Mothers stressing over their children

It was just a small, round gold loop placed in his left ear, like the one many of his friends wore, but it bothered me. Why? I am not sure. It was probably because it represented rebellion against what was the norm in our family; that is, girls wore earrings, and guys didn’t.

It was just a small, round gold loop placed in his left ear, like the one many of his friends wore, but it bothered me. Why? I am not sure. It was probably because it represented rebellion against what was the norm in our family; that is, girls wore earrings, and guys didn't. It could have been the vain concern...It could have been the vain concern that our friends might think our parenting skills were weak, or the fear that he would reject other rules we thought were important.  So, I did what frustrated mothers do; I scolded him, nagged him, and finally pleaded him to take it out.

Reluctantly he did. It was such a small part of his life. The significant part was that he was a quiet, shy, young man in his first year of college away from home, and he was following behind his near-perfect sister, who was outgoing, an honor student, and sang in the college choir.

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However, all I could see was the gold earring in his ear.  Of course, I had not read the book “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and It’s All Small Stuff” by Richard Carlson. This small, 245 page book provides strategies for keeping it all in perspective, such as; “Repeat to Yourself”, “Life Isn’t an Emergency,” “Turn Your Melodrama into a Mellow Drama,” “Remember, 100 Years from Now, All New People,” “Keep Asking Yourself, ‘What’s Really Important,” and “Choose Your Battles Wisely.”

Carlson suggests that life is full of opportunities to choose between making a big deal out of something or only letting it go, realizing it doesn’t really matter.  Letting it go is what I should have done.  Our son wearing an earring was not a new thing or a big deal, but my reaction made it a big deal.

History tells us that the practice of men wearing earrings started thousands of years ago.  In 1991 a body was discovered found frozen in an Australian Glacier.  Test claimed the body was more than 5,000 years old, and both ears were pierced.  It is said some superstitious sailors pierced an earlobe to improve eyesight, and if their bodies washed up somewhere, it would pay for a Christian burial.

In many societies, ear piercing is done as a puberty ritual, and is an almost universal practice for men and women; it only in Western civilization that is deemed effeminate.  During the Elizabethan era, many famous men such as Shakespeare, Sir Walter Raleigh, and Francis Drake wore gold rings in their ears.

When I reflect on raising our children, it is evident that I was sometimes guilty of sweating the small stuff. According to Carlson, people overreact, blow things out of proportion, hold on too tightly, and focus on the negative aspects of life too much.

He and his wife also wrote “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” for men, women, teens, love, family, and money.  If I had read all those books when I was raising our children, I might have been a lot more relaxed. But the fact was raising our children was the most important thing we did together in our marriage life, and sometimes it was intense.

It is comical to our children, now that I am a grandparent, how I am always telling them to relax, it’s not that important.  When we went to visit our son and his wife over the holidays, he leaned down to welcome me with a warm hug, and I felt something brush my cheek.  Sure enough, there it was again.  Only this time, it was silver.  It looked like a little spring wrapped gently around the lower lobe of his ear.  When he let go, and I looked up at him, we both grinned, remembering the mother-son battle of many years ago.

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Deana Landers
Author for Morningcoffeebeans.com

Deana Landers has had many roles in life — Pastor’s Wife , Nurse/Health Educator, Writer and Motivational Speaker ... more