Tag Archives: mom

Dear Momma

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Dear Momma,

I’m sorry; I’ve failed you this Mother’s Day. Your card is still sitting on the kitchen counter, buried under a pile of unopened mail topped by an un-done to-do list. Besides, it isn’t even an actual Mother’s Day card since Trader Joe’s only carried generic cards and I didn’t have it in me to stop yet again when the baby and I both so desperately needed a nap.

You get it, I know. You’ve been doing this mom thing for thirty-plus years. And I get it now too. Though I’m only a year into motherhood, it’s more than enough to make me realize all that all that you’ve done for me, from the moment of my birth; all that you continue to do as I grow into a mother. Over this past year, I’ve come to love and appreciate and respect you in a whole new way.

The very reason I can’t manage to get a simple card in the mail is the same reason that you deserve so much more than Trader Joe’s ninety-nine cent sentiments. Motherhood is hard. Without your love and support and guidance as I fumble my way through, I would be lost. Your gifts to me have been selfless and priceless and limitless.

What do I get for the woman who gave me everything? Who has not only shepherded me as I become a mother, but has risen to great and beautiful heights as a grandmother.

How do I say thank you for jumping in your car, driving all day, just so you could hold my shaking hand as I prepared to bring my daughter into this world?

How can I repay you for the countless vacation days you have spent washing my dishes, walking my dog, and taking care of me, so I could take care of the endless needs of a new baby?

Where do I find the words to tell you what it meant when you miraculously appeared at 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. and 7 a.m., when I was at my wits end with a baby who Would. Not. Sleep.? Giving me a break when I needed it the most.

No gift could express the gratitude I felt when I faced you the next morning, bleary eyed and grumpy, and you didn’t tell me what I could be doing differently to get my child to sleep. You never questioned why my one-year-old wasn’t sleeping through the night. Instead you simply embraced me and told me the one thing I most needed to hear; the one thing I was most doubting. “You are an amazing mother,” you whispered softly.

I probably rolled my bloodshot eyes at you (sorry, I was tired…), but those words meant everything to me. Still do.

When I doubt myself, and my mothering skills, your reassuring voice is a constant refrain in my head: “it’s ok, it’s ok, you are doing great, you are incredible.” Your words become the steady heartbeat coursing through my veins and keeping me alive through difficult days and sleepless nights.

So momma – there’s no card, no flowers, no bottle of wine or meticulously prepared dinner waiting for you this year. I’m sorry that, this year, I’ve gotten too caught up trying to be a mother and paid too little attention to celebrating my own. You expect nothing, but you deserve the world.

But this I can tell you, as the wisest of women once told me, “YOU are an amazing mother.”

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You Momma for all that you do. I Love You…

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The Blessing of Babysitting

The last couple weekends, I have spent my rowdy evenings babysitting. While this would be a burden to many people, for me it’s an absolute blessing.

You see, I’ve always loved babies and children. Through the years, as my family and friends thought (hoped) this fascination would fade, it’s remained constant. Just last weekend, as I was proclaiming my philosophy on cloth diapering, my aunt remarked, “Well I guess you never really got over that baby thing did you?…”

Nope, not one bit. And while I don’t yet have children of my own, I have been so incredibly blessed over the years with the many many children I’ve gotten to care for and their kind parents who trust me with this task. As with ones own children, of course I don’t have favorites – each child and family is wonderful and unique and has taught me something different. But there is one family, one set of boys, who will always hold such a special place in my heart, for they were the first ones for whom I really truly babysat.

And today is a big day in our intertwined lives, because this happy little fella, Parker, the very first child I babysat, is turning sixteen. Sixteen!

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While it does make me feel old, it also makes me feel so very proud. So proud to see him grow from baby to boy to amazing young man, and so thankful to be a part of it all.

Our relationship started early. Shortly after Parker was born, I would wander over, a shy ten-year-old, to my new neighbors’ house and hesitantly ask his parents, “May I hold Parker?…” They never turned me away or told me I was too young; they welcomed me into their home, trusting me with their first sweet little baby. My visits became more and more frequent, often daily, and as time went on, his parents eventually began paying me to watch Parker. I was simply amazed that someone would actually pay me to do the very thing I loved most in the world – watch over little ones. I would, both then and now, happily do it for free. Yet, the fact that they paid me, that it was a real job, brought with it responsibility. So while I was watching over Parker as he grew, I hardly realized the growing I myself was doing. How this little boy was shaping the adult I was slowly becoming.

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When I graduated from high school, Parker’s momma, Julia (who has become a dear friend), wrote me the kindest note that said, among other sweet sentiments:

“You’ll know what you’ve meant to me when you have children of your own. When that time comes, I hope that you are lucky enough to live next to a ten-year-old girl just like yourself.”

Though that is the most amazing thing to hear, I already consider myself the lucky one. Lucky to be part of such an incredible child and family’s lives. Lucky to be trusted with the most sacred task of caring for their babies. Lucky to be taught so many invaluable lessons on life and parenting that only a child can impart.

So thank you Julia, Taylor, and all you other wonderful mommas and poppas who have blessed me over the years with taking care of their children. I am forever grateful for the the blessings and joy that you and your lovely little ones have brought to my life.

And happy birthday Parker – you rock!