The truth is, I feel guilty.

This life I live, this air I breathe, these experiences I create, they all seem so undeserved. Why am I chosen for this? Why do I get to live while others die?

The guilt often comes very strong when I think of my youngest son. 

Why, not for what he has, or how he’s being raised, or even what he’s experiencing…it’s in the utter complete presence he has in me as his mother.

I know, that sounds completely strange. 

I feel guilty for how much presence I have in his life. 

How much love I’m able to give him. 

How much attention, guidance and purpose I’m able to expose him to.

The fact is, the way I am raising him, is the best I truly can. I CHOOSE to do things a certain way that allows me the TIME to be present. To be active in his life. To take the necessary actions to make all (most…because a constant flow of candy isn’t the best for his diet) his desires come true.

Many times that means I must forego ways of doing things in my life. 

Like making the money I could.

Like vagabonding around the world.

Like staying out all night and watching the sunrise.

But I never call it a “sacrifice”. Because I consciously CHOOSE what I want and I make it happen. I make a decision then go forth, no holds barred and no obstacles to hold me back.

So why the guilt?

Because it is, I feel, a stark comparison to how I mothered the first time around.

Don’t get me wrong, I was still present, I was still loving, I was still leading and teaching and raising my eldest the best I knew how…but at such a young age, I myself was still learning how to live. How to lead. How to teach. 

In short, I never took the time to discover, or pause to ask, what I WANTED. Being selfless was my nature. In many cases it still is. All my life experiences, I feel, are meant to equip me to help others through theirs. 

Being altruistic, though, can sometimes lead to martyrdom. It’s a fine line to tow. The awareness of whether one is altruistic or a martyr, at the core, is INTENTION. 

Perhaps that’s why I was led on this journey of self-discovery. It’s a journey I feel will never end because I’m always learning better, deeper and more profound ways to BE.

So why then, do I have this feeling of guilt?

I pass this feeling through my lens of INTENTION.

What is the intention of my guilt? 

To pause, reflect and recognize the contrast in my parenting patterns?

To appreciate the growth I’ve had as a person and parent to be present?

To remind myself that whatever we desire in life, even if we’ve made past mistakes, #izpossible?

The beauty is I get to CHOOSE.

And I CHOOSE them ALL!

My guilt doesn’t last as “guilt” for very long. Of course, when feeling in the moment it oftentimes brings on many tears, but they are in no way as debilitating as they were in years past.

The presence I CHOOSE to feel now in my current role I embrace and am utterly grateful for.

I recognize that the person I was 29 years ago was in fact a perfect person, for me, at that very moment in time. I did the best I could with what I had. I was lucky enough to have a supportive, understanding and loving father who stood by my side and allowed me to make the decisions I CHOOSE with my life. 

Thank goodness he raised me well and instilled in me the love, responsibility and honour of what being a parent meant. 

I thank God for blessing me with such an amazing man who I call Papa.

I also thank God for blessing me with a second chance at being a Mama again. 

For what happened in between these 2 births has challenged me, blessed me and supplied me with the best training a woman, a mother, a person could ever have to serve others. 

Today, I honour and pay tribute to my first son, who 29 years ago today, blessed us with his presence. 

Do I miss him?

Everyday.

Is he with me?

Always.

And for that I am grateful to have had the grace of his presence in my life. For he helped me understand unconditional love, how to play and enjoy life to the fullest.

Happy Birthday, Anthony.

Mama loves you…