Five Bits of Wisdom

I’ve been noticing a lot of lists made by bloggers. Maybe blogging is synonymous with listing. I’m not sure but I thought I’d attempt one of my own. Bear with me as I try it out.

 Five Bits of Wisdom My Mother Gave Me.

1.  Give them roots and give them wings. – She gave me this little nugget while I was struggling with whether or not I should allow my daughter to participate in something that a lot of other people were cautioning me about. She told me, you have given them some great roots, Sara, and Allison has a very good head on her shoulder. Sometimes you have to let them go. Let her have her wings. Give em roots and give em wings! I love that woman.

2.  Look your baby in the eyes and talk to him.  That’s how he will know you love him. Let him feel your love. – I was seventeen and a brand new mommy. I still lived at home and mom was showing me how to bathe my little guy. I still can feel the sun shining through the bathroom window as we held him in the sink and swished the warm water over his slippery little body. Two dark heads bowed and totally absorbed in the new little love of my life. It’s a special sunny memory I pull out from time to time. This bit of wisdom applies throughout their lives. Look them in the eyes and talk to your children. Let them feel your love.

3.  Pray for each of your children by name every night. – I truly believe this is what brought each of us twelve siblings into adulthood with no harm. I remember when mom told me that she and dad prayed for every one of us children by name every night. I also wonder if this helped them to sleep more peacefully. By giving their worries to God he gave them sweet peace and rest in return.

4.  Aquiring material worth does not make one rich. – I remember coming home from a friend’s house to tell mom of all the exotic things their family owned. She told me that owning material things didn’t mean someone was rich, in debt maybe but not rich. Richness, she told me, came from the people in your life and the things you do for others. I didn’t really know what she meant at the time but I have found myself realizing her words so many times as I have grown. I remember being a young single mama and struggling so often. When my babes would fret that we couldn’t buy this or that, I would tell them we were indeed very rich because we had each other and so much love in our hearts. The smile in their eyes always made me know they understood what I meant. I love those kids.

5.  Always wash your hands and face and comb your hair before coming to supper. And no hats at the supper table. – I don’t know why this impressed this little girl so. It instilled respect as I watched my brothers take off hats that seemed a permanent attachment and comb hair that probably hadn’t been combed since supper the night before. Standing around the sink with two or three of my siblings and washing our hands together gave us a family ritual that seemed to bind us together and give us a sense of unity. Such a little thing with a huge impact.

So my list is done. I stop typing to read and reread before publishing. Gratitude and deep love well up for those two gentle people that raised me. I’m sure they were just muddling through life, raising children, loving each other, getting by with no instructions like the rest of us parents. Somehow though with, I’m sure my mother would say, much help from God, they really seemed to have found their way.

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Love You Still

James on left, Levi in middle, Allison on right

I gave them roots and then they were all gone. Sprouted their wings and took off.  I glance up at the wall in my living room. I silently mouth these words,” loved you yesterday, love you still, always have, always will”. The large photos of my three children hang in a staggered row.  My children are all grown now and have moved so far away.  I love their silly, sweet, playful, vibes surrounding me every day. I rejected the usual poses that so many photographers create. Instead I chose to frame each of them the way I will always see them.

James, my first born, the silly boy with the twinkling laughter in his blue green eyes, always forgetful and procrastinating, yet a joke and a tease for those he loves. This one grew up with his 17 year old mama, even as a teen I loved him fiercely. I still see him as a six year old boy, tending carefully to his two year old sister on the playground. How he would make sure she stayed away from the road and kept the bullies at bay with a big stick. Now a man, I see his care and respect for another wonderful single mama beginning to bloom.  I love them both and the little girl, she brings to our family.

Allison, a sweet little being from the very beginning, always so sentimental and caring and thoughtful, so imaginative and creative, an old soul in a vibrant young creation. My second born loves her mama and calls to chat almost daily. I consider her my best friend and confidante. Sometimes it seems the roles have turned and I find her being my role model.  I gaze at her photo and feel happy to know she now has a sweet dreamer’s shoulder to rest her head upon. She is in good hands with the man she met at 15. Now married and expecting his child at 26, I feel my love for them become abundant and my cup overflows.

Levi, my baby, how to explain my little caboose, so complicated and serious, little chip on his shoulder, frustrated with his disabilities and yet delightful when he wants to be, full of energy and always in search of new friends. Levi who searches for his place in life, at 20, has taken flight to go live with his father in another state. To learn what he can of the man who left his life when he was just a tender boy of 11, to catch up and hopefully heal the soul and begin to melt the chip. This strong young man I love with my whole heart, I hope he finally finds the peace and understanding he needs to lay his burdens down and be happy.

My children, my babies, my life in the blink of an eye time has flown by. I looked again and they are all still there locked securely in my heart. I see the beautiful eyes of my children and suddenly I feel like I am awaking from a dream. When did that happen? When did I create and raise these people, these people who are creating their own memories and lives. I don’t know  but my heart fills and I know for once, for certain, I have done something good and right. No matter what. But WOW! I’m blown away. Rock on kids!

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