To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before.

This past week during our *Parenting Anonymous meeting, one of our group members said that her 8 year-old daughter asked her if being a mother was hard.  Being the thoughtful, empathetic person that she is, she began her answer by saying that being a mother is the most rewarding job one can have, that you can’t fully understand what it means until you become one yourself, that you don’t realize all that mothers do until then.  Then she went on to say that yes, being a mother has its challenges, but they are far outweighed by the benefits.  Something to that effect.

All the while, I was thinking that if one of my three would have asked me that, which I doubt they would, I would have answered with a resounding YES.  Possibly even a HELL YES.

Which reminds me…the other day while turning on my Mom’s iPad, #3 swiped his finger, opened up the ebook he was reading, and said “Damnit.”  Mom replied with “What did you say?” to which he replied “I said ‘Damnit'”.  She texted me this little anecdote, which of course made me laugh.  I informed her that it could be worse.  Much worse.  He hasn’t tried it out yet in front of me, but I’m sure my time is coming.

The truth is, it is hard.  Being a mother to three little rugrats makes me say things I never thought I’d say, ie “Don’t stick your head in the toilet” and “Don’t climb in the refrigerator” and “Eat all your McDonald’s chicken nuggets” or “Be sure to finish your hot dog!”  It makes me occasionally say bad words, and then follow up with DON’T SAY THAT.  Which of course makes them laugh, and makes them want to say what I’ve said.  Which is why teaching context is very, very important.

Once, after saying my mom’s name for possibly the 10th time in as many seconds while she was sitting right next to me, she said, with perhaps the slightest bit of exasperation and humor “Yes, honey.  I am right here.” I realized then that yes, she is.  Right here. Always has been, always will be.  Now I have one, wait-three-that say “MOMMOMMOMMOMMOM” a million times in one breath after they’ve already said it a million times before and I say “Yes! Yes!  I am right here.”  Always have been, always will be.  I’m not nearly as patient as my own mom was with me, and I know that.  But I’m working on it.

I’m grateful everyday for my mom, for who she is to me, for who she is to my kids, for who she is to so many people.  Among so many other good things, she’s funny, smart, clever, empathetic, and generous.  She’s been through life, seen a lot of darkness, and she still chooses to live in the light.  And I appreciate that.

I could write for days and days about the mothers that inspire me, that I admire-my mother-in-law, all three of my sisters-in-law, so many of my strong, amazing friends, so many of you readers.  But y’all likely don’t want to stick around that long, and I’d make you cry anyway.

So I’ll end by saying thank you, to my mom, and to all of the mothers that make it count, that inspire, that sacrifice, that laugh, that heal, that listen, that love.  It’s all because of you that any of us are here in the first place, so again, thank you.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!


*Parenting Anonymous is actually a small group at church that meets every other Wednesday.  It’s a Christ Care group that focuses on parenting, but Jay and I started calling it Parenting Anonymous because we think we’re funny.

*Also, use coupon code MOTHERLOVE for 15% off your total order through Sunday!


5 comments: On To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before.

  • peggy dickerson

    As usual, you made me cry…..but it was a sweet cry.
    If I were a writer, I couldn’t create a better daughter than the one I birthed.
    I’ve told you many times, you are my hero………….
    Happy Mother’s Day to you.

  • This is a wonderful tribute to your mother, a person who is also very special to me.I want to wish both of you a Happy Mothers Day. Thank you for sharing this story.

  • Janet,
    Great to hear from you! Thanks for writing and Happy Mother’s Day to you!

  • francesca carter

    Kelley – please keep in mind that many of us have to send mother’s day cards via snail mail. Next time can you please post something this phenomenal in advance so I can write it in my mom’s card and claim it as my own? Aside from my desire to plagiarize, I am so thankful there are other mom’s out there that would say HELL YES to their kids when asked if parenting is hard. I admire those who stop, think, then respond more appropriately – however, I wasn’t blessed with that gift.

  • Fran, you’ve always had a way with words, friend. No need for you to plagiarize.

    Hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day!

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