Life is full of choices. I remember facing simple choices as a child. Tell the truth or tell a lie. Choose. Be kind or be selfish. Choose. Peanut butter and jelly or grilled cheese. Choose. Read a book or watch a movie. Choose. Some choices have little or no consequence and some choices shape our lives forever.
As we get older the choices get harder. Cheat on the test or study hard and do your best. Choose. Retaliate when your hurt or show mercy. Choose. Eat away your stress or go for a long walk. Choose. Flirt with a co-worker or be faithful to your spouse. Choose. The choices get harder and the consequences are more severe, life-changing.
I have teenagers who are rounding the bend of childhood and facing huge decisions about their future. Choices about how they will live their lives, how they will treat others, the types of words they will allow to come out of their mouths, the types of things they will expose their mind and their hearts to, and how they will walk out their dreams. They are big choices. They matter.
Some choices don’t have a right or a wrong answer. And I remember the day I faced one of those choices.
It was 1986. I was young. I was walking through my soon to be college campus on registration day. I faced a choice- declaring a major. Now some of you may have gone years knowing exactly what you wanted to pursue as a career choice. I did not. There were so many things I enjoyed that I was having a hard time nailing it down, but I wasn’t the type to go “Undeclared.” I knew too many people who checked that “Undeclared” box, and stayed that way for 4 years, never having purpose behind their years of hard work. I was a commitment, goal oriented kind of girl, and I was about to make a choice.
I remember that walk so well. I had contemplated going into pre-med for a while, but nixed that idea because I knew I wanted to be a mother one day. I just wasn’t willing to dedicate the years of study and the sacrifice it would be to my future children. That was my choice and I made it. So that day, as I walked I considered Nursing, Physical Therapy, Art Education or English Education. Going through my mind that day were many faces of people who had influenced me or spoken into my life regarding my future, and by the time my long walk across campus was complete, I had decide to declare “Art Education” as my major. I loved to teach, and I loved creating. It was settled. Decision made. I chose.
I taught elementary art for 11 years in the public school system and in private school settings. I loved every minute of it. I also was blessed with the opportunity to work for a year as office manager for a dear friend who is a Physical Therapist. I got to transcribe medical notes and it was so much fun learning as I worked. Sometimes you get blessed with experiencing glimpses into what may have been.
And now, my son is about to give me my degree in nursing. Sure I’ll never have a diploma, but I’m ready to learn and determined to be the possible best care giver for my son. Determined to trust my instincts as his mom, determined to advocate for his care, and determined to see him thrive and grow and heal in every possible way.
Life is full of choices. Some you chose. Some get chosen for you.
This is my son, he was chosen for me. I am blessed.
My son. He has become my textbook. I will forever be a student of his precious life.
My son. My joy, my delight. I am so passionate about this precious boy, I could just burst.
Matthias Samuel, I choose you.