Growing up, I always enjoyed Mother’s Day. My dad would buy a corsage for my mom, and we would take her out to lunch and shower her with cards and presents. I always looked forward to the day I would celebrate Mother’s Day as a mom.
Then, after the loss of my stillborn daughter in 1996 (my first baby), Mother’s Day became painful for me. I struggled with knowing that I was a mom but not really feeling like I was a mom. I wondered if I would ever really feel like I was a mother.
In 2000, my son was born and Mother’s Day became joyful again. As I celebrate today, I can think of my firstborn daughter with love and only a little bit of pain. And my two living children are so dear to me that I cannot imagine life without them.
My own mother has shaped my life enormously. Born into a poverty-stricken family, her own mother incapacitated by chronic illness, she suffered as a child. She never had the guidance and nurturing of a mother in her life. As the oldest daughter in the family, she was the one who mothered her brothers and sisters.
When she married my dad and became a pastor’s wife, she had a lot to learn. Dear friends took her under their wing and showed her how to decorate a home, set a table, and entertain large groups of people. She was a quick study, and our home growing up was lovely and filled with hospitality.
There are several things that my mom can do much better than I can, no matter how much I try. They include:
1. Folding a fitted sheet
2. Pinning a corsage
3. Tying a bow on a dress
4. Chopping an onion
5. Ironing a shirt
Maybe these skills date back to the days of “home ec”? Hopefully with practice someday I can master them too.
I will never forget all the things my mom has taught me, like how to care for my home and family, how to cook, and how to be kind and loving to other people. She has given me more than just my brown eyes and brown hair; it’s from her that I get my love of nature, of reading, and of music. (See picture: me and my mom this past Christmas).
I don’t think my parents had even heard of Montessori when I was growing up (although they’ve sure heard plenty now), but my mom likes to say, “I did Montessori with you girls without even knowing it!” She had us cooking and cleaning alongside her from an early age, and allowed us plenty of free time to pursue our own interests. She frequently read aloud to us and encouraged us to read.
My mom always told me to use my intellect to help others, and it’s probably her encouragement that gave me the courage to start my Montessori business. She frequently tells me how proud she is of my family and my business, and even though I’m an adult, her words mean a lot to me.
It’s a joy to watch her interact with my own children, and I am so thankful they have a loving and involved grandma in their lives. My mom has set a standard of mothering and grandmothering that I can only hope to aspire to, and it is with love that I say today, “Happy Mother’s Day, mom!”
Happy Mother’s Day wishes to all the moms out there – you are doing a great job!