Passion: My Hope for Gabriel

October 2, 2013

Rarely do I struggle for words, I am generally full of them.  The only person I know who talks more than I do is my 3.5 year old son.  Two weeks ago I was asked to go on stage at the Social Good Summit in NYC, and in a few sentences describe my hopes for my son.  Like many parents, I have many aspirations for him.  How could I possibly narrow it down?  I want him to be healthy and happy.  I want him to have access to a quality education and healthcare.  He needs to see compassion and empathy.  I hope he can find strength in adversity.  I had flashbacks from a discussion with Raising America Executive Producer Rena Popp at the Mom2.0Summit when I was pondering my answer.  She said she feared I would get to talking and not know when to stop.  I definitely didn’t want to be “that mom”. 

United Nations Foundation’s Peter Yeo dubbed “Charlie” and Shot@Life Champions “the angels”
Photo Credit: Myrdin Thompson

I thought long and hard about what I would say, and not just what I would say to the public but what I would say to him when he was old enough to understand.  I reflected on the last decade of my life, and what single piece of advice would have been the most constructive.  I always felt lost.  My entire life I had been told that I needed to be a doctor.  I was book smart and I had a desire to help people.  It sounded great at the time.  I generally have nerves of steel and an iron stomach, so it seemed like a fit.  It took me years to realize that my draw to medicine wasn’t actually practicing medicine, it was helping others.  I had invested my life in pursing a career and an education that wasn’t really meant for me.  I wish I had someone to help me figure out what I was passionate about, and how I could have developed that into a career.  

My sweet friend took a screenshot during the lives steam. 

My light bulb moment happened.  I knew exactly what I hoped for my son in a singular phrase.  I wanted him to discover what he is passionate about.  My words to the million people listening were,

 “My name is Jessica Peace-Urgelles, my hope for my son Gabriel is that he finds what is passionate about, no matter how long it takes him to find that.  I hope he has the courage to follow that passion, and he has people to encourage him just like I have had people encourage me”

Taking a Second to Just Breathe…

April 25, 2013

It seems like lately life has just been completely chaotic for me.  There is always so much going on.  I feel like I have to balance my time being a full time “single” parent, and trying to sneak in a few minutes to myself.  I say single parent because when your husband has been gone with the Army for 2.5 years, I became a single parent by default.  Right now,  I know I should be asleep but instead I am writing trying to clear my head.

Gabe had soccer pictures and a soccer game on Saturday.  I seriously thought I might cry.  It was his first official sports team photo.  He is growing up too fast.  I also caught him blowing his babysitter a kiss goodbye tonight.  I am pretty sure he has a crush on Miss Morgan.  I took Escobar to the dog park, and he was just a big ball of energy.  I also discovered Aldi grocery store over the weekend.  My life seems rather monotonous.

Today was especially difficult.  Gabe has been acting out lately.  He realizes his fathers absence and he struggles.  He barely knows either of his grandfathers.  My husbands brother lives in Florida and he has seen Gabe two times since he was born.  My brother Brandon is probably always watching over us from up above and there is Stanton who has been trying to get his own life together.  Gabe has no real relationships with men.  He hangs with my girlfriends and myself.  He attends childcare at the YMCA while I run and workout, but even those caregivers are all female.  When Gabe has basketball at the Kentucky Basketball Academy, he will do anything to get and keep his coaches attention.  He wants to be a little boy with a man to play with him.  I played basketball in high school, but I don’t want to be the only one teaching him to dribble or shoot a basket.  I watched as all the other dads interacted with their children and I couldn’t help be heartbroken for Gabe.  He deserved to have a male role model months ago, and her certainly shouldn’t have to wait months more for his dad to return.  I have similar experiences with soccer. I didn’t even have the option to play soccer growing up.

There is nothing quite as delightful as a 32 year man who has never even gotten up during the night to feed their child saying he is too young to remember all this.  Every time he says that I want to shake him (him as in Gabes father not Gabe) and say what do you know about parenting.  I interact with our son every day and I watch him struggle to interact with men.  He has attention seeking behaviors.  I rightfully worry that these last few years will gravely alter his personality.  I have half given up trying to convince my husband of anything relating to Gabes behavior, admitting I am right would mean he knows he needs to come home

My husband and I are so different.  There is no job that would keep me away from my son for months on end (or my spouse).  I guess this a huge sore spot for us.  I just wish I felt like he loved his family as much as he loved the Army.  I’m sure I’m not the only military spouse who has felt this way.

This is enough of a vent for my blog and the day.  I really need to sleep.  I get to drive to Washington, D.C. tomorrow for the Nike Women’s half marathon on Sunday.  There is nothing quite like a road trip with a 3 year old!

Happy Whining Wednesday!