Thursday, May 31, 2012


What a difference a year makes!

It is birthday/anniversary season at our house.  Taylor Beth recently celebrated a 7th milestone.  Birthdays always invite reflection for me.  

Courage!  It's the one word that comes to mind when I think of the life you've lived this year, my dear.  I must stand by and watch as you determine who you are and who you want to be.  It is no easy task for a 6 year old.  It takes courage.  So, in the words of the Cowardly Lion...

"Courage! What makes a king out of a slave? 
Courage! What makes the flag on the mast to wave? 
Courage! What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist, or the dusky dusk? 
What makes the muskrat guard his musk? 
 Courage! What makes the sphinx the seventh wonder? 
Courage! What makes the dawn come up like thunder? 
Courage! What makes the Hottentot so hot? What puts the "ape" in apricot?

I have not always lived my life courageously.  I have passed on opportunities for lack of it.  But being your Mama has made me brave.  
Strengthened my faith.
Taken me to the end of me.
Brought clarity to what really matters
Who I am and who I want to be.

Thank you for the gift of courage.  You are a gift.  We are grateful for you.

Monday, May 14, 2012

An Understanding Mother

They always say it.  And it it is always nearly impossible to comprehend until you, too, are in its midst.  

"You never really appreciate your mother until you are one."

But its true.  And every day I am reminded by my own blessed monkeys what a gift it is to have your mothering always before me.  You loved us so well!  Still do.  

I don't always love my children well.  Maybe you didn't always, either.  But you did enough of the time for me to feel loved, accepted, safe even well into my adulthood.  

The monkeys and I have been reading through The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf.  Ferdinand's mother worried that Ferdinand might be lonely if he only ever sat "just quietly and smell{ed} the flowers" instead of running and jumping and butting heads like the other bulls.  

"His mother saw that he was not lonesome, and because she was an understanding mother, even though she was a cow, she let him just sit there and be happy."

You saw me.  You saw that I was ok.  Awkward, maybe.  Not always like the other kids.  But you, in your understanding way, let me sit.  And I was happy.  

Nature walks, Pony Boy rides, your hands, grocery store trips, hours in the kitchen, your nasty mustard yellow mixer, and a three-fingered "Praise the Lord".  You provided the space, the safe haven for me to find the courage to be me...the faith foundation to at least start figuring out who "me" is.  

And now I have the privilege of watching it cycle back through, on the outside, looking in.  My kids have no idea how blessed they are.  

I love you, Mom.  I am so grateful for your legacy.  So proud of my heritage.  It is a very happy Mother's Day, indeed.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mama's Day, Mama Cheryl!

There is a Chinese proverb that states, "Women hold up half the sky."

This woman has held up her fair share.

I have never met another human being with matched energy and vibrance.

Thank you for raising a son who honors and values the women in his life.

My monkeys adore you.  They are blessed to have you, as are we all.  Thank you for loving us so completely.  For never stopping, never giving up, always pushing on.  Always with a smile on your face. 

You have loved me generously, served me endlessly and selflessly, and shown me what hard work and commitment really look like.  I am truly grateful for you!