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“When I counted up how many times our little family has physically moved houses, whether within our home city or not, I counted 17 to date.

Luke is 9 so he has been alive long enough to have experienced quite a few of our moves. Braden, being 16-in-two-sleeps has clearly had to put up with more of them.

Braden has also switched schools now 8 times.

I know that has not been easy on him but as a parent, you do what you have to do, right?

As a parent, you move where the job pulls you to be able to support the fam, you move because the hospital you need is in a different city, you move again because you want to be closer to family and then sometimes you move to simply switch things up and use the change in geographical area as stepping stone toward your goals at the time.

I’m not oblivious to how difficult all of the moves have been for either of our boys especially with consideration of the many variables and events that coincided with the changes in physical location.

Braden is more of a quiet guy, he’s never been a rough ‘n tumble ‘one of the boys’ kind of dude. He’s always done his own thing and, due in part to our many moves, hasn’t really ever connected with a close friend that he’s been able to just call up (or Snap or text).

It has broken my maternal heart to know of his expressed heartaches in the past of the insecurities, lack of confidence and feelings of inadequacy in regards to the friends he didn’t have.

That’s a hard thing, ya know? To know the often inevitable situations of life mean that painful sacrifices are made at the expense of your child’s(ren’s) ability to thrive in certain areas.

Having been a child once myself and contrary to the popular adage, I don’t agree with the masses on the saying that children who have experienced a lot of big stuff early in life are “resilient”. Many times, they’re just mostly really great at masking and burying that s#&t deep down until it percolates up again in their 30’s, 40’s or 50’s or comes out as an addiction of some kind…or never at all and they just end up forever jaded, emotionally numb, unhealthily proud or unforgiving.

That’s not at all a great place to be.

Sure, kids can grow through and process things. Many of them do and grow up with only a small to moderate counselling bill but for others, those times of adversity and change can really do a number on their lives and stunt them in a lot of ways.

I’m glad Braden has been able to push through the changes, the hard times, the heightened responsibilities that he has had to take on without a choice and the solitude he has too often had to learn to embrace.

I’m even more glad that he’s not home at the moment.

And you know where he is? At a buddy’s house.

For the first time ever, in recent months he has re-connected with a friend who really gets him and vice versa. He has spent the last two full weekends and a night in between at his now ‘second home’ and both Jeff and I and my girlfriend and her hubby are loving it.

We are so happy for our boys to have found that unique bond with each other and to each have a bro to chill with. Entering grade 11 this September, they will actually be attending the same school together too.

Being able to finally engage in his passion of flying and to have a solid peep to hang with are the two things I have hoped Braden would one day be able to experience.

Life is beautiful, it’s hard, it’s messy, it can suck and it can be the best thing ever.

These are the moments that fill a Mother’s soul. I am grateful.

See you tomorrow morning B — Mom loves you,

-Becky”

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