Archives for posts with tag: parent

The only things that prepared me for being a Mommy were my own terrific mother and grandmothers and my ability to read anything I could on the subject. And my friends as we shared parenthood and its adventures together. I was one of the first of my friends to have a baby and I was still in college, graduate school, so I hadn’t been around any babies. I was the oldest child in my family, but we were close enough together that I didn’t remember anything about taking care of them.

I was a novice with a Better Homes & Gardens Baby Book propped open on the changing table to show me what to do. I was a good student, so I guess I approached it that same way. It was funny at the time and funnier now that I’ve had four children and eight grandchildren. That’s the first thing you’d better learn – to laugh at yourself. My husband and I often would look at each other and burst out laughing at the absurdity of it all.

A fantasy book I wanted to write while in the thick of motherhood was going to start “I had no idea how much shit I was going to handle in my lifetime…” I meant that literally and figuratively. To be more polite, let’s change that to messes of one sort or another. There’s the messy bottoms, faces, and vomit at the bottom of that mess pile. We can throw in the pet messes along with that – dogs, cats, hamsters, rabbits, chameleons. What else did we have? Then there are just messes that kids make. How many Legos have I picked up in my lifetime? Star Wars characters with their itsy bitsy guns? Blocks, books, balls of all kinds, shoes, socks…it goes on and on. Some of my kids were neat and some were messy. A couple lived their teen years in rooms so bad that we just closed the door – I’d learned not to pick up for them by then. There were cooking messes…

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and dirt and mud, especially when I had a soccer goalie daughter who didn’t mind wallowing in the muddy goal. I never seemed to have towels in the car to get her home.

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And then there were life messes to clean up. Hurt feelings, anger, bad tempers, broken hearts, disappointments. You grit your teeth and pick up the physical messes. You gird your heart to take care of life’s breaks and falls.

Being a Mommy was the best thing that ever happened to me…still. I’ve been through the worst of it and the best of it and would do it all again. That would be in another lifetime…I’ve earned my stripes in this one. My son called me Mom and my girls call me Mommy. My daughter-in-law calls me Karen. They’ve grown up to be wonderful adults and parents and I’m so proud of them and for them.

Being a Mommy is a great class that never stops teaching you about yourself. You learn how far you can be pushed before you break into anger, laughter, or tears. You laugh a lot at the adorable things your children and grandchildren do and say and at yourself along the way. You are angry at yourself, at them, at others when they do the wrong thing or someone wrongs them. You learn that life isn’t fair, your children aren’t perfect, you can take on way more than you think. You learn that you cry for them, with them, and when they accomplish something big or small. I’ve cried through some pretty silly school programs. It could be that the most uncontrollable tears of all are the ones of pride.

Most of all you learn that your heart is way bigger than before they came into it. You learn that it swells with pride and a love you never understood before. You learn that it can be broken and that they help it heal.

This Mother’s Day weekend, I rejoice in the lessons this Mommy has learned. I remember with gratitude the love that I was surrounded with from my own Mommy and grandmothers and aunts. I send much love to the precious Mommies in my family who make me so proud of them and their children.

And love to all Mommies out there. Have fun, be proud of what you do and laugh at yourself with joy! Happy Mother’s Day!

As a mother, I kept a lot of the kids’ things…pictures, notes, cards. Things that are precious to me. My mother kept a paper carnation I made in preschool or kindergarten, made out of kleenex or something that couldn’t possibly hold up, but she had that poor little limp treasure until she died. Most mothers I know understand the simple sentence in the Bible, speaking of Mary remembering events with her son, “But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.”

My son was one of those kids that kept you hopping. You had to keep up with him both physically and mentally from day one. Maybe he was born knowing his time would be short, so he had to live fast. Or he was just a funny kid, testing your patience, making you laugh, making you worry, making you smile and love him.

I found his Me Doll the other day. It was a project at pre-school, making a doll that looked like you. Something only a mother would ooh and ahh over. This one had a lot of personality, says the mother. I had to run an errand after I picked him up from school the day he brought it home. We were walking up some stairs and he spotted a mailbox and dropped the doll in the slot. Come on, mothers, you know how you feel. I gritted my teeth and checked the pickup times, finished my errand and sat to wait for the mailman. Fortunately, it wasn’t too long. He retrieved it for us and that was that.

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I always think of that story when I look at the funny Me Doll with his stick out hair, his crooked face, the three dots for the private parts. Oh my. These are the things that make you love being a mother – once you get the doll out of the mailbox. These are the things that a mother ponders in her heart. And smiles…