Thursday, July 08, 2010

Must've Done Something Right

After an 11 hour road trip, Emma arrived home feeling sick to her stomach at 2:30 a.m.  After sitting with her for a mercifully uneventful 15 minutes, I gave her a Tums and sent her to bed with a bowl and went to sleep myself.  When she woke up in the morning she reported that she felt better after she threw up.  I knew nothing of this and neither did my husband!  Oh, the dread!  Pukey laundry is by far the worst.  She must have known what I was thinking because she said, "Don't worry, Mama.  I threw up in the bowl and then I washed it out."  My 8-year-old daughter not only threw up alone but cleaned it up alone!  Who is this child?  Just yesterday she was a baby spitting up on me multiple times on a daily basis and here she is taking care of her own sick without waking me.  I bet my mom wishes I did that.  I would knock on the wall between my room and hers until she got up to come get me and take me down the scary dark hallway to the bathroom.  Lord knows she'd better not risk hoping I'd go back to sleep because I was on the top bunk with my sitting duck younger sister sleeping below- probably with her mouth open.  (Ha, ha!  Sorry, I couldn't resist!)

The more I watch Emma the more I think of my own mom.  The more I talk and love and discipline her, the more I sound and act like my own mom.  It's the inevitable curse I hoped would never happen that is turning out to be a blessing. Someone has gone before me.  For better or for worse, I have learned from my own mother's mothering.  I hear her voice when I tease my kids, when I threaten them, when I discipline them. I feel the rage she felt when someone mistreats them or belittles the gift of my "large" family. I feel her heart when I look at them and can't believe how fast they are growing and wonder how much longer they will let me hold them.  I can imagine the day I will have to let them go and it breaks my heart like it must have broken hers.  I remember being her child and being anxious to shake the dust of my hometown off my feet to see the world. Watching your child grow into the person you hoped would be confident enough to do just that and wish they would never leave- bittersweet is the only word for it.

I'm a grown woman now with four kids of my own and she is Nana.  She did the best she could with what she had for six kids. She wasn't perfect and she didn't raise perfect children.   Only Holy Mother Mary could do that.  But she did her job and did it well, as far as I'm concerned.  I hope my children will say the same.

This post is featured on Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival and Elizabeth Esther's Saturday Evening Blog Post.  Click either of the links if you would like to participate!  The more the merrier!

6 comments:

  1. Hi! I've been following your blog for a little while now, and I have to say, this post really hit home for me. I, too, can remember wanting nothing more than to 'shake the dust of my hometown from my feet', and went through quite a few spats with my mom during that strive for independence/separation process. Now that I have my own little girl, I find myself seeing my own mom more and more in a very different light - seeing motherhood both from the perspective of The Mom, and also that of The Daughter. Seeing it as The Mom definitely helps one to be a lot more forgiving of the imperfect, and appreciative of the good, in one's own upbringing!

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  2. Abby,
    Thank you so much for the kind words. You're exactly right! I find I have much more forgiveness and understanding in my heart for the decisions and mistakes she made with me and my siblings- especially lately. She lives far away, and yet I feel closer than ever.

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  3. My dad used to say that the older we got, the smarter we'd think he was.

    Welcome to St. Blogs. I host Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival, in which Catholic bloggers share their best posts with each other. http://rannthisthat.blogspot.com/2010/07/sunday-snippets-catholic-carnival_10.html

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  4. My Sweet Mary,
    How do I answer this beautiful blog?
    I love you!

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  5. This is such a beautiful tribute to your mom and a great kid story. I love children and miss the children's choir I started 11 years ago. They've grown up now and it was a joy to be with them and see how they are turning out now. Welcome to Sunday Snippets. I hope you'll always join us.

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  6. I'm not surprised that you've grown to appreciate your mother more over the years, especially after becoming a mother yourself. Although I'm not a parent, I realize how easy it is to criticize the parenting skills of either your own mother and father or other parents, but when it's your turn at bat, suddenly the view is very different!

    I'm reminded of something one of my professors said. He remarked (tongue in cheeck) that some of the best parenting tips he had ever heard came from people who had no children. Of course, he then said that their advice had sounded really good, but it was just untested theory that didn't work so well in real life! I've taken that to heart...

    Thanks for sharing this.

    Evan

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"Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person." ~Colossians 4:6 (NASB)