Unconditional Love

Today, we celebrate mothers all across America as it is Mother’s Day.  I am reminded of the best part of my life. Being a MOM.

unconditional-love-quotesNot everyone has gotten this opportunity, and some who have, found it not for them. But, for me, it is the best. My life has always been a series of ups and downs, backwards and forwards, but having children to care for has always brought me back to the up & forward side of things.

I cherish the memories that still inhabit my scattered brain. They don’t always come to me when I command. Sometimes, they like to pounce upon me really fast, then fade off slowly, before I can fully pull the vision into focus. But, when it comes to my kids, the visions stay for a while and let me coddle them in remembrance.

I always wanted four children, even as a child playing house in my room; a boy, a girl, and twins. I prayed that I could have that family of children one day. And, I was blessed, just that way. Although, I have always considered my life as blessed. “Life is good, even when it’s bad. How else could I measure it,” was always my motto, and I said it to everyone who would listen.

God gave me a son, first. There was an eight-year gap until my twin girls arrived. Then, I had my youngest daughter, who squared up my family.

stick boyMy son Joseph was a good boy, seriously. He didn’t get into trouble, too often, and he was kind and considerate to others. He was adventurous, though. He always wanted to do things that were daring. He was very active in baseball throughout his life, playing from the age of five through his senior year at Woodland High School. He has grown into a wonderful adult; hard-working, devoted to his beautiful and smart wife, Kristin, loving of nature and the outdoors, but, he didn’t let the daring go. He has terrified me with amazing bike and skateboard tricks, ridden a bull and still enjoys drifting cars. He has been a wonderful son.

stick girl 1My twins, Claire and Audrey, they were a handful. Not because they were bad or mischievous (well, maybe a little for Claire), but because it was crazy delightful having two very different children at the same time and watching their interactions and relationship. Claire did everything first, but stopped when Audrey started mimicking her actions. I have often thought that Claire was halting what she had learned, so that Audrey could have her turn in the parent-spotlight.

stick girl 2I loved that they were definitely their own personality, but I liked to dress them similarly. If the outfit was the same, the color would be different; if the outfit was different, the color would be the same. They did both have Atlanta Braves cheerleader outfits when they were three. They wore it to Joseph’s ball games on occasion and the outfits were their three-year-old Halloween costumes.

stick girl 3The baby of the family, Olivia, knew she was the baby of the family, I think, even from birth. That child ruled her siblings, and they let her. She was a little terror for a moment. By the good graces of  Mrs. Patton, the teacher of 4-yr-old kindergarten at Harleyville-Ridgeville Elementary (yes, my jr. high/high school became the elementary, and eventually, the elementary/middle school), Olivia started school before the age of her brother and sisters.

Olivia tested high, meaning she didn’t need to go, but I reasoned with Mrs. Patton that she was too smart for her own good and needed socialization so that she could realize others existed in her world. With Mrs. Patton’s special touch as a teacher, she was able to acclimate Olivia to a group, allowing her to develop into a good listener, attentive student and a class leader, helping other students with studies, all in kindergarten. It was truly the turning point in my baby’s life, to becoming a member of a community and putting others first.

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When I became a mother, I understood my mother better. I realized I was more like my mom than I had ever noticed before. My mom and I had a close relationship when I was a kid. We had our normal difficult times in my teens, but by the time I was 24, I decided that if I wanted my mother to be that special grandmother to my children as my Grandmother Hoover had been to me, I would have to start looking at her differently. My children have had a wonderful relationship with their grandmother. She has been there for them, not as a cookies & cream grandma, but certainly as a grandma that showed them love and guidance.

I hope everyone can spend a little time today with their mother, either in person or on the phone, Skype or whatever means they can find. Whether your mother is on top of your world or the relationship is strained, she deserves a Thank You on this day, for delivering us into this world. Happy Mother’s Day to my mom and to all the mother’s on Earth. Mother’s truly are special in every way.

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