I once heard someone say that parenting a child is the toughest job in the world. I agree there were times when it wasn’t easy (so would my mother, and her mother). I’d have to add, though, that the rewards are endless. I feel so fortunate to reap them again as a grandmother!
We used to have a saying tacked to our kitchen bulletin board that read: “Teenagers – Tired of being harassed by your stupid parents? Act Now. Move out! Get a job! Pay your own way, while you still know everything!” It was in jest, of course, but it captured the challenge of seeing four boys through their teens.
Those years were no cake walk for my mother and father either, but they survived and so did we, all the better for their guidance and unwavering support.
I’m enjoying seeing the way each of my three daughters-in-law have embraced their roles as mothers, and the influence their own moms may have had on their parenting styles. We can’t help but reflect on our upbringing and the things we’ve learned from our mothers and grandmothers – bits of wisdom, magical shortcuts, helpful hints, treasured recipes, family stories, things not to do or do differently. (Somewhere along the way, I missed the lesson on making my mother’s perfect pie crust. She always made little cinnamon sugar pinwheels from bits of leftover dough for my brothers and I.) And then there were those “rites of passage” moments, and the special one-on-one times that we’ll never forget.
As Mother’s Day approaches, I’m thinking of new moms all over the world who are holding their newborns for the first time—breathing in that wonderful new baby smell, gazing in awe at the tiny fingers and toes—the way our mothers did with us, and our grandmothers did with them, their hearts filling with love.