This has been a hard year for me in many ways. As many of you do, I have lots of roles; I'm a sister, an aunt, a niece, a friend, a teacher and a mommy. The role of motherhood has been the hardest always but not like in the past year or so. I have felt like many of the struggles that my son faces all come from the same decisions.

From the school he attends to the reason he is Catholic I have made those decisions for him. I have tried my very best to give him the tools he needs to survive in this crazy and many times mean, terrible world. A world  where people may not like you just because of the color of your skin or maybe because of how and what you believe.

Through it all I have learned many things but one that repeats itself is that it doesn't matter what I tell my son but what I show him. The way I react to  those situations that are not pleasant or the way I answer his questions, especially those that tear at my heart like, "Why can't things be the way they use to be?" But the hardest to show courageously is the way I deal with my emotions and handle the many challenges of daily life.

When I answer these and many more of his questions I try to be as truthful as I can, for his nine-year-old mind, to process my answer. But I think that the most important thing I have learned is to tell him that I too have made many mistakes. Like the way I have used a not-so-nice tone with him at times, many times, and have lost my patience more than once, and have not had the courage to make decisions that would have been better for him.

Embracing My Cross by Elizabeth Desiderato Image via Pixabay (2014), CC0 Public Domain

So, instead of beating myself up for not getting the "Mommy of the Year" award I thank God for my cross and suffering. Don't get me wrong; it has been a long journey for me to get to this place. I used to cry and ask God, "Why is this happening now and to me?" Especially because I was overwhelmed and confused. But now I see that in my suffering I have learned many things and am in a much better place. I have peace and more trust in Our Lord than I ever think I have.

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My hope is that my son learns from his sufferings and thanks God for them. That if he needs to lean on God or even be carried by him, in the end that is what will help him get through is suffering. Hopefully he will also find out that through all of the trials God does  have a plan but we must trust him in order to have peace.

Copyright 2016 Elizabeth Desiderato