What a beautiful sunny morning for Mother's Day! Within the busyness of life of working full time in both raising a family and earning an income through a career, finding relaxation through resting or enjoying a special hobby, may you be richly blessed in all you do that is dear to your heart. Wishing each mother a very special Happy Mother’s Day!
How to explain a mother’s love… It’s all encompassing… She believes the best, encourages, supports, and nudges her young ones forward from infancy as they grow up to become who they’re meant to be.
As a mother holds her tiny newborn in her arms, she feels an intense and special tender love. From deep within her heart, this new love emerges as each little one is born… for every child is created unique by God… an individual with a distinct character and personality… unlike any other in the world.
Children are also not born with a set of instructions in one hand as they enter the world… sometimes unfortunately! But, with biblical Godly wisdom, a mother, a parent, also grows within… to become wiser as her children mature. It’s a process involving her learning and understanding while her children move through their own maturation processes. She holds her hands out to pick her young ones up when they fall… while at the same time she tries to let them fail so they can learn from their mistakes… often called tough love. We want so much to keep them from feeling pain, loss and disappointment. And I’ve been guilty of being a helicopter mom… I didn’t want them to face some of the pains I did while growing up. But, that’s not the best option.
A mother also realizes she has not always been wise and successful at every turn of the way. She makes mistakes too. At times I needed to apologize for my own misunderstandings and mistakes, being willing to learn from the experience with my children, and to move forward a bit wiser.
Discipline, responsibility, accountability, honesty and respect are necessary for a child’s growth, taught and modeled by parents. One form of discipline I incorporated from Ed’s Aunt Ethel with our three children was to have them all sit on the sofa holding hands together when they had been arguing. Unbeknownst to me, as soon as my back was turned, they stuffed their hands down between the sofa cushions – so they wouldn’t have to touch their sibling. As soon as Mom reappeared, they held hands again. When I could see they were treating each other well again, I sent them off to play. As adults, they shared with me what they used to do. I laughed and said, “But it worked! It got you talking and working together, even if you were conspiring against me to unhold your hands!”
As a child, Jenn liked to take chocolate chips to her room, hiding them in her desk drawer. One time, this concept went too far. While their dad was at The Carroll Center for the Blind in Massachusetts, I took the kids grocery shopping with me. Turning around one time, Jenn slowly took her hands out of her pocket with an odd look on her face. I knew… I just knew what had happened. Sure enough, she’d slipped a candy bar into her pocket. I made her put it back, telling her that the store manager had literally just walked past us. If he had seen her, I said, he would have charged her with shoplifting. And people who do that go to jail. Maybe that was harsh to tell an 11-year-old, but this was going to be stopped. On the way home, I even drove past and pointed out the county jail.
When we visited their dad at his Aunt Ethel and Uncle Harry’s home in Massachusetts a few weeks later, I shared my concern with Uncle Harry. The next day, he took us all to the Boston Aquarium. We saw the Old North Church, like an ant, tucked down amongst tall “skyscrapers.” Then he took us to see “Old Ironsides,” the famous ship from the War of 1812. It was impressive to walk on a piece of early American history! We thought it was especially neat to see a sailor in an 1812-era uniform on deck, talking on a modern telephone! On the way home, Uncle Harry drove us past a prison with its high barbed-wire fences, telling us it was for teenage delinquents. I’m sure the message was received. Jenn never attempted to steal anything again. True love, and guiding our children through the maze of learning appropriate behavior, does not leave them to blindly follow their own selfish desires.
After our daughter, Jennifer, passed away at age 25, I wrote my memories of the growing-up years of Jenn, Em and Dan in a book, “Watch Them” for family and friends. In one chapter I wrote, “Our children – each a unique individual, a most precious gift from God to be treasured and loved as we guide them in their journey through life. My late friend, Mimi, shared a special quote from her stitchery: ‘There are two lasting gifts we can give our children – one is roots, the other is wings.’ May we love our children enough to provide them with the deep roots of a sturdy foundation, and yet love them enough to discipline them, giving them wings and freedom to fly out into the great big world on their own.”
To me, that is what a mother’s love is all about. And I love each of my kids and grands so very much! God bless you all, and Happy Mother’s Day!
A Mother’s Love
Linda A. Roorda
A mother’s love
From the first smile of joy
For the precious bundle held in her arms
To the pride in her heart
As to the future her child is given.
A mother’s love
With hugs, tears and kisses
That heal life’s bruises
As arms enfold her child tight
A place that no one else can fill.
A mother’s love
From deep within her tender heart
A love that forever hopes the best
A love that believes in guiding the will
And a love that never ever lets go.
A mother’s love
Is kept in gentle memories
From her tender sweet smiles
To the depths of her heart
Forever a love held precious and dear.