"Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to let you in."

-- Robert Frost

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Mothers

I'm a little selfish. I know. And selfishly, I was pleased as punch to get to have the mothers of my life all to myself for the weekend. I do so love these two women.

My mother in law is always so complimentary. She makes me feel like a super mom -- which I'm not, but every once in awhile it's nice to have a cheering section come around and validate the job you're doing. I get burned out, I get tired, I have days I want to throw in the towel. But when she comes for a visit, after she leaves, I believe I can run faster and try harder because she makes me feel like everything I'm doing is worthwhile. I wish I had that more often.

I'm amazed by her. Her family is beautiful and I'm so glad to be a part of it. And I admire the strength it took to raise one girl and four boys -- one of which I'm married to. He's fantastic -- now -- and it can only be because she ran a tough training ground and got him all prepped up for me. That's admirable.

It's always sad to see her go knowing it could be awhile before we will enjoy one another's company again.

And this mother:

I could write volumes about. She would scoff at every word but it'd all be true.

I've never seen her take anything for herself. Ever. After awhile, I think women feel like they turn into their mothers but I'll tell you, that's one quality I'm still waiting for. I want to be more like that.

I remember a time right after I went off to Utah for college. Winters were cold -- really cold. I had very little money for anything and I'm sure my parents had less with two tuition's being paid and seven other mouths to feed at home. I called my mom one Sunday night telling her I'd never felt a cold like this before. It was numbing.

She had an old pair of leather gloves. She wore them to drive all of us kids everywhere in that ginormous van. They were the only pair she owned and with wear and tear, they'd ripped and torn. I do remember being slightly embarrassed as she'd pull up to the high school to pick me up following some extracurricular. Worn gloves across the top of the steering wheel waiting patiently for me to dive into the back seat hoping not to be noticed by friends and acquaintances.

A week following my cold complaining phone call home, I received a package in my dorm mailbox with a pair of worn gloves. Old and leather, knuckle seams sewn with dental floss.

That's just one of many. Like I said, I could write volumes.

I pull these out every now and again just to remind myself how much I want to be like her. Her every thought has been for her children. I look at her and see how polished and flawless the outcome when a mother walks through the refiner's fire. One day, maybe I'll get there too but for now, I just bask in her example. She gives me a distance to reach for.

Thanks for spending your Mother's day with me. You both were certainly the highlight of mine. I only wish our visits weren't so few and far between. I love you.

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