Today is the 61st anniversary of the day my mother made her grand entrance!
I wanted to take this opportunity to wish her the happiest of birthdays...she deserves it.
She's been through a lot in her life, and I really admire her strength. Some of you may have seen my Father's Day post so you know a little of our history...but today I'd like to elaborate a little more.
Like me, all my mom wanted when she became a mother was to stay home and raise her children. She was only able to do that for less than 2 years. When I was a little younger than 2, and my mother was expecting her 2nd child, her husband decided he didn't want to be a father or husband any longer, and he left.
My mother was a single, pregnant mother without a job. She went home to Idaho to have my brother. But then she moved to another state as a young, single mother of 2 in order to find work and support her small family. She worked long days, and came home to take care of her children in the evenings by herself.
For me, by the time evening rolls around I've had it a little bit...I can't wait for bedtime so I can have some peace and quite! I imagine she was often exhausted after work, and still had us waiting at home, depending on her. We were pretty poor, as I now realize. But then, we didn't know that. She made sure we never went without. We never knew we were broke!
When I was almost 8, she met my (adoptive) dad. They were married a couple of months later, and we started our new blended family. My mom was finally to realize her dream of being a stay at home mom. I had a new sister, 1 year older than me, and my mom soon was expecting my youngest brother. She decided to continue at her job until my little brother was born, then be at home full time with all of us.
During this 9 months, my dad went in for his 2nd back surgery, and due to permanent nerve damage, and scar tissue build-up, was never able to return to the work force again. Mom mom continued her 30+ year career with her employer. She only barely retired a few short years ago.
She has been my dad's constant caretaker, as each year his health has diminished more and more...she was both bread winner and bread baker! My dad was a wonderful stay at home dad, but our family is pretty old fashioned, and needless to say, this is not the way they envisioned raising their family!
My dad did an amazing job caring for us at home, cooking a lot of the time, and teaching us the value of hard work! On his good days we would spend hours out in the garden, or yard. But he inevitably would overdo it on his good days, and then would end up in bed for the rest of the week! That's still the way it goes, only the good days are fewer and farther between, and the "laid up days" that are the result of overdoing it last longer!
Not only has my mom cared for him, and us her whole life, but she's always been the first to help those around her as well. My whole life I remember her making meals to take in to neighbors who were sick, or had just had a baby, or surgery, or some other circumstance that brought out the need in her to serve others. She's the first to volunteer anytime someone is in need of service.
I can't even begin to explain how much she has helped each of her children over the years. With my current church calling, and serving on the Board of Trustees at our charter school, I have many evening time committments. This is hard with young kids when your husband works in the evenings. I don't know how I would manage to fulfill all my obligations if it weren't for her willingness to come stay with my kids. And they LOVE when grandma comes to stay. She's so not the grandma that comes over and puts a movie on for the kids to watch. She's the grandma that brings over story books to read to them, and gets down on the floor to build blocks, or wrestle, or play games. She's the grandma who paints toenails with the girls, sings lullabys (off-key I might add) to Monkey, and hires Bookworm to come do yardwork with her so he can earn a little spending money. They love her so much.
We all do, and although my mom and I are both so much alike in the area of stubborness, and pride that we often butt heads, I am so grateful to have her in my life.
Have a wonderful birthday Mom...you deserve it!