Sunday, May 08, 2016

Thoughts on motherhood

 Jacob’s homemade card for his mom opened with the line, “I love you the yellowest.” Now I ask you, if that’s not wonderful, what is? There was more to it, but I loved that first line.

Nice Mother’s Day. I’ve talked to all my children and most of their spouses, enjoyed my kind of lazy Sunday at home working at my computer. My friend Linda spent the night, plus Jacob had a friend overnight—the boys were good as gold. Linda meant to stay for Mother’s Day early supper but felt compelled to get home to Granbury to do a sick call and catch up on all she’d left undone while gone three weeks visiting her daughters.
So by eleven, it was just Jacob and me—he was on the iPad, I was on my computer, and he was content—except of course that he was hungry. His mom picked him up at three, and his dad picked me up at five. We visited over wine and too many snacks, ate hamburgers (Christian makes the best hamburgers!), and had a pleasant evening.

Now as I sit down to write, I’m struck by two things: the number of loving tributes to moms on Facebook and the fact that I, for whom children and grandchildren loom so large in my life, never thought about being a mother. I just assumed that happened after you married but I had not dreamed, yearned or longed for that status. The fact that babies didn’t come along didn’t really bother me; it bothered the heck out of my then-husband.

Long story short, we ended up adopting four babies—how we got four, including an Eurasian, is a separate long story. But I don’t know how to put into words the importance these children have always had in my life. I cannot imagine life complete without them. When they were infants and toddlers, I constantly delighted in the wonder of them—as did their father. I could go on forever with funny tales about my brilliant, precocious children.

Their father left when the oldest was twelve and the youngest six, and though everyone marvels at my years as a single parent, I think those were some of the happiest years of my life. Oh, sure, we had our problems—teen-age angst, cars (my brother said mine was the only driveway that needed a stoplight), the night Colin didn’t come home until five and then reported he’d been swimming in a quarry (really? Be still my heart!). But we had traditions—everyone showed up for family dinner on Sunday night with extended family and close friends (I often served twenty), holiday trips, regular meals (gone by the wayside now), and lots of other wonderful memories.
A friend once said to me, “My children are my whole life,” and I replied, “Oh, I don’t think we can give them that burden.” So I try hard to diversify—to maintain friendships and a social life, to keep up with my career. But you know what? My children—and now my grandchildren—are indeed my whole life. I am so richly blessed.

Big bonus: they all love and like each other and can’t wait for any excuse for a family get-together. Wait till they hear the next one will be to move me from the main house to the cottage—whenever.
I am so thankful to be a mother—and that’s my Mother’s Day thought.

No comments: