As I write this post, my mother and my daughter are giggling in another room. (That’s the two of them in the picture on the left.) I have no idea what they are up to, but their laughter is loud and I can feel their joy for one another across the house. My mother has been visiting for nearly three weeks, and her time with us has been magical.
One of my favorite parts of her visit has been how enthusiastically my daughter goes into her room each morning to wake her up. “Read me a book, Grandma,” she says at my mother’s still-sleeping form. My mother awakens, slowly and with a smile, and they snuggle together, embracing the morning as a team of two. My son, not as quick with the “I love yous,” has bestowed several upon my mother, often coupled with a hug and “Come see my Legos, Grandma.” She admires the trucks, space ships, and police cars he has built with a seriousness he appreciates.
My mother has brought along a great deal of love to our house as well as a sense of all the things that cause stress in the lives of two working parents and she has stepped in to help. She’s washed (and folded! and put away!) the laundry, made dinner, helped get the kids off to school and tucked into bed, and pushed my husband and I off to multiple (though not as many as she would have liked) date nights. Oh, I love being taken care of. It’s the thing of childhood we miss when we become adults, isn’t it? We’re the ones who take care of others now, and we forget the space that forms when we aren’t caught up in responsibilities to and for others.
I consider these kindnesses my mother surrounds us with a gift like the ones we found under the Christmas tree. And, I’m so grateful to her. She returns home tomorrow, though we’d all like her to stay longer.
So, in honor of my mother, and all mothers really, today’s Red Shutters Roundup is about mothering and mothers. Enjoy.