Well, today is mothers day and while at church I had a super cool guy who a I think is awesome (he flew Air Force One many years ago) walked up to me and said something to me that I will never forget. He saw me on the hallway couch with 2 of the kids who were being rambunctious and put his hand out immediately to shake mine. With a firm hand shake he said the following, “If there is anyone in the world besides my own mother and wife who I want to wish Happy mothers day to, it is you. Make sure you get some of the chocolate we are handing out to all the mothers today. You are mother of the year to me. You are amazing.”
I was shocked and amazed that he would say something so kind to me. I was speechless. He had often shot me a kind glance and smile when he saw me struggling with the kids at church. He has always said he admired me and the hard work I do with the kids teaching them respect and service. This is coming from a man who FLEW AIRFORCE ONE. I was grateful and shocked that I was being noticed at all for anything other than the crazy and noise we bring to church every time we arrive. I was truly grateful for his kind words.
I don’t say this to toot my own horn or anything like that, I mention it to make the point that you never know who is watching you and seeing the way you are parenting. It really made my day after a total failure to feel appreciated this morning. I was allowed to sleep in, but had kids running laps around my bed room over and over again, screaming and crying from the living room all morning, no breakfast in bed or breakfast at all and no one was ready for church until we were about to walk out the door and be late yet again.
I guess it was kind of my fault for not telling my husband what I wanted on actual mothers day. I would have loved to have woken up to a clean home, quiet kids and a smiling husband. I was not expecting a house that looked like a bomb went off, screaming, crying kids and even a kid yelling to me through my finally locked door that he had pooped his pants, aarrrggg it never ends. This is all on the tail of my failed solo camping weekend.
I had told my family over a month ago that all I really wanted was to be allowed to go camping and hiking to take some nature photography at Red River Gorge with our service dog Boomer. Instead, I was could only go 10 minuets away to the lake for an overnight (instead of the 3 day weekend I had planned). I ended up only staying at the lake for 3 hours before horrible storms forced me to come home and “fake camp” in my garage. Boo!!
Once I arrived back to the garage from the lake I heard horrible screaming and crying coming from inside the house. *sigh* resolving to just give up on the camping I came inside to quiet and calm Airabella and help the kids get to sleep. Once they were asleep I told my husband to pretend I wasn’t there and went back out to the garage. I desperately wanted to try out my new camping gear and I was going to if it killed me. (the lightning was bad but I felt pretty safe in the garage.) Even the dog abandoned me after a half hour of thunder lightning and pouring rain. Wimp!!
I guess you can call it fake camping but it was camping none the less. And the good part was that my Little brother who has been on deployment for 9 months working on helicopters on an aircraft carrier and his family came up from Florida and my other little brother and his family came up from Alabama so we all got together to celebrate Mother’s Day weekend. So for the first time in years all 6 kids and their families, my parents and my grandmother were all together for a cook out and play time. It was great to be all together again. We are a very close and supportive family and love to spend time together. So it was a good trade off to give up half of my “camping” trip and spend time with them all.
As we were all together I could’t help but marvel at the fact that we are all such good people because of our mother and father who spent our childhood teaching us many life lessons. As we all look back we hated it at the time but they taught us that “Hard work is the only way to accomplish anything worth anything in this life. Never give up or give in when you know what is right.” “ALWAYS treat others the way you want to be treated” “Service is vital to appreciating what you are blessed with in life” “Family and God are the Most important things and they will never give up on you no matter what.” There were so many other things that my parents taught us but these were some of the most vital ones that created our character. Now my 5 brothers and I do our best to teach our own children these things.
My mother is an amazing women. My father traveled a lot with his work. Most of the time he left on Monday and wasn’t back til Thursdays. And there were other times when it felt like he was never there. My mother and father raised us 6 kids to the best of their ability and never gave in on the important things. (My father was great in so many ways but this is Mothers Day and I find my self reflecting on her.) She spent so very much of her time serving others in Church and community and taught us to always put family and God first but to never forget to serve others. She volunteered, did PTA, was a Scout master, Day camp Director and so very very much more. She did her best to be there with us doing the things that mattered to us and usually found a way to get the whole family involved so that we were together. we often didn’t have money for babysitters so the only way to do anything was to do it together.
We were not the greatest kids in the world and we drove her CRAZY most of the time but she never ever turned her back on us no matter what we did. There were many times she was the only one out there supporting us but also giving it to us straight. She called us on our crap and made us be responsible for the deceptions and choices that we made. We did make some really stupid choices but we always knew she loved us.
When I got so very sick in my teens she did everything she could (with little or no insurance and money) to get me the care and to specialist I needed to see. I often ask her how on earth they afforded to do any of this and she just smiles and say, “It was a struggle but it needed to be done.” She sat through surgeries, sat close by as i screamed my way through horrific Physical Therapy sessions and drove me hours to see the doctors and specialist I needed. She consistently put her own comforts and sleep aside to care for her family and was a great example of selfless love to all she knew.
She cared for all of our friends and we were defiantly the “cool house”. I remember times when she took in some of our friends along the way who had no where else to go. She loved and supported even our friends and was an example of the kind of mother they wished they had too. She never apologized for her religion or her values and held strong to them always. When friends would stay over she told them plainly “we pray on our knees as a family in the morning and before dinner. You are welcomed to join us and we would like you to.” (they always did)
Thank you Mom for all that you are and what you did and now do for each of us and our children. We love you and want you to know just how cool and awesome you really are. Thanks Mom. You Rock!! post here.