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It is a precious thing to see the spiritual life of a young child develop. As I watch our youngest grow in body and mind, I’m reminded again of the sacred trust we have as parents to guide our children’s souls.
Emily has learned to pray. She likes to pray and is very quick to remind me to do so when I set her meals in front of her.
Her favorite is, “O give thanks to the Lord for He is good. For His mercy endures forEVER! AMEN!”
I was suffering from one of my bad headaches the other day and she laid a soft hand of concern on mine. “Would you like me to pray for you, Mama?”
And she did. She knows that when she is sick, I hold her face in my hands and ask for God’s help. Now she does it for others.
The smallest thing will cause her conversation to move God-ward. The evening of Valentine’s Day, she found me in my reading chair, fresh tears on her cheeks.
Will hadn’t meant any harm, but he thought I wouldn’t want her touching one of the roses from my Valentine’s bouquet.
So I let her have one of the velvety pink beauties to admire.
She felt the petals, rubbed them on her cheek, commenting on how “lovely” it felt. (I told her that is what her little ears felt like when she was brand new!) She sniffed the flower, then had me sniff it. She asked about the leaves and the little veins in the leaves. She noticed the color of the stem and asked what it was called. A leaf fell off the rose and she asked if she could glue it on some paper.
Then she began asking about the growth of the flower and whether it would still grow. Then she said, “Who made this flower?”
“God made it, Emmy,” I answered, looking into the exquisite center of that pink rose.
“Yes, God made it. God made everything. He made the sun and moon and stars…” Her list of things went on and on.
Then she stopped suddenly and smiled, remembering something I taught her a few months ago.
“We can’t see God, but he can ALWAYS see us.”
In her preschool mind, things were being ordered. An invisible God who has done visible things in His creation.
Mary, Emmy’s sister who is 17, picked up the flower and commented, “I had a question on my test, and it asked how we know there is a God. I wrote that even though we can’t see God, we can see the evidence for His existence everywhere.”
“Amen,” I said.
“AMEN!” shouted little sister.
When children rise up, when they lie down at night, when they eat breakfast, when they admire something in nature, in the van on the way to school, morning and noon and night, we can point our children to God. (Deuteronomy 6)
To put it in Emmy’s phrasing, “O give thanks to the Lord, for his mercy endures forEVER!” AMEN!”
(Note: the rose photos were taken by Mary a couple of years ago. She has a great eye for photography.)
According to an article yesterday in the UK’s DailyMail, declining attention spans in children are doing away with bedtime reading in some homes.
Technology is destroying the ability of children to concentrate for any length of time. This shouldn’t be a surprise to any of us. I sat in a doctor’s waiting room alone where the TV set had been left on. Some cartoon channel was on, top volume. There is no other way to describe it but as an aural and visual assault. The scene changes were so fast I do not know how any child could even keep up with the nonsense going on. Screaming, pounding music, bizarrely drawn cartoon characters. It looked like something Franz Kafka would have come up with for television.
Attention span? None required. That is not to mention the iPhone use, the tablets for tots, TV, the DVD’s and YouTube videos. Kids are pointing and clicking and touch-screening their way into a digital hell where no thought is allowed to linger for more than a second.
I despise what this is doing to children. According to several published studies, it is changing the actual wiring of their brains. How do you undo this damage once it occurs?
I was blessed to be raised with a mother who valued books. She read to us from the time we were small. There was no TV in the house when we were little. Any ability I have to concentrate was fostered in those early years of story time and discussion about what we had read. We didn’t read trash, either. The classic children’s stories beginning with books like The Little Engine that Could opened up not only language, but character concepts like perseverance, kindness, empathy, and so forth.
Reading to children has to begin early. Having watched all six of my children, two of which came from orphanages in Eastern Europe, I can say that if a child is not read to early, a window will close in their minds. Our daughter from a Romanian orphanage came as a toddler, and she loved nothing more than sitting in her jammies with her brother William, one on each side of me, as we read and read and read. The pictures stimulated her mind, and her new language, English, was developed through hearing it. I believe that reading time together each night helped her tremendously to adapt to English. She did so well that she learned to read at age 5 on the exact same track as our biological son, William.
It’s a commitment to read. Years later, I am reading to our little 3-year-old daughter the same classic children’s books all over again.. We are currently reading the series of Edith and Little Bear books. She adores these stories. Dare Wright, a photographer, took a doll and 2 stuffed bears and posed them doing all kinds of things, and then wrote stories around those beautiful black and white photos. Edith and Little Bear have all kinds of adventures. The stories teach forgiveness, consequences for not obeying, kindness and many other things in the context of the stories. Published in the late 50′s and early 60′s, they are great books for little ones! Many libraries still have them. I bought some used copies online in case they go out of print.
Some nights I am nearly too tired to read at all. But having Emmy’s sweet-scented head under my chin as she eagerly turns the page is such a precious time that I make every effort to do so.
Our Bible stories are the most important. Emily is learning foundational things about God. Her Aunt Marilyn gave her a Bible story book from Concordia Publishing with gorgeous illustrations. We are really just beginning the greatest story ever told, the story of God’s love for us. Reading time is also a teaching time. I can’t afford to miss that with our little girl.
I don’t intend to buy technology any time soon for Emily Frances. I don’t care about computer tablets and such for her. She will use technology fast enough. As Will said, the more advanced technology gets, the more user friendly and easier it becomes to learn. She will pick up what she needs later, just as William and Mary have done. For now, she is developing the priceless ability to think deeply. She needs to be able to appraise the worth of ideas. She needs an imagination. She needs internal quiet to grow emotionally and spiritually. Reading time each night, I believe, is a crucial part of making that happen.
Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
~ Psalm 127
Emmy is only now becoming really interested in books. She’s nearing the age of 3, and with language development on track and with her growing mind full of questions, she is now able to follow a plot line as she scrutinizes every picture.
Last night after her teeth were brushed and her pj’s were on, I told her I had some books I wanted to show her. I went downstairs and found my hardbound copy of Velveteen Rabbit, Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses and a couple others.
She was waiting for me in our reading chair in my bedroom, blanket over her knees. “Whatcha got, Mama?” she asked eagerly when I came in the room.
One glimpse of the Velveteen Rabbit immediately drew her in. “Read it to me, Mama?” she asked.
She knew I would. We also started on page one of A Child’s Garden of Verses. The copy I have has the adorable, color illustrations by Gyo Fujikawa. (There are so many beautiful editions of this book with great illustrators that it’s hard to pick the one I love best, but Jessie Wilcox Smith is another one of my favorite illustrators, and not just for A Child’s Garden of Verses!)
So we read Windy Nights, Bed in Summer, Whole Duty of Children, and At the Seaside. At this age, reading is sometimes slow going, as children have so many questions. I remember back with Charlie and Sammy on each side of me, and then years later, Will and Mary on each side that even a short book would take a long time to get through – why, what is that, what’s he gonna do, Mama? All of these questions need an answer when you’re 3!
The most popular book right now at our home is The Three Little Pigs, or as Emmy calls it, “The Big Red Wolf.” I’m not sure where the “red” came from, but she can’t read that one enough. She is outraged, every time, when the “big red wolf” huffs and puffs and blows the houses down. She spends time lamenting the ruined little houses and that naughty wolf’s destruction. I softened the story line somewhat so that the little pigs didn’t get eaten up. I figure there’s time enough for reality. But I did not go so far as one liberal version of the book from the library where the Big Bad Wolf ends up hopping out of the stew pot and running off, presumably to terrorize other little pigs down the road. (What a perfect example of liberal thinking. Let the murderous guy loose, don’t put an end to him. Let some other community deal with him! But I digress.)
I just tell Emily that the wolf falls into the hot and boiling pot and “that’s the end of him.” No elaboration is needed at this stage. It’s enough to satisfy the basic justice instincts in the heart of a 3-year-old. The Bad Wolf needed stopping, and he got stopped. (Children are basically conservatives…)
I want to tell you about a beautiful gift Emily received from Tom’s Aunt Marilyn. When Aunt Kris was here, she brought the most beautiful Bible story book I have yet seen. I had just been thinking about buying a new one, as the old edition of Egermeier’s Bible Stories from my own childhood has lost its cover, suffers from a cracked binding, and the illustrations are very faded. Kris brought this beautiful new book on her last visit, and I was so glad to receive it.
It’s called, The Story Bible, and it’s published by Concordia Publishing House. The illustrations are absolutely beautiful. I still remember the illustrations from childhood in Egermeier’s when they were new and vibrantly colored. I can still see Daniel in the Lion’s Den in his golden robe and the fierce looking lions whose mouths were closed by an angel.
I’m looking forward to many hours with Emily reading the Story of all stories, the account of God’s sovereign hand down through history, the story of His love.
There is no more happy place in this world for me than my reading chair with a child’s sweet smelling head under my chin, exploring the beautiful books of childhood. I have a dining room bookcase full of books that I hope Emily will love as much as I did!
Sons make a unique imprint on your heart, and maybe, mothers do that for their sons also. I threw out the subject of mothers and sons over dinner the other night.
“What do you think mothers bring to sons?”, I asked Will.
“I don’t think you can generalize,” he responded. “Each mom is a distinct personality and so is each son. The same mom might bring something different to each son, depending on his own outlook.”
As we talked, however, he conceded that mothers, in general, do bring things to their sons that are distinctly their contributions as mothers. For example, it is a fact that a good mother will care for the health and comfort of her children, whatever their age. It’s called nurturing. Adolescent boys, wanting to cut any last apron strings, sometimes airily dismiss the reminders about things like eating fruit and vegetables and getting enough sleep, but, for example, Will was happy enough to devour the giant sub sandwich I brought him at school when he forgot his lunch one day. Nurturing moms come in handy even for teen boys sometimes!
About that cutting the apron strings issue, it’s an important one. I once read an essay by Nathan Wilson entitled, “Raising Poofters.” It had a profound effect on me. The essay addressed the subject of mothers and sons in a homeschool setting in particular, and it hit me right between the eyes. I didn’t want to raise a “poofter” (wimp) and excess mothering with boys can do just that. Because Moms are hardwired to protect children from harm, they can also squash initiative and create an unhealthy fear of risk taking. Some boys have powerful enough personalities to keep overprotective moms in their place, but others do not. That’s one reason dads are so important. They balance moms out.
Will came home one year from the EAA Airventure flight show held annually in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Tom loves aviation and used to go stunt flying with his pilot friend. Will was only about 6 years old that year and came home with his gap tooth smile lit up. “I went flying all by myself!” he announced.
I looked wonderingly at the father of the household standing in the door.
“He went on the Young Eagles flight experience in a little Cessna,” Tom reported cheerfully.
“Whaaa??” My BABY up in the air with a stranger? My son, thousands of feet up in the air with a complete STRANGER?!
Will kept looking right at me, smiling his big smile, so I had to smile back.
I gave him a big hug. “Awesome!” was all I could say.
Will proudly handed over the photos of him climbing into the plane with the pilot. Overprotective mom got put in her place that day. Sons need wings, and they sometimes arrive sooner than we’d like.
What sons bring to mothers is a post in itself. I could write a book on the subject. Before I had a daughter, I didn’t even think I wanted anything but sons. I love so much about little boys. They tend not to hold grudges, they have their spats, clear the air and carry on. They are sometimes grubby, but always, always interesting.
Little boy memories fill my mind. Legos and Big Wheels, wet hair slicked over from their baths, wrestling matches in the living room, Hotwheels car shows with Tom who would spend hours with them racing their cars on the wood floor of the living room, Super Soakers, violin and piano lessons and snow forts and G.I. Joe dangling from the upstairs window and the ceiling fan in the kitchen (with the fan on), Sam’s many trips to the library and so many other things.
Each son is a precious gift no matter where he is in his life. I am thankful for all four of my sons. My oldest called me the other day with a piece of good news. He didn’t realize how flattered I was that he would call and share it with me. It told me that maybe, just maybe, I had brought something good to his life also, and that he knew he could always count on my interest and concern.
When I read of how brave soldiers who had fallen at Normandy sometimes, in their delirium, called for their mothers, it showed me the lifelong impact a mother’s love has. What I hope my sons have gotten from me, despite all of my mistakes, is the bedrock knowledge that they were and are loved for who they are. If they have that, I have done my job.
Today is the annual March for Life in Washington, and it is appropriate to post a story about my own unborn grandchild. My son Samuel and daughter-in-law Laura learned on Friday that they are expecting a son in June. The 20-week scan photos are the first portraits for Peter Samuel Guzman. We are so excited to know that it will be a boy. He put on quite a show of wiggling and leaping and yawning for his parents. Nothing drives home the reality of becoming a parent like those scans!
I still have Sam’s first photos. The wonder of life and God’s creative genius is something that I will never get over. The sacredness of life in the womb has been denied in our nation for 39 years as millions of babies like Peter Samuel have been murdered in abortion clinics.
We thank God for babies, whenever he sends them. Our own miracle baby, Emily Frances, was a shock to us, and completely re-ordered our lives. A more delightful re-ordering could not have been engineered. I spend my days making purple play-do wiener dogs, coloring and listening to the same Wee-Sing songs I was listening to 20 years ago with Sammy and Charlie. And I feel privileged to have such a high calling.
Children come into your life like small tornadoes in pastel blankets, and you are never ever the same. Never again will your own desires and wants and goals have the same importance. Your well-being is caught up with that of those children. Your heart walks around outside of your body. Mothering has been difficult, sometimes heart-breaking, frustrating, and exhausting, but, for me, the most rewarding work I’ve ever done.
(Parenthetically, the reason I never succeeded in an outside career was because I didn’t possess the single-mindedness to do it. My heart has always been at home, my mind wandering to what my children were doing and needing. Because I can’t do an outside job from home at the present time, I do my mommy job and write on the Hope Blog instead!)
We cannot wait to meet Peter Samuel. God bless our little grandson and all the babies in the womb in the dangerous era in which we live. Life is precious. God created it. We must do all we can to protect it.
The picture at left hangs on our kitchen wall. It is an inexpensive print we found at a discount store, but it’s a cheery country scene, and I like it. It provides things to talk about with Emmy, and when she gets older, I’ll make up stories about the little characters therein.
While we’ve made our share of mistakes as parents over the years, one thing I think we’ve done right can be summed up in two words: family dinner.
Several studies have revealed the importance of this simple family ritual in the lives of young people. I read about one study in 2005 and more recently, one released this summer that underscored how important family meals are, not only for the physical heath of young people, but emotional health as well.
For some families, work schedules don’t always make this possible every night. But it is worth it when you can. It is a rare evening when we don’t all sit down, even if it’s just fish sticks and tater tots on the table. It isn’t the food involved as much as it is the conversation, the emotional connection and the sharing of our lives for that window of time. (Although good food certainly helps.)
Family meals are also a training ground for good manners (we’re still working on that one with a certain teenager.) No, don’t make a boarding house reach for the ketchup, no, don’t talk with your mouth full, use your napkin, etc. Dinner time together is the primary place to teach gratefulness for our daily bread. Emmy is learning her first prayers. She folds her hands and says, “Thank you, God for EVERYTHING. Amen.” The older children learned this prayer:
The eyes of all look to You, 0 Lord, and You give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. Lord God, heavenly Father, bless us and these Your gifts which we receive from Your bountiful goodness, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen
Best of all is the conversation. William has a challenging physics class this year, and he filled up the conversation last night holding forth on some physics concepts that went right over my head, something about why rocket engines work in a vacuum, and something to do with “point of reference.” I didn’t catch it all in between helping Emily with her pasta, but it was very interesting and went down well with our chicken parmesan and garlic bread.
Some of the biggest laughs have taken place at the table. Some of it, admittedly, has gone overboard. I’ll never forget one memorable dinner when all five children were arrayed around the table. One of the toddlers took a sudden, violent dislike to the bean and ham soup, some chaos ensued, and good-natured Tom had to restore order amid lots of humor. The scene was hardly out of Miss Manners, but a rollicking good time was had by all. I hope my children remember some of these times, I sure will!
More than anything, family meals are about nurture and relationships. Even if it’s only a frozen pizza (I’m letting all my culinary shortcomings be known here, sigh) the familiar faces around the table, together again after a day, either a good one or a bad one, are a great comfort in this ever changing world. Here’s a recipe everyone should have. You can serve this one up anytime at a family meal!
A pound of patience, you must find
Mixed well with loving words, so kind
Drop in 2 pounds of helpful deeds
And thoughts of other people’s needs.
A pack of smiles, to make the crust,
Then stir and bake it well you must.
And now, I ask that you may try,
The recipe of Sunshine Pie.
God bless my little kitchen
I love its every nook
And bless me as I do my work
Wash pots and pans and cook.
And may the meals that I prepare
Be seasoned from above
With Thy great blessing and Thy grace
But most of all Thy love.
As we partake our earthly food
The table before us spread
We’ll not forget to thank Thee, Lord
Who gives us daily bread.
So bless my little kitchen, Lord
And those who enter in
May they find naught but joy and peace
And happiness therein.
An interesting piece at CNN today, written by a teacher, describes the difficulty teachers have in working together with parents in the best interest of students. The undisciplined, rights-over-responsibility mindset that dominates in our culture has caused a catastrophic breakdown in many schools. The teacher describes how parents are increasingly turning up with lawyers for meetings with principals and teachers regarding students’ behavior.
You can’t do anything in schools where this kind of mindset rules among parents. It’s little wonder that the average teaching career spans a little more than four years. Burnout is high when teachers have to walk on eggshells, are not allowed to maintain discipline, and where parents enter a school year with their elbows out.
Obviously, multiple factors play into the overall downfall of American education. When some teachers make headlines weekly in this country for sexual involvement with their students (one news site has a running list just of the female sexual predator/teachers who have been criminally charged. It is mind-blowing) it is plain that the breakdown of family and morals has consequences at all levels of society, and education is no exception. When parents refuse to grow up and take responsibility, and when children are taught zero respect for authority, it cannot end well.
Into an otherwise mundane work day, Tom and an organist colleague brought some musical beauty yesterday. I acquired a babysitter and left everything for a noon hour concert at the Cathedral in downtown Milwaukee. Lake Michigan was at its most beautiful, and the music was heart-lifting. Tom played the regal Prelude to the Te Deum by Charpentier.
And the lyrical side to the trumpet and organ was heard in the lovely Bist Du Bei Mir (If You Are With Me.) – J.S. Bach. Thanks, men, for such a wonderful lunch hour.
Very abruptly, the days are getting shorter. It’s 6:50pm and it’s dusk. It was down to 43 degrees two nights ago. Time for the warm pajamas, at least this week. Next week, we may need summer ones, as this time of year you just never know.
I pulled my acorn people out of the hutch yesterday. Every year they sit on the piano. They’re my Dollar Store tribute to fall, along with my scarecrow Welcome sign for the front door. I also put my autumn colored runner on the dining room table with a candle that smells like pumpkin pie. Not to rush things, but I do love this time of year. Soon I can write entirely new posts filled with rhapsodic prose on the glories of autumn. “October is my favorite month of them all. Flaming trees, alive with color, the spicy scent of leaves as they crunch under your feet…”
School has started again. Will is a sophomore with plenty of challenging classes to keep him busy. He has also been asked to play the organ to accompany his dad for two separate events, so that is exciting news.
Emmy has school, too. She gets books off my shelves, kicks back on the sofa and “reads.” She’s had Dante’s Paradiso out, wrong way up, of course, and seems drawn to my Russian history section of books, Lenin’s essays in particular. I’ll have to balance her out with Russell Kirk’s The Conservative Mind from Burke to Eliot when she’s through with the Russian revolutionaries. In between her literary efforts, Emmy can be found with her chunky crayons at her pink Dora the Explorer table she received as a gift for her birthday. She has also learned her first color. You guessed it, it’s pink!
When I was about three, (I date this by the house we were living in at the time), a relative sent us Maurice Sendak’s book, Where the Wild Things Are. Something about the drawings horrified me, and triggered a series of nightmares I can remember to this day. One dream in particular had these creatures doing a macabre dance in our living room. The nightmare was so vivid that I can still see the images.
Emily is starting to show a sensitivity to certain things. A scene from Bambi on YouTube that I thought she would love instead made her scream with fear. It’s the scene where Bambi ends up going with Thumper to slide on the frozen lake. A bit of snow falls on Bambi’s head, and this, for some reason, scared her. Emmy tearfully repeated for an hour afterwards, “Bambi scary!” Likewise a clip from Thomas the Tank Engine where one train engine maliciously spilled paint on another. That was not OK with Emmy. They’ll have to make another rating besides G, I think, for sensitive little viewers! She much prefers books, and that’s OK with me.
When I was about 9, a board member of the place where my parents worked passed away. At his funeral, we were required to walk past the open casket as an educational experience. It was educational all right. I had nightmares for months afterwards. I couldn’t handle it. I’m not sure it even fazed my siblings.
It’s a fine line for parents who want to help their children deal with their fear and yet not force things in a way that will cause harm. My brother, sister and Dad wanted to go on a ride at Silver Dollar City one time, and they were about to force me to go with them. I was terrified by amusement park rides and refused with tears. Mom came to my defense and in a rare moment, put her foot down. Forcing the issue isn’t always the answer, and can sometimes make the situation worse.
At some point in our lives, we have to conquer fears or end up living in a prison of our own making. Emily is the first of my children to show a tentative nature about some things, and I am thinking about ways to encourage her as she grows. Nobody needs to go on amusement park rides or watch videos they don’t like, but at some point we have to face down the worst of our torments or we are trapped.
On an island in the boundary waters of Minnesota, my mother and siblings and I were alone for the weekend. My dad had gone back to Milwaukee to collect a group of kids for a teen camp that was running on the islands the following week. That weekend a bad storm blew up. The sky was black, and the waters of Lake Vermilion were a ghastly green, with the waves crashing into the dock where the boat was tied. We were in a cabin tent and as the lightning cracked and the wind started, the tent blew down with us inside. My mom stood in the middle of the tent holding it up while my brother went outside to right the tent poles and roll rocks over the tent stakes to keep it upright.
I sat in the corner of the tent petrified. There was no refuge on that island, and the feeling of vulnerability was intense for a child. Shortly after that incident, which we all happily survived, I read a girls’ book called, Stand in the Wind by Jean Little. That book featured a character called Kit. In the story she overcomes her fear of storms and wind by standing outside her summer cabin in the pouring rain and wind and forcing herself to eat peanut brittle (her friend’s solution to her terror at storms.) She needed to face down her fears, and Kit became a new person with her new found courage.
I still tell myself today sometimes when things scare or overwhelm me, “Stand in the wind and eat peanut brittle, Ingrid.” It’s my way of reminding myself of the need to face down fears. God never intended us to hide from the things that frighten us. Yes, we need to know our limits, and all of us have them, but taking new steps, risking failure and rejection and not letting fear rule our lives is crucial if we want to be of any use to others.
The Bible says it this way, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13) Whatever we are called to do, we are enabled to do by the Lord. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9) So when fear overwhelms, we can remember those verses and let the wind blow.
It was almost like old times last night. The only difference was that instead of there being 5 kids in the van like in the old days, there were four of the now six children. For a little while, the laughing and joshing and fun reminded us all of the good old days when every van trip was a rollicking (and loud) one.
We went to Kopp’s Custard, a famous Milwaukee burger and custard joint. It was a Mother’s Day treat high in calories, but equally high in enjoyment for me. Charlie had everybody laughing, with Will serving as his co-comedian seated next to him in the back. Emmy laughed uproariously, not sure what she was laughing at, but joining in anyway. Jon, as usual, rolled his eyes at his siblings and made his usual dry comments. Tom, who is always a big part of the humor, added his laughs to the fun as we enjoyed our hamburgers.
Emmy had some bites of custard (a very rich kind of ice cream) from her daddy’s cone. She refused my chocolate after one try and returned to the vanilla Tom offered her. It’s unthinkable how the child could turn down chocolate custard, but perhaps it was just because it was Daddy’s cone, and she adores him.
Charlie and Will shot some hoops when we got home as the last light faded from the sky. I heard Will lamenting his burger intake because it undid his four mile run yesterday afternoon, and I had to laugh. His fitness jag right now gets a daily (hourly?) challenge from the growing boy’s appetite.
The best times, every mom will tell you, are times like that. Enjoying the company, laughing and being together. We missed the two who couldn’t be there. I could hear echoes of their voices in my mind as I sat in the van. Every child contributes something to a family, and when they’re not there, their presence is always missed. Kids grow up, but their place and contribution in a family is unique and nobody can replace it.
I savored this Mother’s Day so much, the cards with notes were dear. Emmy gave me a precious gift yesterday also, on top of the card she gave me (with a little help.) I was carrying her out of the kitchen after washing some sticky off her hands in the sink. She threw her arms around me and planted her lips on my cheek. Except she didn’t stop. She gave me the longest kiss ever and then tightly wrapped her arms around my neck for the ultimate hug. That, Hope Blog friends, is as sweet as life ever gets.
I thank the Lord sincerely for the privilege of motherhood. It is an inexpressible joy to pour myself into these children and try to give them a foundation of love and trust that will carry them through life. No parent or mother is perfect. Sometimes we miss things, or hurt our children without intending to. But I maintain that children know, deep down, when a mother genuinely loves them, and when they grow up and still come back and like to hang out with the family, it is the highest compliment of all. Thank you, family, for a happy Mother’s Day.
And thank you, Lord, for my excellent and loving Mom who started it all so many years ago by loving me.