TORI'S STORY | INDIANAPOLIS PHOTOGRAPHER
I have 2 boys. Wesley (10) and Mason (7). A fun memory I have is of Wesley. After watching "the video" in 5th grade (the one that talks about the birds and bees) he and I talked about it before bed. He was so upset and could not stop crying. I finally got him calmed down and asked what was wrong, He said, "mom, what if I go bankrupt and lose everything. My wife and kids will hate me." I said, "buddy, bankrupt!, why are you even thinking about that and how do you even know what they is?" After a long pause he looked at me and said, "Mom, don't you know we watch Wheel of Fortune every night!" My boys are special because of their uniqueness. One of the biggest challenges and blessings in being their mom is that they are so incredibly different. Wesley, so strong-willed, soft-spoken, intelligent, sensitive and compassionate. He knows what he wants when he wants it and has his mind all made up about how it should be. He expresses himself in ways that are a bit mysterious, yet when I find them I am amazed by his imagination and creativity. His love for all things learning has inspired me to step inside his world and just "be." His messes, like the 10,000 Lego's on his bedroom floor, are master pieces and it is not until I step back and step into his realm can I truly appreciate and thank God for ALL that this sweet boy is and is becoming! I call him my firefly -- he shines from within. Mason on the other hand, is more like a flashlight! When he is on, which is always, you don't have to look very hard to find his light that shines like a runway! He is energetic, witty, competitive and athletic. He can turn someones bad mood around in an instant with is antics. Never at a loss for finding a way to make the world smile, when Mason enters the rooms...... you know it. Mason also has a side of him that is very curious. He wants to now all the W's and isn't satisfied till he gets them, "why, mom?" "when, mom?" "what for, mom?" An athlete are heart Mason has a drive to be the best at anything he puts his mind to. His determination and need to succeed inspires me, even at his young age! He doesn't do anything with less than 100% effort and tends to even go beyond that. Oh and we can't forget his dance moves...... they are stellar! I am so incredibly blessed by these boys!!!
I always knew I was put on this earth to be a mom. I have wanted to be a mom for a long time so needless to say when I found out I was pregnant, I was thrilled!! As a child growing up in a single parent home and living with my dad and my brother, my maternal instincts kicked in at very young age and I was so excited to apply all of that to my own kids!
I didn't think I could possibly love anything as much as I loved these little humans that I was now being asked to watch over and raise while they are here on this earth. "What an honor that God picked me," I thought. Ok, then after all that, you know, the warm and mushy part, I was scared to death! "Was I capable of raising a human?" "Were my husband and I ready to change our marriage as we knew it?" The questions came flooding in...... and that hasn't changed! 11 years later the questions are still flooding in and many of them are the same as the first day I held my babies!
Being a mom has changed me in ways I have never imagined! It makes me stop and question my priorities each day. Each and every decision that I make is with my kids and family in mind. I have learned to be more selfless, apologize more, slow down, pray often, take a deep breath and count to 10, put myself in timeout, rely on other women who are wiser than me, appreciate my own mom more and the list goes on and on. Motherhood has given me one of life's greatest lessons! It keeps me accountable!! I want to lead by example and train them up in the way they should go. I have two sets of child eyes watching my every move, two sets of ears hearing the words I speak and two humans who will likely grow up to model the way their dad and I acted, treated people and lived life. I want to be the perfect example for them, all while also helping them understand that it is ok to mess up and that we all need do-overs. I love that each day I have two people in my life that can keep me accountable and ask me the tough questions.
The most challenging thing? Doubt! Each and every day is filled with so much doubt. Doubting if I made the right decision, disciplined the appropriate way, spoke the right words, took the right action. Each night when I lay my head down it is filled with new challenges from the day yet each morning is filled with a fresh start. I take one day at a time as each day is filled with its own adventures!
It sounds so cliche but you blink and another year has gone by. People warned me of that and I waved it off like "I know, I know" but then when you live it, it is truly incredible how quickly the days turn into months that turn into years. I feel like I was just holding my infant and now he is entering his tween years and learning about life and girls and ACK!
Their curiosity is the best! I wish they could ask me why the sky is blue forever. I want to be the one they run to for answers to their toughest question forever!
I want them to grow up to be men of integrity. Whether they are professors, engineers, athletes, construction workers, businessmen or gas station attendants, my hope for them is that they approach everything with integrity and honor. Life is a gift and each day my prayer is that they will live it that way.
Tomorrow is a new day, moms! Don't beat yourself up. You are amazing and wonderful and are doing a great job. Forgive yourself from the mistakes you make as a mom because you will make many. Live each day to the fullest and regardless of the circumstance hug and kiss your kids. LOVE WINS...... always! Mothers are their kids best advocates. Mom's need to trust their guts. If they need something for their child they need to fight for it. Our kids are the future and without moms taking a stand to make the world a better place for them then when we leave this earth they will have to live in it. BE the change you want to see for them!
Dear Wesley & Mason
Thank you for just being you! Everything about you is perfect. You were designed in the likeness and image of God and that is what I see. You have taught me so much and have made me a better person. When I look back on this life I will no doubt see that being your mom was one of my greatest accomplishments. You make me laugh, cry, doubt myself, give myself a pat on the back but most of all my relationship with you has made me grow deeper in my faith. I am grateful and blessed that God picked me to be your mom. What an honor and what a gift. I know at times I have messed up and I thank you for accepting my apology. You are amazing young men. I am so proud of you both!! Remember to always treat others the way you want to be treated. Whatever the future holds for you, I will support and love you. I am your biggest cheerleader and your biggest fan. Keep your heads held high and may your faith be bigger than anything else. You are loved!!!!
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