Bloomin’ Mom: Grace and Glory – By Conlee Ricketts, MLTS Blogger
This month I’m ankle deep in little rubber band bracelets. You know the loom right? It’s fascinating to watch my daughter navigate another little girl’s YouTube video on how to create a new pattern.
We sit curled up in the recliner watching a video I picked because it “looked cool” and then for the following 20 minutes I sit there handing Skye tiny rubber circles while pausing and playing the video as her captive assistant. Last week I sat captive in the recliner scanning the multitude of Halloween costumes as she pondered each choice carefully for the twentieth time. Being held captive in this chair brings me joy!
Having a daughter in the 5th grade while most of my friends are sending their babies off to college sometimes make me feel like a misfit, but that only lasts for a second until the next thing I hear is giggling as my daughter recites the planets in order from the sun and has to say “Uranus.” Classic.
I was a math teacher for twenty-three years and for the first thirteen years I never had the desire to be a mom. I was busy guiding and protecting about 150 kids a day and decided that would define “motherhood” for me. And I was perfectly content.
October, 2001 there was an unexpected shift in my world. I was pregnant.
Nearly 41 weeks later she was born. She was a bit tardy, but it was the summer of 2002 at nearly 3:00 P.M. as if my 37 year old teacher’s body had been trained to not do anything unusual until after school hours. Which does happen after years of only being able to pee at 7, noon, and 3 in case you were wondering.
I left teaching in 2011 to build a business based on the guidance I had been giving parents and kids for years: How to survive adolescence. Those magical years of eye rolling, mood swings, bad choices, and hurt feelings—and that just describes the parents I help.
Starting my own business and being a parent is a leap of faith. My journey has triumph and tragedy, but the entire adventure is something I am much better equipped to handle now. I’m sure my twenty-something-self would have managed parenthood, but I don’t think I would have noticed all the grace and glory that I’m able to see now. I imagine I would have been a bit too self-absorbed or impulsive, but that’s just the “me” I remember from way back then. I am thankful every day that motherhood found me when it did, and it suits me just fine. In fact, misfit or not, I realize that I never fit into the molds other people were pouring for me anyway, and I am finally wise enough to say, “Why should I?”
Conlee Ricketts is a parenting cheerleader, sounding board, and solution guide for parents and teens. She considers herself a Misfit with a Master’s degree; a rebellious former math teacher who earned the disgust of fellow math teachers by daring to let her students use a pen. Her life has been about solving problems—finding answers to the questions and struggles of her students, friends, family, and co-workers. She is also very crafty alongside her 11 year-old daughter when the muse speaks and the glue gun is hot. Learn more about Conlee at www.accepteen.com.