celebrity parent
status so quickly.
Saturday we visited Wayne State College as Ben is being recruited
for their football team. Unsure what this all meant and knowing there were two
other recruiting visits in the horizon, I took this one. Scott will take him on
the next two.
It was fun and insightful. The campus surprised me with its
charm and size. The coach, a proven leader, and those helping with the tours
and campus insight; impressive. Although still a novice with this sort of
college trip, I gained knowledge on what it would mean to play college ball.
Ben liked the school and the program. We shall see.
The two hour trip there and back provided for good
conversation and reminded me on why this kid is so likable. The stories he
tells typically revolve around others and his motive in life choices are led
with his heart.
The junior class volunteer at Angel Flight saw my name tag
and asked “Are you Ben Lane’s mom?” After telling her the affirmative, she went
on to say she didn't know him well, but he was in her class and was one of the
kindest senior boys she knew.
It reminded me of the three moms who sat ahead of me at a
recent home football game. They introduced themselves as mothers of sophomore
players. “Are you the mom to #9?” one asked. The women went on to tell me how
nice and helpful my son was to their young sons. One closed the conversation
with “I watch him on the field as he always helps the opponents off the ground.
Your son plays with character. A nice boy.”
Yep, I am Ben Lane’s mom. Although he and I can fight like
no other over grades that need to go up and papers that need to be turned in, I
remind myself of the winning strengths this boy possesses as well. His clothes
are rarely picked up off the floor and his wallet; missing more than found. But
Ben Lane has a heart of gold and sense of empathy that will serve him very well
as he steps into adulthood.
I ran into his Spanish teacher at Angel Flight. Ben had told
me that Mrs. Twist played soccer at Wayne State and really liked it. I told her
of our college visit and then added that Ben needed to remember that college
meant not just football, but classes. Rachel smiled her winning smile and said,
“I love Ben. I knew it the first day I had him in class. He may not be the best
student, but he’s such a great student to teach.”
The stories retold to me over the years go on and on. From
his affinity to small children to his community service work connecting with
the severely handicapped. Ben has a gift. It’s a gift of heart.
Over the years it has been easy to get caught up in not
having a kid on the “talented and gifted” list. Although a 35 on the ACT with
aspirations to be the next John Elway are commendable and I applaud those
talented enough to attain them, these goals are meaningless without the gifts
of heart and human empathy.
My mom always said Ben would be the one to surprise us all, so stop worrying. The alphabet would come in time and talented and gifted list,
who knows? So I will just keep watching him play the game of football and the
game of life with a smile on my face and warmth in my heart. Having a good year
in football couldn't have happened to a better kid. Just keep helping those
other boys up, Ben Lane.
(couldn't resist posting this video...glad Ben took all those years of piano :))
In Dr. Seuss' language, my thoughts on the day would go something like this...
"You have a brain in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. Unless someone truly cares an awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."
Well, I will just sum it up by saying that today certainly wasn't an ordinary day, but I will accept that. Life is full of changes, good and bad.
Sometimes the toughest part is figuring out if life shake-ups are truly a good or a bad thing. Personally, I have found my biggest life challenges have turned into opportunities. Doors opened to new people and adventures. A new chapter in life.
I am bullish in my view that this will be the case once again.
When the unexpected creeps into the door of normalcy, the best response is not one of self-doubt, anger, or fear. The best response is gaining perspective and self-awareness.
Time flies when you're having fun.
And when you're a little busy.
This morning Garrett asked me when I last wrote a blog.
"It's been a while" was my answer. Upon further review, it's almost been over a month.
I've had no reason for the delay, other than the combination of being busy and knowing the content of which I wanted to write warranted more time and thought than my more typical whimsical stories told. Although I have had an arsenal of stories that I have wanted to write about over the last month, I knew that this one needed to top my list.
A common question asked of me is in regards to my work life is "Sandy, what exactly are you doing these days?"
This is a valid question since I have been very open in sharing my work journey over the years through my blog. And I've had a career that has gone from very conventional to unconventional. It's much easier to say "I work for XYZ Company and my job title is Chief Do-Something-Spec…
A picture is worth a thousand words. But let's start with six...
"And they lived happily ever after..."
I bought this little sign more than seven years ago. It caught my eye at Target while shopping for milk and kitty litter on a weekday school night. The boys were in varying grades in school and I was single-handedly running my daily household.
Recently divorced, I was also dating a man from Denver. Garrett. Our relationship felt like forever, but the 550 miles between our homes was a stark reminder that our long-distance relationship was more like a fairytale than reality. We were reminded of this frequently by the people who knew us best.
"Guard your heart. Long distance relationships rarely work out."
"You are both good people, so be realistic in where this is going."
But the funny thing about love is that no matter how practical-minded or mature your mindset, your heart guides you to places that are scary to others, but quite comfortable for you…