Last week I was playing with my daughter in the front yard, and as she was walking up the steps she counted each one: “One, two, free!” I can still hear her laughter bouncing through the May sunbeams. I teared up listening to her practice counting in her squirrely voice, and I started to envision how my Mama must have felt when she watched me do the same things when I was young. This is one of the many reasons I don’t think I ever truly understood and appreciated her in a deep sense until I became a Mama myself. They say you should walk a mile in someone’s shoes, well, as a Mama, you’re chasing kids and hauling nineteen things at once, so you walk that mile in just one day 😉
The one quality that stands out is her selflessness–I admire it and strive to emulate it. For instance, I couldn’t come up with one time where I remember her being away from us. It wasn’t until she was older and we kids were grown, that I started to hear her say that she was doing something for herself. And now she says it with intent: I am taking some Me Time this weekend and going to get a pedicure and have lunch with my Mom. But when I was younger, she never did that. So now here I am, thinking about how lucky I am that she’s instilled this in me–this thought about taking care of myself because she’s right! But seriously, it’s really hard to find the time unless I make it. This was one of the reasons I wanted to start this blog–to do something for myself.
And as I’m navigating this whole idea, here she is, still rocking this selflessness as a grandma. She’s offering to watch my kids so I can have Me Time. She’s suggesting my husband Ross and I go on a date because it’s so important to reconnect. She’s offering to spend the night when my husband is gone fishing for the weekend so she can help with bedtime. Not to mention just my Mama, my mother in law does the same types of things. When my kids are sick and I don’t have vacation time, she is selflessly taking the day to watch them and care for them when I can’t. She’s sending delicious loaves of banana bread or homemade tortillas for us. She’s bringing the kids change for their cute piggy banks. If I can show half the love someday, I’ll be lucky.
I began to think of all the ways I see her now because I am seeing her through my own Mama lens. I feel the bond between us growing because I am witnessing these things firsthand that she once saw, too. It was on this day, hearing my daughter count the steps, that I thought of all the other things I feel now, that she must have felt, then…
I cherish the love you felt when your kids were finally able to say “I love you, Mama.” It’s an incredible, indescribable moment and reciprocation of love.
I carry the burden you felt being a wife and a Mama and trying to balance it all. You always did it with grace.
I share the joy you beamed when you heard your baby’s laugh for the first time. It’s the most beautiful sound.
I wipe away the tears you shed when your toddler made you wonder when this stage will end. Your patience was endless.
I write the never-ending list of to-dos that you put aside to spend the day with your kids. The list was never as important as those fleeting moments.
I embrace the effort you poured into working full time and still keeping it all together at home. A smile rarely ceased from your face.
I smell the baby soft skin you washed, lotioned, and rubbed growing pains out of. No hands are gentler.
I entangle my hands in the pudgy fingers and toes you held that were caked with dirt from an afternoon outside. There’s something adorable about a dirty wee one.
I hug the little faces and knees you once kissed to get the ouchies away. Mamas kisses are magical.
I bear the worried nights you endured wondering if you were doing it right. This burden will always be, as long as they breathe.
I hear the laughter you created with tickles and funny faces. Mama’s laugh can turn any sadness into smiles.
I enjoy the cup of morning coffee you drank to awaken your sleepy eyes. Your cup runs over 💕
I learned all about loving my kids by watching you love yours.
The list is infinite. And if you’re like me, you’re experiencing first hand how some of these incredible experiences can transform how you see your Mama. This Band of Mamas is truly incredible and now How I See my Mama is changing because I’m in her shoes and blessed to be a Mama myself ❤️
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Crying as I’m reading this at work/ Oh my gosh Lindsay thank you love it’s been such an honor and blessing to be called a Mama, best gift ever from God 🙂
Beautiful, Lindsay! I’ve thought about this a lot, too, since becoming a Mama. I don’t think I truly ever understood the depth of my mom’s unconditional love until having my own kids.
Thank you! Totally agree ❤️
What a beautiful tribute to your wonderful Mama! I can attest to her love for all of you as I was lucky enough to observe it firsthand. It’s clear to me that you will carry on her legacy with your own children. Much love.