Hey, it's nearly Mothers' Day! The perfect time to write you a little somethin'...and since I can't call you on the phone or send you a card, this has as good a chance of you reading it as anything.
I miss you. I know I was the whiny one. The one that, as a kid, couldn't get enough cuddles and hugs and affection...but as a teenager didn't want a parental touch. You had to practically pry me out of your lap as a kid and then you couldn't pay me for a hug. I think I need to remember that with my own super-affectionate kids. Soak up those cuddles before they're too old and they think affection is a sign of weakness.
You taught me to love a good book, to savor delicious chocolate, and to pray when I lost things. I am teaching my kids the same vitally important stuff. Sheridan is the first kid to remember to pray when she's lost something. And with her simple faith, she always finds what has been lost after praying. Jack usually only remembers to pray after he's lost his temper :) Henry just always prays to "bless the food and help us sleep good," no matter what time of day! At least we know what's important to him, right? I think I've failed a little in the chocolate-loving category, but that's only because I eat all the good chocolate myself. Let's be honest, they wouldn't really appreciate good dark chocolate yet. Heck, I didn't until I'd had my first kid! As for reading...Jack just finished Harry Potter #4 all by himself. He is a voracious reader. Sheridan is reading now, too! We have each kid read a verse from the scriptures and this seems to really have helped her learn to read (you taught me that, too). Henry will sit in front of the bookshelves and look through books for half-an-hour at a time. Amelia follows me around the house, crawling and pushing a book in front of her until she finds me and clings to my leg, begging for me to read to her. I think the one thing I need to do more often is to put down my own book and be more present--be that reading them a book or listening to their thoughts. Heck, I probably need to close the computer more for that same reason. I need to let my kids know now that they're more important to me than a book or a website. It feels like I only have a short time until the kiddos are not kids any more and then, if they don't know I really care, they're not really going to care what I have to say.
Sigh. It is hard to be a mom! But since no one ever loves you the way your mom does, and you never love anyone quite how you love your mom, it's probably a good idea to do it right...You were never perfect but you did a great job. You never expected me to be perfect. Maybe I should lighten up on the kids and enjoy them more, rather than being so frustrated with how they're falling short. It's probably a good idea, since I'm falling short all the time! I'm still not perfect, but I think I'm a pretty decent person. Even as a teenager, I followed the rules. I didn't sneak out or do drugs or violate my curfew (although I was late once, I think). I still have stuff I'm working on doing better, but I'm still a rule-follower.
I made a pirate ship on the bed with the kids the other day. I couldn't help but remember how you made a pirate ship for us under the table one summer. They had a blast. I think we need to spend more time doing those things. Those are the great things I remember from my childhood, after all!
You taught me so much. Thanks for not throwing me out when I was a snotty teenager. Thanks for answering my endless questions and not strangling me when I was a whiny brat.Thanks for putting up with my emotional turmoil--I think I need to be a little more patient with my kids' emotional turmoil! They are good kids. In the heat of the moment, it's far too easy to forget that.
I hope you get to read this, Mom. I miss your faith-filled advice (although I will never forget "Have you prayed about it?" as good general advice for any problem!) and your words of love. I would give anything to have you wrap your arms around me one more time or to be able to sit in your lap and have you brush my hair. Instead, I will be sure to give my kids an extra hug, because you never know how long they'll let you, huh?
As Sheridan says, "You're the best mom I ever had!"
Wednesday, May 9, 2012