Sunday, May 10, 2009
A pcture of seven of my children and most of their (maternal) first cousins
front row Katie, Marissa, Emily and Sarah 2nd row: Scott, Clint, Allen, Susie, Holly, Danelle, Melissa, Joanna, Amber, Brian and Monica, Back (stabbers): Eric, Sean, Nick and (little) Chris.
My beautiful daughters L>R Monica, Aimee, Danelle, Susie,and Holly!
Just thought I would share some thoughts about being a mother on this official day of honoring mothers. I have willingly traveled into the "valley of the shadow of death" seven times. (I have eight children but I didn't know what I was doing the first time!!) I was pregnant or nursing approximately 16.5 years of my life! Yet now that all eight of my offspring are grown--that time, which seemed so eternal when I was in the midst of it, is now fading to a distant memory. My role as mother is different now, no more knee deep piles of laundry; no more hours in the car chauffering; no bed that started out with just me and the baby and ended up with me and every child under the age of 12; and no more do I lecture, beg, or even scream in utter frustration. But no more do I get to cuddle, caress, comfort and console the child who was bruised by life; delight in childish pictures, stories or dances presented so proudly, or rock to sleep even that child whose legs hang off over the arm of the rocking chair and who tested my strength to carry them to bed. Yes, life is definately different. My time is pretty much my own, (except that time devoted to providing for myself) I have boxes and cupboards full off materials, yarn, craft and sewing projects etc that I have collected over the years with the thought of someday--and they do call to me from time to time--but mostly I am just still, content to listen to the silence. I know that I need to get moving and reinvent myself. I have to decide who I am going to be now that there are no overwhelming pressing demands on my time, and my children are independent. I realize that I have had to disconnect myself from many people and dreams over the years, first from my immediate family when I married and moved to Arizona, My children barely knew their grandparents or aunts and uncles. My younger brothers and sisters grew up without me around and married and moved on with their lives and we saw each other every year or two for a couple of days. My husband took a job that kept him out of town for most of the first 25 years of our life, and took up early in our life with his best friends "Coors and TV" so even when he was home he wasn't home. So my kids were my life! and they weren't perfect! (beautiful yes, perfect no) My time and activity were spent with them, I didn't cultivate friends, (its hard to be LDS and not have the perfect LDS family) Marvin wouldn't socialize and with eight children it was too expensive to go out anywhere so my sphere has been my children. Then the separation, one by one with my children as they matured and started their own lives. Now today, my children are my best friends, but now they are busy and overwhelmed and I just nod my head and remember (been there and done that). So motherhood is different for me now and I imagine it will change again when my children are also freed from the day to day business that accompanies raising a family. I guess what I most need to do is to reconnect with some of the people I let slip away during all those years of child rearing and refocus on relationships and not just the getting from day to day frenzy of the past. I know I need to start with my own mother, who is, as is the way of the world, getting older and thus my time with her is shortening and uncertain. So, I guess this Mother's Day I will start by making a commitment to call or write to my mother at least once a week this year. To try and be more open in sharing my life with her, (not just the good parts) When you try to hide things even if you are trying to protect others it makes it hard to be close. Now I can't even remember all the things I tried not to share with my mother either from embarrasment or to protect my pride or thinking it better that she enjoy her beliefs that all was well in Zion. It seems so silly because now I don't have a close relationship with her because I shut her out of those many years of trying teenagehood of my children. So mom get ready to hear from me more often, I want you to know me and I want to get to know you too. Love...