Monday, April 20, 2009

An Unexpected Easter Gift

My parents came to visit us for Easter weekend, and it was truly a joy to celebrate Easter with them. My kids are always excited to see "Oma" and "Opa," and I love the company and the conversations that we get to have when we're under one roof for a couple of days. One of the best parts of the weekend, however, came after my parents had left and arrived back at home. My mom called to say that they had arrived safely, and then she gave me a great gift: she affirmed me as a mother by telling me how proud she was to be my children's grandmother. She said that C is a sweet boy who said the nicest things to her - "Oma, I love you," "Oma, thanks for playing with me," "Oma, I'm so glad that you're here" - and that Maria is a curious, fun-loving little girl who loves to give (and receive!) hugs and kisses. And then my mother told me that she is proud of me for spending so much time with my children, and that it shows because my children are joyful and feel secure in their world.

I really appreciated that affirmation, and it meant a lot coming from my mother. It is always a great gift when others make positive comments about our children, because it lets us know that the seeds that we have planted in our children are, in fact, blooming, and that we are on the right track as parents. And it meant a lot coming from my mother, who knows me so well and has loved me for my whole life. My parents spent a lot of time and resources on my education, and for most of my life I moved from one tangible achievement to another. There were tests to be studied for, plays to audition for, races to run, and recitals to perform in. There were applications to be submitted, jobs to apply for, and events to plan. Once I finished graduate school, life slowed down a bit. I prepared for the birth of our second child and for a cross-country move, and decided that I would step out of the world of education and paid-work and into the world of home-making. I have appreciated the focused time that I have been able to spend working on my skills as a mother and as the primary person who takes care of our home. I have had to learn how to clean a house well, which type of schedules work for me and which don't, how to make guests feel welcome and comfortable in our home, and how to fix things when they break. I have tried to be creative in how I spend time with my children, and strive to work hard during the week so that weekends can be real family time. All of this is hard work; it is not paid work, but it is fulfilling, invigorating, and exciting work nonetheless. I am thankful for the opportunity to be home with my children, and I am grateful for all of those who have affirmed me along the way!

Mary, Mother of us all, pray for us!


Right Said Red said...

A little affirmation goes a long way. I need to remember this when mothering my own children as they grow into adults.

B-Mama said...

Kat, I'm so glad you felt so affirmed after your parents' visit. What joy to know you're on the right track when mothering is your vocation 24/7!! Way to go!

Juris Mater said...

Kat, these moments of affirmation are my lifeblood, too. One conversation like the one you had with your mom puts spring in my step for about 6 weeks. Just as you say, our work requires the very best of our hearts and minds and energy and love, but the achievements and benchmarks are intangible. What a blessing your moms words are!