Sunday, January 26, 2014

this kid is 14

As I look back on life with this kid, I get emotional. Where we are today, is a dream come true. But without our past years of heartache and stress, and emotional roller coaster of a ride with this kid, I don't think I would have the kid I have today.
This truly is a success story of a kid that went to hell and back and lives today a better person because of it.
At the age of 14.
 If you are a long time reader you know what I'm talking about. For those that haven't been around for the long haul, it's okay. We don't need to link back to past posts where I cried my eyes out as I watched and HURT so much for this child as he suffered with debilitating anxiety, social awkwardness, and being bullied. The physical parts alone, like not being able to stop the involuntary body movements long enough (aka ticks) that made everyday normal, take for granted actions, like getting a glass of milk from the table to his mouth... one of the hardest things to accomplish, or watching my once happy child go "blank" from emotions and become a nothing but a shell of who he used to be to cope with his dad's deployment and being made fun of and bullied for his physical ticks. To know, that everything I felt I tried to do, would be met with anger/sadness, not being able to fix it, and feeling like I was being blamed for most of what was going on...was just downright miserable. For him and I. Well, for a lot of people especially our family.
See, we talk now. And laugh off how insanely hard those couple of years were.

His laughter...I actually can remember VIVIDLY the first time I actually heard him laugh again after such a loooong time. It was in Fifth grade, his dad was home about a year and half from the deployment, and we had decided we were going to stay for the long haul in the middle of nowhere. Life became safe again to him, and I heard him laugh from the other room.
I stopped dead in my tracks, got thoroughly confused as to who's laughter I was hearing. Then I smiled and cried...but for completely different reasons than the ones I had cried for the last few years.

And well now? As an 8th Grader. And after moving across the country to the midwest...It's insane that we ever went through that. Who he is now, is who I remember before all of that. That silly happy little kid, that...well...the kid I felt I lost for a few years.

So with that long introduction (and with tears and snot dripping down my face)...here's my right now for you:

RIGHT NOW:
*You are doing great in school. This is the year I got the call from a teacher saying "Your kid just came up to me and said 'I think I got it.'" Yeah, kid I think you do. You've got all A's and B's 
*You are in band and play the trumpet.
*You LOVE playing the trumpet... you just taught yourself how to play Greenday's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams"
*Have I mentioned you love playing the trumpet? You play "Taps" for us every night around 9 pm. (your siblings think it's kind of annoying...secretly your dad and I think its hilarious)
*You have a few really GREAT friends. THIS alone makes me cry. To watch you with friends, is wonderful.
*You really love to do art as well, you draw really well.
*You love little kids (this is something I've known since you were a little kid) Now it's very apparent that you have an extra sense of patience with little toddlers. You are great with little kids.
*You are very aware of when others are being left out or bullied, you go out of your way to make sure they feel included. 
*There have been instances where I'm just floored with your maturity of a matter at hand. Perfect example would be when someone accused you of making fun of them, we talked about it, figured out the individual just didn't want to be there so he picked you as the scapegoat so he could leave. We decided together as a family that you would go to this person's home and apologize for any misunderstanding or any impression that you might have given off that would have come across as making fun. This individual said you hadn't, (much to the caretakers amazement that he lied), and you then invited him again to come back if he wanted to because it was great to see him there. I don't know too many adults that can or would do that.
*You don't care for chocolate. This I don't understand but tolerate.
*You love music. Anything from instrumental, to modern day you appreciate it and like to pick out the parts of each musical instrument. Imagine Dragons are one of your fav bands.
*You are a great baby sitter. 
*You are finding Spirituality all on your own. You ponder and study scriptures, say prayers, and help out with family home evening. You have just been released from being Deacon's Quorum President.  (a responsibility in our church held by a boy of the age 12-13) You have grown much in the last two years.
*You stand up for yourself now. Last year a kid started picking on you, I got the phone call saying you had fought back. I told them I was proud that you had stood up for yourself, then we figured out how to make it so this individual wouldn't bother you anymore...we have a wonderful school system here...oh and btw you told me you are kind to that kid now when you see him in the halls.
*You tell me often you love me. As a matter of fact you tell all of us you love us often. It's always heartwarming when you tell me and your dad...but when I hear you from another room tell your siblings randomly it makes me feel like I haven't failed as a mother.
*You have a great sense of humor.
*You laugh ALL.THE.TIME now. 
*Your teachers and counselor at school have also seen a ton of personal growth in the last two and half years. (so it's not just me being your mom saying all this crap) 

*I couldn't be prouder to be your mom.

Don't get me wrong you're still a snot nosed teenager at times with normal teen mood swings and short fuses...but we don't care, we Love you and are so lucky to know you and know where you came back from. 
Happy Birthday kiddo. 
ps: I know there's a lot of people who have rooted for you in the past that are very happy to see how well you've adjusted to life and who you have shaped out to be. 

42 comments:

DreiPunkteWerk said...

Best wishes for "the kid"!!!

Herzliche Grüße from Germany,

Kathrin

Dianne Mitzel said...

I follow you daily, but never knew of your personal trials. This is a beautiful testimony of the parenting and love that we all hope will win out when our kids need us most. I am a 71 year old mom. I lost my only son one year ago. He also went through a rocky time in high school, new step-dad, changes to accept and finally, dropping out of school. A wonderful teacher talked to him and long story short, he returned to school and was voted most talented his senior year. He loved music, had a wonderful sense of humor, great looking like your son. His death was due to poor medical care, to say I am heartbroken, is a vast understatement. When I hear stories of parents giving up, or not talking to their kids,I want to just shake them and say, "you have a son to talk to, I don't." The heartache a mom feels when our kids hurt is like nothing else, but you knew that their are no options except hoping and praying that one day, all would be right. I am so very happy that you have come to this wonderful point in your lives when joy triumphs over all the yesterdays that brought you here. He is very fortunate to have this dear family, and you are so very blessed to have him.
diannemitzel1@hotmail.com

Becky Collins said...

What an absolutely lovely "Right now" (That's just brilliant, btw) and how wonderful a young man you have there.

laurakam said...

Happy Birthday Noisemaker 1 from a long time follower who prayed for you and your family . It's so good to know what kind of a young man you are becoming .

sonia said...

Feliz cumpleaños to him and a great congratulations for both of you!

Barbara said...

Happy Birthday kiddo - I have read here since the very beginning and you sure have grown up - WOW where does the time go woossshhhhh .... GREAT photos V - is it possible for a blog reader to be proud of your kid ? I am !

Nessa said...

I am a new reader, and also a Vanessa! What a strong young man you have helped create and nurture. Sounds like your family's faith, love and example have put him on a great path. This was an honour to read.

Beeswax said...

OMG. What a beautiful post. I am going through "dark times" now with rugrat #2 and it's nice to see that it could be better one day..thank you!

Siobhán said...

I'm sitting here crying--so thankful to read that your #1 kiddo is back in top form. My daughter went through a period of being bullied when she was in HS and I know the powerlessness that you felt because of it. To know it was compounded by so many other things must have been so awful to go through. I'm glad you've come out the other side. Happy birthday to Noisemaker #1!

Deb said...

Church dances! Woohoo! I, too, have a daughter who was debilitated for weeks at a time during her middle school years. She is twenty-six now, and out on her own, but she still calls me every time she gets sick. I am grateful for the fact that being a "mom" is a job we never outgrow!

Anna said...

I love this Vanessa! What a great kid you've got there. And very confident guy there. Gosh isn't is crazy how things change?! Even in just a few years.

Esch House Quilts said...

Oh, Vanessa, you brought tears to my eyes! What a wonderful young man you have there. I can imagine how hard you must have been fighting for him during those difficult years.

Tamie said...

What a happy birthday for this young man and his family. Here is to perseverance, prayer and blessings.

Pots and Pins said...

You have a wonderful son and he has a wonderful mom. Thanks for keeping it real - as we all just try to endure to the end! xo, Nan

NorahS said...

Gosh, this made me all weepy! Happy, happy day!

gmp said...

Sending birthday wishes to your son. I am so glad that you were able to turn things around for him and your family. Hope that life is good, and you continue to have something to celebrate every day.

the mrs said...

I remember those heart wrenching posts you wrote years ago and now I couldn't even finish your post before the tears were running down my face as well. Thank you for being transparent back then (and now). It gives the rest of us hope who might be struggling with our own children. May God continue to bless you and your family.

charlotte said...

...and a handsome young man he is too. Happy birthday to him...and to you Mom.

Funky Kim said...

Happy, happy Birthday! So happy to read all these wonderful things about Mr. Noisemaker 1!

MsMidge said...

Wonderful!

Bethany M said...

Thank you for sharing this. As an 18 year old, I know that some childhoods are harder than others. I am so glad your son is finally finding himself, happy birthday to him!

Sharlyn said...

Happy birthday to your boy! I know somewhat the pain of having a child struggle with bullying and social mysteries. Wa to go mama!

mascanlon said...

Happy birthday noisemaker #1! And thank you Vanessa for sharing both those sad times where we all cried for and with you and now that confident warm tells shows how far he's come, well done!!!

Dawn said...

Happy Birth Day to you Vanessa! A celebration of the day you became a mother! Loved your post - it made me miss my son who is off at college. Keep him in band. Music was the best thing my kids did in middle school and high school. It shaped their social group and gave them opportunities for leadership and travel which have helped shape them today (my daughter is a drum major). Saw you on Quilting Arts last week and now finally get how to make the flowers!

Kim-the-girl said...

This gives me so much hope... Thank you for sharing. And happy birthday to Noisemaker #1.

QuiltSwissy said...

Isn't it wonderful when we get them back after things like this? My daughter once yelled at me and said, I hate you, I wish you would never see me again,

My response was, I will always love you, no matter where you go, what you do, or what you say. It took everything I had

But tonight, nearly 8 years later, she was here quilting on ,my avante for the first time!

What an amazing thing you and I have, wonderful beautiful kids.

Barbara M. said...

Your son is your masterpiece and the result of a special family ( sorry for my english, I hope you can understand the emotional meaning that I want to explain, it's hard with another language). I think that every difficulty could be solved with the commitment of the entire family when it's formed by very sensible and deep members, because it's easy to be lost.
Congratulations for your victory. Also your kid couldn't be prouder of you.

jeifner said...

Happy birthday to you and your boy! Well done on the great family :)

Nana-Bob said...

awwww, you made me cry. Happy birthday oldest "noisemaker". I hope your day is/was fantastic! You sound like a fantastic person and you make your parents proud! :)

Elsa said...

Lovely ~ lovely story ~ so glad he's doing so well.

Briawna said...

and now that he's 14, get ready for church dances and all that fun! It's such a huge weight off our shoulders when these young people progress in a positive way on their own. We're struggling with the social aspect of life with my third grader right now and I have to fight every day to not bust out the "mama bear" instinct. He's made huge progress, but we've still got a ways to go. Luckily, he's got some church friends and scouts to entertain him. This gives me hope that things will get better. Plus, he's a cutie! You'll be beating away the girls with a rotary cutter soon. Wait, Do they have girls in the middle of nowhere? ;-)

Kathleen OGrady said...

Very, very touching post. I am so happy for you and your lovely family. What a handsome young man you have there.

Alicia said...

What a lovely post!!

Barbara said...

I truly believe you are a fantastic mother. Happy Birthday to Noisemaker 1! Best Barbara

girlsmama said...

Oh V. This made me tear up! I am so so proud of you and that oldest noisemaker, who I knew when he was tiny. Wish him well for me!

Erika Benson said...

What a beautiful post. Thank you so much for sharing.
Although I don't have children yet, I can really relate to your sons situation, though my difficulties occurred in middle and high school. Congratulations to him (and to you!)for growing so much and achieving that confidence at such a young age. Wow!
I hope he knows what an accomplishment that is.he can do anything now :)

Katie Cohagen said...

I love hearing the positive stories that come from the kids who have been bullied. All too often, we hear of tragedy. I was bullied from 6th until 12th grade. I still have a hard time coming out of my shell at 33 to make new friends. I always feel like they are going to judge me so I judge first and somehow sabotage the relationship. Its a bad cycle that I need to get out of.

I am so glad your son was able to get past the negative and be happy to just be the silly, smart thoughtful young man that you have brought him up to be.

What an amazing accomplishment MOM! Way to stick through it and teach him in the process. You should be very proud on so many levels!

KaHolly said...

The goosebumps mounted as I continued reading. Well done post! Happy birthday to your son!!

Unknown said...

Vanessa, this brought tears to my eyes!. I love to hear how great things are going for him. He still holds a special place in my heart. I still remember his "Person I Admire Writing," which also brought me to tears. Also, tell him I love his taste in music. I love Imagine Dragons and still remember the song he chose to listen to on our Christmas music list. I am amazed at how great things have turned out for him and your family. Love to you all.
Stephanie W.

Julia said...

That is so crazy to me! Wow he has really grown up. I miss you guys as our neighbors. :(

Dittygirl said...

This is not the first time you made me cry :) I did not know about all this you have gone through, even though I have been reading your blog for quite a while now. But I am so happy for you and your kid(s), and as someone who has suffered from bullying, I can completely understand how good it can be that he stood up for himself :) You are such a great mother - wish you all the best, and I hope all your kids will succeed in life!

Heather at Happy Chippy Junk said...

I can't believe how "big" he is...and so darn handsome! So glad things are looking up for him. I remember when life was so hard for you all!! Happy Birthday!

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