Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wonder

Today all three of my children got to sleep in and spend a day at home with Nanny. I head off to work, and throughout the day I wonder what they might be up to back at the farm.
 My mom often takes pictures, and I can't help but think that she must have done these same things with me when I was a little girl: having tea parties in the back shed, befriending every cat that crossed our path,  stepping in puddles, dressing me in mismatched clothes and thrifted sweaters...


There is a place where I learned to do these things with my children and I'm coming to know that that place was in my own childhood, from my own mother.
I wonder what it is like for my mother to look upon this little face, so much like my own when I was little, from her blue eyes to her corona of fuzzy curls. She must seek and find traces of her children's faces in all of her grandchildren's faces. I wonder if she sees traces of her own face, or of the faces of her parents. It just goes on and on.

I wonder what it is like for her to arrive at a place in her life where once again she is closely bonded with small children who depend on and adore her, who feel as safe with her as they would if she were their mother. 

I am reminded to cherish each moment I have with them, reminded that there will be a time when I won't feel little hands on my face every day or little arms around my neck. There will be a time when I only have to feed myself, to plan adventures for myself, to make sure that only I myself am happy and comfortable. 

I am reminded to cherish each moment I have with her.

I know that when my turn comes, I'll want to spend every spare moment with my grandchildren, too. We'll have tea parties and adventures outside, and hopefully there will be a screen door to slam all day long and cats to love up and puddles to be stepped in.

My mother always says that she retired from nursing then came to work for me. When her friends marvel that she is so willing to give of her time, she tells them that she is paid in hugs and kisses. When she comes through the door in the morning and is greeted with squeals of delight, little running feet, and deep, lingering hugs, I know that we both have a sweet deal in this arrangement of sharing the care of my children.
Her photos of these marvellously ordinary moments of her day with her grandchildren tell me that she loves and sees them as I do, unconditionally and without bounds.


Mostly I wonder how I came to be so very blessed.

20 comments:

  1. Wow! Beautiful thoughts Stephanie! Thank you for sharing them!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are all so so rich to have what you all share. Feel a bit teary reading this - so beautiful! X

    ReplyDelete
  3. How wonderful for all of you that your mom is there for you, her and the children! As someone who now watches her granddaughter [ I only have one grandchild] while my daughter teaches everyday, I can say that it is the one of the things I do daily that I love. Granted, when she leaves in the afternoon I'm exhausted, but spending my day with a three year old, playing and exploring helps keep me young. I was and am so surprised at just how fast [and it really is fast] my own children grew up, and I am thankful I now have another little person to care for and play with.
    Love the pictures of your children, they are beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a lovely post, Stephanie. It made me a bit melancholy, however, because my own growing up was so different. My mother was an overwhelmed, bitter, single mother who never really enjoyed motherhood. I put off having children, influenced as I was by her own feelings about mothering, until I was 35...and now I can only hope that I live long enough to have grandchildren. Your mom sounds wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  5. My own kids are off visiting their grandparents today, and I tell them all the time how lucky they are to really know both sets plus some great-grandmas and aunts/uncles as they grow up. It's wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This makes me wish SO much for my mom to be closer. Because both my parents still have mothers in need of care, they can't follow us here to Ottawa. It is lovely to have skype chats and monthly visits, but what I wouldn't give to be able to pick the phone up and call my mother to come over for afternoon tea. Sometimes I just want to pack it all in here and move to them, but the thought of losing all my friends (and jobs!!) makes me worry. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a BEAUTIFUL post, Stephanie. :) Your mom sounds like a very special lady! I look forward to the day when I can hopefully do the same for my grandchildren.

    ReplyDelete
  8. How lovely, Stephanie. I am jealous of you, that you have such a wonderful mother. My own mother only lives a few block away but she almost never sees my kids, and the odd times when she has them, she sticks them in front of the tv. Mothering (or grandmothering) is not something she enjoys, unfortunately. When my sisters and I were kids she ignored us as much as possible too.

    The coolest thing about those pictures is that your mom let them use real teacups. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a lovely way to start this cloudy day! I have always felt so lucky that Archie got to spend so much time with my parents as a baby and little boy. It's been great to see their relationship change as everyone ages. At almost thirteen, he still talks to them almost daily, and still loves going for sleepovers and spending time with them. It is also great to see them with Fletcher, so many years later, which is a different relationship. After a day with him, my parents are both ready for bed long before he is. One naps while the other looks after my very busy little boy. My mom turns 80 this month, and I have to keep reminding myself of this, as I know one of these days it's going to be too much for them. I hope one day, if the tables happen to turn, that I will have two proud and thankful boys who will help me look after people who have given them so much time and love, and be able to return it!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Once again you bring me to tears.Sometimes when I think I'm with your kids too much,you write a story about mothers or old memories of old childhoods and
    I guess I'll hang around for a little longer.Nothing like the smell of kids in springtime or cold wet feet in rubber boots.I am the one that's blessed that I am allowed such freedom and time with your children.Time really goes go by quickly,because yes I do remember a little rosy-cheeked curly haired girl who was always bringing me a stray bug or half dead mouse and wanting to give them a home[for a little while].I am the lucky one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am bawling and I love you, Mom! And I love you, Stephanie!

      For a different perspective- I so look forward to Kailyn (my stepdaughter) and her baby coming to live with us for a while because I only met Kai at the age of 5. Now, I will get to see echoes of her in this little one, through the toddler years and onward while in the role of grandmother. It will be like a second chance to know K at these ages, too. The years I missed with this "chosen" daughter, I will now get to have with my granddaughter!
      xo

      Delete
    2. This should be coming from LANA, not The Knitty Gritty.. Steph= you must have left yourself open on my computer:)

      Delete
  11. How beautiful. I am sitting here at work with tears running down my face...not very professional!! I am blessed too in having my mother and father being integral parts of my children's lives. I often feel so sad for my mother-in-law living out East who only gets to see her grandchildren one or two times/year. My mother, who is 70, says having children around is the secret to everlasting youth. Probably the reason she had 5 children of her own!! Thank you for such a beautiful post....I must go call my mama now!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Loved reading the comments almost as much as I loved reading this post! Well done and the photos are divine. Seeing the pic of the tea party in the shed had me rushing back to our childhood and the shed, tea parties, cats dressed up as babies, etc. I have never taken for granted the blessed childhood we were graced with and the mother who created it all.

    ReplyDelete
  13. My parents take care of my daughter at least once a week while I am away at work. And they come by to see her every morning after their coffee. A ritual they started when she was in the NICU, they would come in for her 9AM feeding, and it continues to this day. I am so grateful that they enjoy her as much as they do and are willing to put off their plans to help care for her. What would we do with out the grandparents?

    ReplyDelete
  14. My mother is the same way, only without pictures. Right now we are living with her and she is greeted every morning with hugs and kisses from my daughter. They share a room (my mother said that my husband and I needed our privacy. I think it was a ruse to get her baby in her room) and most nights a bed. I am terribly close with my grandmother, but I never grew up with her. I am trying to change that with my daughter.

    But, we are moving cross country and my mother might not come. My heart is breaking not only for me, but for my daughter. We are hoping she will come though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I imagine your mom will be hot on your trail if at first she chooses not to come!

      Delete
  15. nice post, as I sob into a kleenex...

    ReplyDelete

This space is a creative outlet for a busy mama; I warmly embrace your comments and feedback, as well as questions/requests for details. I do check them daily and will respond where appropriate! Thank you for visiting the Knitty Gritty Homestead!