Birthdays are a time to reflect and rejoice. On my birthday, I like to think about where I have been, where I am, and where I am going. Today is my mom’s birthday. So I get to reflect on where she has been and rejoice in who she is.
Reflecting back to before she became “Mom,” back when she was “Mommy,” I can imagine the struggles we kids never saw. Having 4 kids must have been pure chaos. I remember fights and messes that far exceed anything my little people have created. What I don’t remember is stress. I am sure it was there, but I don’t remember seeing it on her face.
I can relate to frustrations she must have felt. Being invisible. Going mad over the clothes that keep ending up on the floor. The constant return of morning that brings with it the same challenges from the day before along with 10 brand new challenges that you never even imagined. Extinguished dreams lying smoldering in the bottom of your soul.
My mom did something brave in her 30’s. She enrolled in school and became great at something. I remember her graduation, the pride we all felt at her accomplishment. Until this moment in life, I never appreciated how very hard that was for her. Trying to pursue a passion while mothering is a tightrope walk. But, she did it.
When I think of my mom at my age, I get a little sad and conflicted. Life wasn’t straight and orderly. It was kind of messy, maybe a lot messy. It was a hard time in all of our lives. But here’s the thing–she pushed through and loved us all unconditionally. I will forever be grateful for that.
Today, she is a Grandmommy to 4, almost 5 littles and not-so-littles. She is generous and loving, just like you expect a grandparent to be. The girls always come home from her house with new notebooks or new-to-them treasures from the thrift store. They also come home with feathers in their pockets and dirt under their fingernails from their adventures with the chickens in the garden.
She shows up for all the birthdays with just the right gift, selected to feed whatever passion her grandchild has at the time. She sends articles and videos to stimulate their minds. She sends organic food to make sure I am filling their bellies with goodness. She stays with us for days so I can work and David and I can date.
She takes care of her grown babies’ passions, too. She restored the laptop I am working on after it became a casualty of sibling-on-sibling violence. She sends me articles and videos on blogging, health food, and Christian living. Not in an “I think you need this” way, but “I think you will enjoy this” way. She built a website for my brother’s band, attends my sister’s performances, and cares for all of our families in a thousand ways.
In all of the good and the bad, the beauty and the ashes, I thank God for my mom. I am so proud of who she has become! The journey was never easy, but the result is so beautiful!
Thank you, Mom! Happy birthday!
Is there something you appreciate about your mom now that you have walked a few steps in her shoes?