I guess it is appropriate that on Mother’s Day I am reflecting on my own motherhood experiences.
But it’s not a big mental jump to find myself pondering all the women who have shaped me into the person I am today:
My sweet Mama, who has most often wiped my tears and held me when I hurt. Who so gracefully taught me that it’s ok to be ‘me’ even when ‘me’ doesn’t fit the mold…and even when I didn’t know who ‘me’ really was. And who still sings to me and brushes my hair and scratches my back. I’m thankful to have a mama who still lets me be her little girl…but who also continually encourages and supports me as a grown woman and mother.
My Nana, who is the picture of patience. Her gentle strength always present, she taught me the importance of simply being quiet sometimes.
My Mama Jo, from whom I learned tenacity, perseverance and persistence. (Well…some may call that stubbornness!)
My mother-in-law, Angela, who always shows great enthusiasm for life and who always wants the best for everyone.
My sister-in-law, Olivia, who is so wonderful at celebrating diversity.
My friend Jennifer, who always so effortlessly helps me break down God into child-size pieces.
My friend Kimberly, who cries with me and laughs with me and helps me put things into perspective.
Their mom, Ms. Sharon, who taught me the importance of dry humor.
My friend Chris’ mom, Claudette, who let us be kids (even to the detriment of her house). She taught by example that “it’s just stuff”.
Kim, who entrusted me with the care of her children and who taught me that girls will be girls. And showed me that it’s not about the stuff you give your children, but the time you spend with them that’s really important.
Kim’s girls, who have seen me at my best and at my worst and loved me anyway.
My friend Jesse, who will one day be an amazing mother. (Well, she already is…she just doesn’t have her baby in her arms. Yet.) From her I learned that laughter can always make things better. And that friends are friends forever(if the Lord’s the Lord of them…) (She also understand that sometimes cheesy 80s music is where it’s at.)
Her sister Noelle, from whom I have learned several creative parenting skills and the joy of being a kid at heart. (Plus she always finds the coolest toys.)
My friend Claudia, who shares and cares completely and whole-heartedly.
My friend Monica, whose parenting is so drastically different from my own, but from whom I’ve learned that just because parenting styles are different, doesn’t mean that one is better than the other. (I think our 7 kidlets have all turned out fairly well so far!)
And I certainly can’t forget my own two girls…who have probably played the biggest role in my journey to define who I am.
My sweet Lydia, who loves so completely and openly, but can still be reserved and observant.
My tiny Anna Alden, who proves that just because you’re small doesn’t mean you can’t be powerful!
There are many, many more women who have been there for me.
Some have been there in person, some from miles away.
Some for years and years, some for mere moments.
Some who have cheered for me, some who have hurt me.
Some whom I’ve liked, some whom I haven’t.
But all who have shaped me into who I am today.
I am grateful for them all.
And I thank my God for you all every day.