Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Motherhood Part II

I had every intention of publishing this post as a follow-up to this post, but I didn't get around to it.

I have had the opportunity to be a mom/step-mom to some pretty wonderful children. From them I have learned a great deal. And they continue to teach me. Because I don't want to write a book, I thought I'd share with you SOME of what I have learned:

From Stephen: For the first 12 years of his life we were alone.He taught me how to be a mom. I learned how to love--I'm sure I learned that from my parents but I really felt it put into action with him. I learned that there is such a special connection between a mom and her son and that bond is always there. I was quite worried about being a mother to a boy (especially with no dad around for him)--after all I only had sisters, but I feel my being a tom-boy really paid off. Stephen is a sports fanatic and so am I. I thoroughly enjoyed all of his years of little league, soccer, football and track. I watch him today coach his children (and others) and it makes me smile. I know it was tough for him growing up, but he made it through. I'm so grateful he has such a great relationship with Allan. He has learned so much from him and today he is a fabulous dad because of all that he has learned from Allan. I smiled the other day when on her FB status, one of his daughters posted, "I love my dad".

And when I married Allan I became a mother to some wonderful children--of course, this picture on our wedding day has Stephen in it, too.

From Neal: He taught me how to forgive. Years ago he forgave me for something and I'm still amazed that he was able to do so. He is an incredible young man. He works so very hard to keep in touch with his brothers and sisters. It is very important to him. Because we are a blended family, there is a concern that when Allan and I are gone these kids will not stay in touch with their "step" brothers and sisters. If you've read my blog for any length of time, you know that I hate the term stepbrother or stepsister, but it is what some prefer. I am so grateful that Neal works so hard to keep in touch with all his brothers and sisters. I know he will do all he can to keep everyone together, and I rest easier knowing that is the case. He is so loving with his children. I'm so excited that he and Macy are having another baby girl. She will be a lucky one going to their home. I'm excited about the opportunity to go out to see them when the baby comes in January. It's going to be so much fun. (As well, it will definitely be warmer in Texas in January than it will be here ; )

From Nancy: I learned to laugh--of course, with Nancy how can you do anything but laugh. When I had Heidi, Nancy was her second mother. They were so cute together. When I think back on memories of Heidi growing up and see things in my mind, Nancy is usually in the picture. Of course, Nancy used to love to hide Heidi everywhere and take her everywhere. I don't know if we can attribute Heidi's love of dance to Nancy, but I wouldn't be surprised. I have memories of Heidi riding around in the little yellow bug with Nancy and the two of them moving their arms to the music. Today Nancy is a fantastic mother/grandmother.

From Wendy: I learned the danger of judging others (something I'm still working on). I will forever be grateful that she was brave enough to point it out to me. At the time, it really hurt, but it has paid off in the long run. Because of her help, I think I am a better person, and I am grateful for her. (Now, as I write that you might say, well you didn't learn if you still struggle with judging--I'm trying to do better. I will never say I've got everything under control) Wendy is a very hard worker. She is the family hairdresser. My heart breaks for her that she has not been able to have children, but she has been a wonderful 2nd mother to Nancy's boys.

And, then I had these little ones:

From Heidi: I learned a great deal about myself--she has struggled with some personal challenges, but I watched with amazement as she dealt with them and grew from the experience. Heidi is very much like her mother and through the years we have butted heads, but she has grown into a beautiful young woman. I really miss having her at home. Whenever she's here she helps me so much. She has the best stories about teaching school. She has a very loving heart. She is definitely a builder--she tries very hard to build people. She is incredibly creative--I was telling Allan the other day that I really want her to get back to painting. We need some paintings in our home and this girl has a gift. BTW, her little missionary comes home in less than a month and we are all anxious to see what will happen.

From Brent: I learned to become even closer to God. I learned that God is so mindful of us and is always there to help us along our journey. I learned that we are never alone but God is never closer than when we are parenting and striving to teach these precious children of His. Those first few days of Brent's life, as I tried to wake him up and couldn't get him to respond, I still remember pleading with God and telling Him I would do anything. I saw God's hand in everything we went through with Brent--guiding us to the right places, the right teachers, etc. Brent has been my miracle child and I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have had to be his mother. He is my happiest child. I love being around him. He loves everyone. (I have to add that I also learned that I could survive those 2 years when your son is on a mission. I still remember when he first left I didn't think I could have him gone for 2 years, but I did it--and he had a fabulous mission.)

From Kyle: This one is tough. He is my baby--my little missionary--and my feelings are very tender right now (Someone referred to those feelings as my "mom heart" and I really like that.) I love talking about him--probably because I miss him so much. Every week after Allan and I each get our e-mails, I send out an update to all of his brothers and sisters. I love doing it because it gives me a chance to kind of talk about him--not sure if they feel they really want to read them, but I sure enjoy writing them. He was probably my most tenderhearted child. When he would get corrected (and yes, he was corrected) he would go in his room and then would come out with a little note of apology that he had written and he had drawn of a picture of a little boy with tears. He had a way of melting my heart. Just the other day in his e-mail he was responding to a comment his dad had sent to him regarding having to give an employee at attitude adjustment. Elder Rob wrote, "I remember back in the day when I needed an attitude adjustment at least once a week. I feel bad to have put you guys through that. But I guess it's quite normal with most teenagers"It is so much fun to watch him grow and mature.

So what did he teach me??? I think he taught me to be a better teacher--having him in my Seminary class kept me on my toes. We are very hard on ourselves as mothers, and he has always had a way of helping me feel that I did a pretty good job.

Sidenote: This week in his e-mail he told us about a mom who is going through a divorce and when they were visiting with her she was crying and they bore their testimony. She explained that she was having a hard time because her son is on a mission in Minneapolis and will be returning home in 5 months. He then said, "I hope you aren't worrying about me, because I am definitely being looked after here in Idaho." I will assure him I don't worry. I know he is where he needs to be and doing what he needs to do. And I have Idaho blogging buddies that I know have their eyes open looking for him and will be there if needed ; )


Neal said...

Very nice. We'll all have to do a post about things we've learned from you ; )

Natalie said...

I love this post. You have wonderful children, but you are so wonderful yourself. It is amazing to me to see the growth that you have experienced since those early days in the church.
I think it's so great that you can pinpoint all the things that you have learned from your children. I think, well actually, I know children teach us so many things. I think it's important for us to recognize them as you have.
You are always an inspiration to me. Your children are the proof of how well you have raised them.
I am really in awe of you and all the things you have accommplished and continue to accomplish.
I actually posted on your previous post and now I see it's not there. I don't know what happened.
Hugs to you.

Macy said...

What a great post. Thank you so much for sharing all these lessons for the rest of the family (and blog friends ;) ) to learn from.

mindyluwho said...

Lovely post. I always enjoy your posts!

Cherie said...

I love Neal's comment back to you! I love reading your blog because I can tell what a wonderful mother you are and how much you give. You are a great example!

Valerie said...

I think you are a wonderful mother! You're humble enough to realize that children CAN teach us important values! But I also know that you have impacted your children in a very positive way!


Heidi said...

Wow mom--very nice!!! I agree with Neal--we need to do a post about how AWESOME YOU ARE!!!! You have taught me a lot and I continually thank the Lord for blessing me with an incredible mother who has always been one of my closest friends!!! THANK YOU FOR YOU MOM!!! I am sorry that I have caused you grief many times:(

Yvonne said...

Neal: ; )

Natalie: Yes, I do have wonderful children. Like I said I couldn't write about all the things I've learned from them, but it has been a great ride.

Macy: Thank you.

Mindylou: Thanks.

Cherie: Oh, thank you.

Valerie: Children absolutely can teach us--and continue to teach.

Heidi: Thanks, sweetie. And no you didn't give me grief. I love being your Mom.

utmommy said...

I've already learned so much from my children and am continuing to learn from them. I just hope I can do the same for them and that they'll remember some of the things I've tried to teach them. You've done a great job at teaching your children!

Corrine said...

you are a sweet mother and so neat to see the many different things your children have taught you. its amazing how we all come with such different personalities...makes the world a better place, especially when we can look at everyone and see the strengths they have to offer. You are an amazing woman!

ShEiLa said...

I don't know how I missed this lovely post. But it is beautiful. I know that we are blessed with children for our benefit too. Actually a family life benefits both parties. I never even thought of you as a step-mom cause frankly you are not mean enough. ;) I know that is stereotypical isn't it?


Nancy Face said...

This is just beautiful!

I can't BELIEVE Heidi's missionary friend has been gone nearly 2 years! Wow, time is zooming by!