a blurry snapshot of a professional photo taken by Rich Austen of Austen's Photography, Arroyo Grande CA. His work is excellent, mine not-so-much.
Do you remember when you found out you were pregnant for the very first time? How you slid to the floor in a puddle and worried out loud that you might have a baby who was "just like me?" And I followed you right down to the floor and said, "Then you will thank God with everything that is in you for such an indescribable gift?"
Well, I really, really meant that. You were and are one of God's best gifts to me and to your dad. As I have watched you mothering those three boys of yours for nearly 14 years now, I have been amazed. Amazed and grateful and thunderstruck. Because you are so very good at this gig, my girl. SO good.
It's not an easy job, is it? Losing sleep, feeling confused at times, wondering how you are going to make it through one more round of snotty noses and strep throat and allergy season. It's tough to juggle all that is required as you do this work. I know that part all too well.
But I didn't manage to do even half of what you've accomplished. I stayed home with you and your younger brother and older sister. I chose to do so and I was blessed to be able to do so because your dad was 'the breadwinner' in those long ago days.
Things have changed, haven't they?
You trained for a specialized job, working with blind students, and you've always worked at it - part time until boy #3 was three, full time the last few years. I truly do not know how you manage to keep all the plates twirling so magnificently.
Well, I do know some of it: you've got a husband who jumps into all of it with both feet, offering encouragement, hands-on support and many layers of capability. And the two of you together chose this life you live - both of you in special ed with flexible schedules and summers off (mostly!)
Still...you are the beating heart of that wonderful home you keep. I watch you when we stay with you. Always quietly moving through the rooms, picking up, straightening, checking on homework, planning lunches.
Also, entertaining guests almost every weekend - quite often 30 at a time!, maintaining deep friendships, serving as an elder at your church. You never do anything by halves - and you never have.
Your children adore you - such fine young men they are becoming! Loving and kind, hard-working, smart, fun and funny. You are doing a great job, Mom-of-my-heart. Yes, you are.
And, in truth, I do see you in each of those three boys. I can't even tell you how deeply glad I am about that. Because you are a woman of valor - of deep, real beauty, both inside and out. You have the best laugh in the world and such a tender heart. You willingly admit your own doubts and questions, you seek honest answers to the tough stuff, you use your natural insights into human nature so very well. These are the things I see reflected in your children, good gifts that will serve them well as they move out into the world.
After all, they are a lot like their mother.
I love you,
This one is being added to Amber Haines' Link-up celebrating the release of Mother Letters:Sharing the Mess and the Glory. Have you seen this wonderful e-Book Amber and Seth have assembled from over 500 moms? I am an affiliate for this work of art - because I believe in the encouragement this project has provided to so many who are doing the hard/wonderful work of mothering. Check it out at: http://motherletters.com/my-mother-letter-link-up-party/