Above all else, there is one thing I am most happy about, most proud of, and feel most blessed about and that’s being a mom. I can almost hear my kids saying, “Wow! That’s a surprise. You could have fooled me when you were yelling at us to keep quiet, go to bed, and leave me alone!”
They’re right. I did do that sometimes. To them, it seems like a lot of times. In reflecting back I wish I could have been calmer, more composed, and more put together like the modern day Pioneer Woman , but I wasn’t. I was just a mom — a mother of eleven doing the very best that I could trying to show my kids how much I loved them. Okay, and on occasion I was trying to keep them from falling off rooftops and doing all the other things eleven kids think of doing!
And, when I hear my now grown kids talking and laughing and reminiscing, I think they have some pretty good childhood memories so I’m thinking life must have been pretty okay for them, too! In fact, I know it was by the way they love getting together and sharing childhood stories!
What happens to a mom when all of her kids are grown and leave home, she has no husband to share stories and happily talk about their forty plus years of parenting, and she’s living in the house that was once a busy, bustling place of activity every hour of the day and night?
For one thing, you sit back at night and relax. And, you rest. And, your heart smiles. And, you remember. The very, very good thing about remembering is that you can be selective and remember only what you choose, and I have chosen to remember some great and wonderful things! Fun times! Happy times!
Wanna know what I’m remembering today? I can best remember by looking at pictures, so I’ll share a few with you. To you, these might not mean anything, but to me — ahhhh, happy, smiling life!
This little fella is a destroyer of tomato plants, and seeing him makes me remember all of the awesome, wonderful summers spent gardening with the kids. We worked that big garden hard! We planted, hoed, pulled weeds, and hunted down tomato borers like the one you see in this picture. We snapped beans, shelled peas, husked corn, and canned pickles. And, we talked and spent hours and hours together and I loved every single minute of it! Oh, how I loved those hours together in the garden!
Blackberries. The delicious blackberries! The kids would go out early in the mornings with their little pails and pick blackberries (eating half of them before they ever made it into the house), and then I would make blackberry jam — the old fashioned way sealed with paraffin wax . The big treat, other than eating the blackberries, was the kids got the leftover wax to carve out sailboats to float in the tub while they were getting their baths. Yes, I love memories like this! By the way, the jam was pretty good, too!
We moved to the country with six kids and number seven on the way (from our church parsonage in town) and one of the very first things I did was to get the kids to help me plant some phlox. My grandmother always had flowerbeds filled with blooming purple phlox, and she passed on her love of flowers to me. I can’t wait for our snow to melt so that I can see the first signs of my flowers peeking through the ground. I remember when the stalks of these very flowers were taller than the kids who helped me plant them. And now — they serve as precious reminders of bouquets of flowers they picked for me to put on the supper table. Happy, happy memories for my heart!
Home. Sweet, precious, wonderful home. I’ve spent thousands of hours looking out the kitchen window washing dishes (nope, I’ve never owned a dishwasher) watching the kids play in this yard. And, those trees….you have no idea how many babies I held and nursed under those trees while the others were riding their bikes, mowing the grass, and building camp fires. My heart actually races every time I reach the driveway to this house. It’s filled with wonderful, precious, happy memories that are forever etched on this mom’s heart. Everywhere I look are happy reminders of my children. This home brings me peace and joy every single day of my life for it holds reminders of so much shared love with friends and family!
In the side yard is this snowball bush and each branch seems to hold a special memory for me. I remember when this arrived in the mail the size of a teensy twig from Michigan Bulb . I got some of the kids to dig me a hole for planting. We grabbed a bucket of water and had faith that this little branch of a thing would make it. And, it did! It got mowed over at least fifteen times, but it’s a survivor! This bush also was the backdrop for the basketball hoop when the kids played ball for hours on end. I’d watch them from the kitchen window or while I was sitting on the porch. They were pretty darned good, too! Hmmm…I think we need to put up another basketball hoop. It’s time for me to watch the grandkids play ball!
Sunset. Beautiful country sunsets. At the end of the day, I loved to walk out to the edge of the field, collect my thoughts, and breathe the evening air. And, take stock of the day. This is a place where I could sit my worries down for the night, and just be thankful for another day of health, and peace, and the blessing of being a mom. I still make daily walks to the edge of the field. I still take stock of the day. I still count my many blessings
And, the biggest blessing of all is that I’ve been able to be called mom.
I love you, kids!
PS Every day is a memory in the making! Be sure to take time to journal it either by writing or photos. One day these memories will serve you well! I promise! This has my heart stirring.and I hope this has stirred your heart, too…I can think of so many more — Poochie (our big dog), Blackie, Midnight, Batler, Spike (oh, there were lots of dogs) and Bell Bambie Christmas (our viscious cat). Maybe I’ll just have to pull more memories out of the photo albums!
And, hopefully you’ll share some of your memories with me, too!