Thursday, May 14, 2009

Belated Thoughts on Mother's Day

All you wonderful mothers (and grandmothers) out there that I adore and revere - I watch in amazement at how well you do what you do. A Belated Happy Mother's Day to you! I love you and celebrate the grand work you are about.

Just some thoughts I've had as the week after Mother's Day comes to a close. 

Here are the girls (a few days before Mother's Day) stomping in puddles after a rainstorm. They were soaked with grimy, muddy water in a matter of minutes but loved every messy second of bliss! We had to drag them protesting and dawdling all the way home!

Don't you love Eliza's zebra boots? Definitely on her Top 10 list of favorite accessories right now. I look at these three munchkins and can't even fathom life without them. I love being a Mom.

As for Mother's Day around our place, here's how it began.

Unable to sleep Mother's Day Eve due to heartburn (a new pregnancy development) and an off-kilter night for Eliza (she woke @ 4AM starving!?), I migrated from bed to the couch in an attempt to diffuse noted gastro-esophageal reflux by sleeping upright. I'm not very practiced at this sleeping technique so the (mostly) sleepless minutes droned on until I could sense the pale blue light of morning easing into our living room. It was 6AM.

At the sound of some clomping and cupboard-shutting downstairs, I hoisted one eyelid open in disbelief - "She can't possibly be awake!" (Eliza). Seconds later, I could hear her making her way up the stairs. "Mamma?" she probed. "Mamma?"

"I'm right here" I whispered reluctantly. Loudly shuffling around the couch, she moved right next to me and leaned into my face (it was still quite dark). Dressed in a red plaid Christmas dress from two years ago that now sports the height of a mini-skirt and her pink and purple cowboy boots she declared. "I'm ready for church Mommy!" A big smile on her early-bird face. I laughed aloud right there and she fell into me with a big hug. We held each other for a few moments. 

Then I said, "You look wonderful honey but it's still nighttime - you should be in bed."

"But the sun is coming up" she said in defense. 

"Not really sweetie. You need to go back downstairs, take off your boots and climb into bed. We'll come get you when it's time to get up."

Thankfully, she did as I asked. It was the first gift of Mother's Day - and she slept until 9AM. 

My favorite gift of the day, was a card from Doug complete with pictures of me and the girls and his "Mother's Day Interview" with Eliza.

Here are some of my favorite Eliza responses.

What does a mommy do?

Makes our food.  Feed babies.  Pick up fall time leaves.  She takes us to pick up treasures.  She can't run or jump.  She can only do baby, tiny leaps.  

Why does Heavenly Father give us mothers?

Because He loves us.

Would you be sad if you didn't have a mommy?



Because I would cry and cry.  If I don't have a mommy or a daddy or a Sami or an Ali I will cry and cry.

True - I can't run or jump right now - in fact my belly literally rests on my thighs when I am sitting. Do you know what that feels like? It's an odd sensation. As for the crying - it is ME who would cry without Eliza, Ali, Sami or Daddy. Yes - I would cry and cry and cry.

Also (of course) - I've been thinking about my own sweet Mom. 

And here we are! Me and my Mom! On Mother's Day 1975. I am 1 year old. I love her hair, the choker and dress she made, the piano my Dad rented for her in the background, and the way she is holding my little legs on her lap, just like I hold my girls.

Amazing how generations build and expand, and suddenly - as we are making dinner, changing another diaper, comforting the pain of a scraped knee or waking in the night because of a potty accident - we realize, we are doing for our children what our mothers did for us. I'm not sure we really appreciate all our Mothers felt and gave until in the thick of it ourselves. 

How did she do it? (I often ask myself this). Six children. So many nights alone with my Dad at the hospital. I can recall more than once walking in on her, alone in her bedroom, kneeling by her bed, in what I could only assume in my immature spirituality, was prayer. With help from above, sheer grit, a few bedtime cries, and love as the motive - she gave us all she had.

My Mother is strong, resilient, faithful, and good-humored. She loves gardening, her backyard view of the mountains, the seasons (my sister Sarah remembers in her blog coming home one afternoon from college to find my Mom outside making a snowman all by herself), music, photography, cookies, people, truth, God, laughter, her children and grandchildren, and my Dad. 

She embraces the current flow of life, not pushing, just hearing and moving with what is right. I have always been grateful she is not an "advice-giver" but a listener. More now than ever we laugh together at the chaos and joys of raising a family (like Sami's tantrum today - loud and endless - we thought the drama would never end!). She is a calm spirit to be around and I am so thankful for her help with my girls, her love for them, for me, and for Doug (whom she has always loved and understood).
My Mom and Dad before any of us were born. Manhattan skyline behind them - where they met and lived their first few years of marriage. I love this picture. 

You are beautiful Mom. Thank you for giving yourself entirely to us. I'm so grateful you are mine. I love you.


  1. We love wearing our Wellington's and jumping in mud puddles around here. We don't do it as often as we should, there always seems to be too much to do and so little time. It is nice to slow down and enjoy those little moments. A group of women in are training for a race. Every couple of days they run by our house. I have been telling Hilde that after the baby comes (our due dates are almost the same) I will go running with her. She is very excited, and tells everyone that after mommy heals we can go running together, "not the first day the baby is born, but the second day." She doesn't quite understand the much longer process, but I love her enthusiasm. Being a mom is great, as I type this Enoch is tugging on my arm and asking if he can play on the computer. I love these little kids we are entrusted with.

  2. Sweet Catherine,

    You always have the words to touch my heart and help me see things with a better and wiser perspective...

    Thank you,


    PS: I love your girls in the mud!

  3. Love it! What a beautiful tribute to our beautiful Mom! Thanks for being such a great friend and example to me as a mother! Love you Cath!!

  4. I'm glad you had a lovely mother's day, minus the heartburn. I'm very familiar with that symptom and slept the last half of my pregnancy either propped up with pillows or in a recliner. ;-) Hang in there!

    Your mom is so beautiful! Inside and out, what a lovely tribute to her.


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