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 :))
So Baby has graduated. Yes, it is true. The last Lane boy birdie to leave the nest. And the weekend has been nothing short of a whirlwind of events, from baccalaureate to party to commencement. All in about a 24 hour span.
After we closed the final night of festivities with a celebratory beer and wings with our extended clan, I finally laid in our comfy bed ready for some well needed rest. Carefully reflecting on our weekend of chaos in our soft quiet, Garrett asked how I felt. He knew how much I was looking forward to this milestone for Grant and for me.
"What was your favorite part of the weekend?" he asked.
Without hesitation, I knew my answer.
"Definitely the setting up for the party with Scott, Kat, and the boys. That was definitely the best."
Garrett probed further, as I am sure he thought the beer and exhaustion had an undue influence on me.
"Really? How so?"
As we lay in the dark, I went on to relive the 2 hours of chaos in our home before our 15…
6:00 am and he was gone. I've never seen Grant move so fast so early in the morning. Never. And not a tear shed by me. Not one.
With barely enough time to remind him, yet one more time, to drive safely; listing off every potential driving threat in the 512 mile stretch to Greeley, CO. He murmured something about talking to me later in the week, closing his door before hearing my response.
"Later in the week? Why don't you call me on your way?"
Grant gave a smile. I haven't a clue whether he actually heard me, didn't care or thought my request was funny.
And then he was off.
I distinctly remember the day I packed up my car and moved into the Westmar dormitory when I was eighteen. My mom similarly described my exit as the quickest she had ever seen.
College living began at home for me. My parents thought it made the most financial sense (which it did) to save the housing cost as I attended a college nine miles away. I thought otherwise but grudgingly made the …
I cried. I cried really hard. The ugly kind where my face scrunched up as I wailed like an inconsolable toddler.
It was as Garrett and I sat down to dinner a week ago. My brother, Matt, had left the day before to begin his new life in Arizona. It was a few days before that when my dear friend, Angelique, moved to North Dakota to start the new chapter of her life.
The hard realization was setting in that I was just weeks away from Grant moving to Colorado and life never feeling the same to me. My impending empty nest was feeling like an empty heart. So many emotions over so many changes. And although all these changes are good things, great things really, I still cried.
"What do I have to be sad about?" I continued to ask myself as I fought the tears away while making dinner. But I didn't win the fight. With my loving, sweet husband sitting across from me at the dinner table and asking the simple question,"How was your day?", I bur…