With each year that I get to enjoy the blessing of being a mother, my respect for you grows and my heart is humbled. Here are some things for which I am so grateful.
You are a mom I could share anything with. You told me the truth and I told you the truth. We weren't afraid of being real with each other. I felt like the only girl with a mom like you.
You didn't have all the Bible studies under your belt in the 80s that you do now, but you had rock solid faith. You taught us with confidence that God has a good plan even when we go through hard circumstances. I remember vividly these lessons.
I was mesmerized by you as a child. You were so funny. Your spontaneous dancing and general silliness shaped me. (I think Avery looks at me the same way I looked at you.) All my friends loved your laugh. The burst of a howl followed by the unselfconscious hoo hoo hee hee ha ha made us giggle.
You are so comfortable to be with. We don't need a plan. We just plop down on the couch and share our hearts over hazelnut coffee. I love that.
You always give all you have. You give yourself. Growing up, I watched you give time, rides, money, groceries, hugs, smiles, encouragement, gifts...all.the.time.
You have the patience of Job. I didn't really know how self-centered I was as a child until I was an adult. One day you and Dad said, "Oh, Jenna, we are so relieved to see how sensitive you are to other people. You were the MOST self-centered child of the bunch." You didn't immortalize my weaknesses by pointing them out and trying to root them out of my life at a young age. You lived by example and waited patiently for the Lord to work in my heart. I find this extremely encouraging as a parent.
You were adventurous. You even tried to home school me. We lasted a good semester. Honestly, though, it was the best semester of my life. I loved being with you!
You valued arts and cultural experiences and thus made sure we had season tickets to the St. Louis Repertory Theater. I still remember Conversations With My Father, Fences, The Merry Wives of Windsor, A Christmas Carol, A Little Night Music, etc.... Maybe, this was a tiny influence on me ;)
You concocted and carried out some of the most hair-brained ideas, which turned out to make hilarious memories. My favorite was the time we got tired of the ducks. We'd acquired them on a whim at some rural county fair. For whatever reason, they became a nuisance and you decided that they belonged at someone else's farm. This didn't mean that you'd pick up the phone and find a new home for them. No, you spotted a good pond on someone else's property and didn't need to consult them. The plan we carried out was that when it got dark, we'd each hold onto a duck and lay low in the back of the pick-up while Dad drove. Then, when he stopped by the pond, we threw them over the fence as their feathers flew and they were quackin' at the moon. You're the only person I've ever thrown a duck with. I love you for that memory.
You are the best mother in the world for me. Happy Mother's Day!