Sunday, September 26, 2010

When Your Best Is Good Enough

Earlier, this summer, I titled a post "When Your Best Isn't Good Enough" and it was about falling short even after 110% had been given. I am happy to say that this week and weekend I felt that my best was enough, in fact, more than enough.

Homecoming Week - full of many extra activities and tensions. Sons worried about when to shave and breaking out. My youngest was embarrassed he doesn't know how to tie a tie and went on Youtube and figured out how to do it.

My youngest had a lot of excitement as a Powder Puff dancer and performed at the start of the week for the girls' Powder Puff football game and then for the school assembly later in the week. I was proud of him for participating as a male dancer - his older brother did it last year and it was so much fun. The football announcer called the boys' routine a "spectacle!" Just lots of fun and laughter. My youngest is less outgoing than my oldest but still very popular in his own right.

Then there were the football games for my oldest but he didn't see much playing time this week. His girlfriend's birthday was this week which added to the already hectic tone, since he had to go and get her gifts. Then there was a costume fitting for Show Choir no less, as well!

The boys and I ended up scraping together suit jackets, dress shirts and shoes that still fit. Although my oldest wore a shirt a little tight and my youngest son's shoes were a bit tight too. We ended up finding a new pair of dress pants for my youngest at the resale shop for only $4.00. Both boys contributed their own money to the dance but still needed some help from me. I chipped in for the dry cleaning, part of the money for a new tie for my youngest, gas money for my oldest and some money for the flowers for my oldest son's girlfriend. My youngest paid for his flowers. Both boys paid for the tickets and dinners on their own for themselves and their dates.

I have written before that I think these dances take up a great deal of "mom time" and for a mom already pressed for time it is even more stressful. The place where I usually order the flowers had an earlier order cutoff than usual and I was later in ordering than usual too because my oldest son's girlfriend didn't decide on what dress to wear until the last minute - and you need to know the color in order to get the flowers. So I had to find another flower place and ended up just going to the local grocery store floral department and they turned out fine - not as nice as what we usually get but acceptable. I was proud of myself for not over stressing out as I raced around to the resale shop, dry cleaners and florist.

I was in negotiations with the nice young florist making up the flowers for about an hour because my youngest son's date's dress was an unidentifiable color - some shade between blue and purple. There were no ribbons or flowers that matched the dress color so we ended up going with a mixture of blue and purple. Thank goodness my oldest son's girlfriend requested red roses. That was easy.

My youngest son and I spent two, yes, a total of two hours at our Kohl's trying to match a tie to the color of the purple-blue dress. I really liked a purple tie better - it changed shades from blue to purple depending on where you stood! My poor son had to go out to the parking lot for reception showing pictures of the tie choices to various friends on his phone for their opinions. Unfortunately, his date, the one whose opinion really mattered was in cheerleading practice and couldn't be reached. We ended up getting the purple tie. But then my son took it to school the next day and his date wanted the blue one, so I ran back to Kohl's to make the exchange.

The entire time I was in Kohl's I just kept repeating to myself, "Yes, life!" This is due to Flo's suggestion a few posts back - thanks Flo! Yes, the whole homecoming week and dance are stressful, especially for an only mom, but the end result is that my sons had good times, have wonderful friends who are nice kids to hang out with and had a decent dinner out. I was so impressed with my youngest about the crazy tie ordeal. He just kept telling me that he wanted to make his date happy, she is really just a friend vs. a romantic interest. Although he could care less about the tie, its color or style, he wanted to please this girl and give her what she wanted because the dance meant more to her than it did to him.

My youngest wanted me to go to the photo session at one of our country clubs where my oldest and his crowd was eating, since he is a senior. He also said that he was going to the dance more as a favor to this girl as a friend. But he promised to get me photos. And I can go next years when he is a senior. There was some pressure after he got picked up for the dance and had to come back because he'd forgotten the dance tickets!

So I went to the country club where it seems we just were for Prom and this time my mood was much improved since I had taken an anti-anxiety pill beforehand. Going and being alone isn't fun period for me and it never will be but I wasn't as moody or grumpy and tried to smile and act lighter than I have in previous years.

So in the end, despite our living under reduced circumstances, and the stress and strain of me being an only parent, which I hate, my best was good enough. The boys had a worthwhile time, both looked very handsome and I didn't totally freak out in Kohl's! Now both boys tell me they are going to the Homecoming dance at our other school in town, in mid-October. Both boys have friends at both schools and my oldest son's girlfriend goes there. They have assured me this dance will be easier to get through. I guess being popular has its price. But I have a few weeks to recover and maybe this time I'll just place the flower orders now!


  1. My son went to his first homecoming this weekend also. Thanks goodness for U tube, that's how he
    learned to tie his tie. It looked pretty good for a first try. That made one thing easier.

  2. Leslie - We are old hands at Homecoming, and all the other dances but it is still bittersweet for my sons to be handling so much on their own without the influence of a dad/father figure around. And it would have been nice for me to have a guy around to lean on too. I suspect many of the parents go out for dinner and DRINKS after the photo sessions when the kids are safely at the dance or dinner, simply to recover from the week of stress and strain!

  3. I think your best is GREAT! You made a a special night even more special by all your hard work. You really are a wonderful mom!

  4. Thanks Beth. They had dinner specials all over the town for the kids - $20.00 all inclusive, with entree, salad, soup, dessert, drink and tip. I was so happy the boys were able to have a nice dinner since we rarely go out to eat anymore, but I tell you, I sure was envious wishing I could have had one of those dinners too!

  5. I know...your time will come -- IT WILL, I believe it. You are strong and courageous and you never give up! You are generous and caring. You are doing so much for your sons and one day you will be rewarded! Like I said, you are a wonderful mom and person!

  6. I love the way you were so resourceful. You were able to make all their wishes come true, and stay within the budget. I applaud women that are able to make happy moments during these tight times.
    I think you are a wonderful mother, and your sons are very blessed to have you in their lives. You have created memories they will have forever, and you will not be forgotten.

  7. I lost my husband 10 months ago, prior to his death we were the couple of the century! We had it all a great love affair, family, freinds, freedom from any financial worry. Not only did I lose my husband of 24 years, my step children (3) are contesting his will and trust, his partner of over 30 years is contesting the partners agreement that would assure my financial security. I all my greif I have had to deal with legal issues, the big one legal bills. I feel lost and alone, and in limbo.

    Reading you blog and comments from other readers shows me I am not alone, and helps me moving forward. Thank you for this

  8. Beth - Your cheerleading and support is so nice to receive. I want to start spreading some of it from my end to others too. You are inspiring me.

    Anonymous - I just did my best under tough times to get it together for the boys because I know how important high school events and memories can be. It is worth the effort in the end. Hard while going through it, but afterward is what ends up mattering.

    Anonymous - I am so sorry for everything you are going through. The grief alone is enough and more to bear not to mention the financial issues with your family, etc. I will be thinking of you and wishing you strength in the days ahead. All of us are here if you need us - leave a comment for us and we will be more than willing to do what we can via the blogosphere.

  9. God id truly GOOD, I told you how I lost my step children with them I lost my grandbabies who I have loved since they were born. I was always their grandma. But I have one child, a daughter she is wonderful, 29 yrs old, married for 5 years with a wonderful husband and they are expecting! It fills me with joy, at the samw time I feel sad her Dad isn't here to see this and share it.
    With all the things that are going on in my life I feel like I am consumed with worry and myself. I'm trying to tell myself I've done all I can do, I've hired and attny., I've listed our vacation home and have a nest egg to get me through a year or two (legal fees??), I need to stop living in fear but limbo is so hard for me.
    I've done it again, I wanted to tell you a happy thing and wind up all about me. I guess it will stop someday