Nancy Gregg Photography » capture time.

LEGO life lessons…

Today I wanted to share what one of the boys is up to.  Isaac decided to enter a LEGO contest.  He loves creating things with LEGO’s and the minute he heard about this opportunity he went straight to work.  This is his mixel creation “Gibelca”:


Can you stand it?  I mean…he made that!!  {insert overly proud mom smile}.  Especially to anyone who may have NO clue what a mixel is, I’m sure this seems like some simple, crazy, silly creation.  And it is.  But that’s EXACTLY what a mixel is, and Isaac really did a great job putting a lot of thought and effort into it.

So WHY am I a compete nervous wreck about him submitting it to an official contest?  Well, aside from the fact that I’m basically a nervous wreck about anything.

Let me tell you, one of the many things that took me a little by surprise about parenting was the whole “mama bear” instinct.  Of course I had heard of it, but I really had no context for putting myself in those shoes and had no clue how strong it can actually be.  This is MY boy and he made this totally awesome thing and he is blindly submitting it to the world with all the faith he has that his creation is the best and he WILL win the prize.  I mean, he doesn’t even question it.  What do you do with that?  Where do you draw the line between encouraging this childlike faith and confidence with smacking him upside the head with reality?  Mama bear REALLY doesn’t want to see him smacked by reality. Because reality is, he is putting himself out there…and out THERE everyone has a criticism an opinion on everything…

But, I get it.  I obviously went through all of this as a child {not exactly with the same level of confidence maybe} and I know that these things are part of life.  Part of helping him become the man he will become one day.  I know there are really good lessons involved in succeeding AND failing…so why do I SO desperately want to protect him from the failing. Why am I finding myself wanting to hover over his submission, tell him what to write and how to write it, and make sure he gets the best photo of it, and so on, and so on…what would that teach him?  Why can’t it just be “his”…whatever that is…not to win the contest, but to be proud of something that is really his and to be happy with the effort and thought that he put into it regardless of the out come.  How do I teach THAT?  Or am I even supposed to teach that?  Is it okay to say “good job” anymore…I just don’t know…google it, you will see what I mean.  You see, one of the other things that completely surprised me about parenting, were all the judgements opinions people seem to have about parenting.

Well, I did the best I know how.  I stepped back, kept my mouth shut {unless asked} and told him to make it, write it, and I would help him send it.  And so that’s what we did.  I told him I loved what he made and the details he came up with.  He asked for help with the story, so I helped him get his own thoughts on paper as best I could.  And when he asked me if I thought he would win…I said, you just might!  But even if you don’t this is a really cool mixel and you can enjoy it for a really long time if you want to.

I don’t know.  I’m sure there are a half a million articles out there as to why at least one of the things I did above was wrong and may scar him for life or ruin his creativity or make him self-centered or unable to make decisions for himself and so on, and so on…and I’m sure, win or lose the contest there will be another million ways I can handle either one all wrong and totally miss the “lesson” in it.  It’ {did I mention I’m already an anxious mess about everything…throw me a bone here!}  Then it occurred to me.  Maybe I’m just so crazy not only because I would hate to see him hurt, but because I’m expecting we are both about to be evaluated…him on his creation, and me for how I parent him through it!

I have great community in my life, and I can’t say that I really expect anyone will evaluate {or even care for that matter} what parenting decisions I put into Isaac’s LEGO contest creation.  But let me say, as a mom…these are the things we {or maybe just I} mentally labor through day after day.  All I know is that I love this kid.  I pray every day that God will help me sort through all the noise and opinions out there and do what is really best for him.  That I will get out of the way of what God wants to do in his life and let him become the man God wants him to be.  I just hope my boys will come through relatively unscathed, and my mama bear heart can handle all this along the way.

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