My mom and I were not always close. In fact, we would go from best friends to taking turns being hateful to each other. I know she remembered many of the things I said and did as a teenager because she brought them up to me from time to time and I have a hard time forgetting some of the things she said to me. Sometimes I struggle to remember the good times we had, even though I know we had good times.
I've often said that I didn't think I wanted daughters because I knew what kind of daughter I was and I didn't want my children to be anything like I was. God knows so much better than I do. (As of this writing, I have 3 daughters and am expecting a fourth child, whom we will meet in a little over a month. My oldest, "M" is almost 14, "E" is 11, and "S" is 8.) As soon as my oldest was in my arms, I said we'd have as many as we can afford and the house will hold. (Apparently God thinks our small house can hold more!)
Many of the things that I didn't like about her as a mom are some of the things that would have made her a fantastic grandmother to my daughters. My mom would sit for hours and work on crossword puzzles or watch TV. She enjoyed sewing and knitting until carpal tunnel syndrome made them too uncomfortable to enjoy. While she didn't often read for her own pleasure, she would read to children as often as she could. She had a level of patience with children that I could only dream of having. She loved other people's children so much that I often wondered if she loved them more than her own.
My mom had a grandson she loved so very much. She loved being a grandmother and loved being involved in raising him. That was the only grandchild she had the enjoyment of knowing. She passed away just three months before my oldest was conceived. While I wish she could know my children and they could know her, I am so glad that she knew her first grandchild. She was made to be a grandma.
M loves crafts. All 3 of my girls enjoy sewing. E loves to read and snuggle and lean on the person next to her. S has abundant energy and is very imaginative with her toys. She requires a lot of patience, but she also loves to just sit with me and enjoys being read to.
If my mom were alive today, I know she would be delighted to spend hours making various crafts with M and E. She would be patient with the mess and help clean up after. She would help direct their crafts to something productive. I just know my mom would sit on the couch working crossword puzzles or watching TV with E leaning on her and snuggling up to her. I doubt my mom would ever say, "OK, that's enough. Get off of me," like I have, countless times. My mom would be calm while addressing S's energy level, giving her things to do to channel that energy, and then encourage S to come sit next to her and listen to a story when it was time to wind down. Home cooked meals were important to my mom and they're important to me. My girls love to be in the kitchen and I know my mom would spend time with them, teaching them to cook for their family.
So, while I struggle to remember some of the good times I had with my mom, just knowing how she would be with my girls helps me consider how she must have been with me, before my rough teenage years. I don't wish I were exactly like my mom, but I sure wish I were more like her in many ways.
On this Mother's Day, I hope all you mothers are enjoying your children. They are the reason you have the privilege of being celebrated today. I hope your children also appreciate you. Happy Mother's Day!