Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

This is my mother when she was in kindergarten. Every Mother's Day I think about how I could possibly ever express to my mother my gratitude for her love and service. If you know my mother you already know what an amazing woman she is. She can do anything she puts her mind to- electrical wiring, tearing apart her washing machine and fixing it, building potato guns, biking across Iceland, raising six kids- and all of that is reason enough to admire her. But what I'm at a loss to express is Mom's essence, who she is.
The word that comes to my mind repeatedly is steadfast. Mom knows where she is heading. There isn't much second-guessing going on. She knows what is right and what is wrong and she makes her choices accordingly. This was a bit frustrating as teen because when I saw gray, Mom only saw black and white. This did,however, ultimately make her the ideal moral compass. I could always look at a situation and judge it by Mom's standards, thereby determining what I should do.
I don't remember being spanked by my mom, I was more fearful of disappointing her. A look and a firm word were all that it took when I was a small child. When I hit my tween years, I remember how my relationship with my mother became strained. I felt like Dad got me but Mom didn't. Enter my years of Daddy's-little-girlhood. This stretched into my teen years. Despite our distanced relationship, my awe of my mother never wavered. What I exhibited on the outside did not reflect my true feelings and opinion of my mother.
I always felt my mother was remarkably laid back. She would allow us kids to roam the woods for hours. She didn't pack us off to the doctor at the first sign of a cold or even surface wounds. There was no smothering hovering parenting going on. But an event in my teens changed my relationship with my mother again. I had been out way too late and came home to angry parents. I didn't see the big deal about it. I knew what I had been doing, why couldn't they trust me and back off? Not yet being a parent, I didn't realize that there were a lot more people factoring into the equation that my parents did NOT trust. The next day my dad, who I was more responsive to at that stage, took the opportunity to talk to me and entreated me to be more respectful of my mother. He said, "When you are out late your mother doesn't sleep. She sits up worrying about you until you are home." Ok, call me an oblivious teen, but this was a revelation to me. I had no idea she worried. My mother? Worried? How could it be? At this point my Mom and I began to understand each other again. I am happy to say that our relationship has just continued to blossom and grow from there to the adult mother-daughter relationship we have today. Up there close behind my husband she stands as one of my best friends. She has helped me through the birth of my own children and took over all my responsibilities in my home while I laid in bed with my DVT. I talk to her frequently on the phone and seek her opinion about decisions in my life. I am so grateful to have her in my life and in the lives of my children. I hope that I can be half as good a mother as she has been. She taught me confidence and empowerment. Because of her example I felt there was nothing I couldn't do. I hope I can teach my children the same and teach them how to choose right in the face of tempting wrong. I love you Mom, thank you for all you've done and continue to do.

Here I am with my little charges today. I look at my beautiful children and the magnitude of my calling to rear them in the ways of the Lord seems overwhelming. But I love them with my whole soul and I am grateful I have been entrusted with their sweet spirits. Hopefully I don't screw them up.

1 comment:

Chari said...

Ok, I am crying right now! I always remember you telling me stories of your Mom & how she fixed everything & just got things done! I hope she reads this! If one of my kids EVER wrote such a beautiful thing, i would feel like i had succeeded! I hope you had a great MOthers Day Mol! I admire you & your selflessness in having all of those kids AND then raising them! 3 is killin me! :) Let me know your summer plans! LOL!