Monday, May 13, 2013

The Force Behind a Mother

The first sentence is always the hardest to write.

There. I started. It's like when you're first learning to dive: You want to do it, you know you can do it, but you stand there on the edge of the pool counting, "One, two, three..." over and over again. Sometimes starting a blog post is the same way for me; I hesitate with that first sentence!

Mother's Day yesterday was lovely. My kids are great and all, but Mother's Day is typically made special by my husband dearest. During the years when kids are still growing, it might be fair to say that a Sunday is pretty much the hardest day to make any mother kick up, relax, and feel appreciated. No, Sundays start at the crack of dawn, the whirlwind of preparation and activity hardly stopping till the last light is turned out late at night. And children can be pretty clueless about what would make a mother feel noticed or appreciated on a Sunday. They don't see that you're simultaneously trying to fix someone's hair, clean the kitchen, tie a shoelace, and yell to a boy to please finish brushing his teeth 'cause we're late! No, they don't see it at all, so they ask you to please fix the necklace they made you so you can wear it to church. How do you fix a necklace that's too small to fit over your head when the ends have been cut close to the knot? There's no time to rethread it so you double loop it into a awkward bracelet and try to convince disappointed little eyes that it's still just as beautiful as a necklace. And you load up your crew into the car feeling like you crushed the heart of your little giver.

But not yesterday. Yesterday I had a couple sick boys who couldn't go to church, so after the older two were made ready, fed, and sent off with Jon in the 7 o'clock hour, I did, in fact, kick up and relax. Of course at this stage relaxing means that I made some bread, started some laundry, cleaned the kitchen, administered medicines, entertained a couple boys, read, did some floor exercises, and took a long shower. It was the perfect combo of rest and accomplishment.

Then Jon came home and made us a lobster dinner. No joke. He had planned the whole thing, made the preparations in advance, and we enjoyed lunch and a lovely afternoon outside. I was given the usual gifts of pressed flowers and paper crafts, a homemade necklace (this time a pendant, which was found on the floor of the grocery store, was threaded onto a length of green embroidery string), and a cookbook with beautiful photographs. Then the kids played in the pool, and Jon and I soaked in the loveliness of our life right now, right here.

And today I wore my necklace proudly as I repeatedly bent over the toilet with a vomiting boy, I used my cookbook to whip up a tasty vinaigrette and tossed it into a crisp salad garnished with leftover lobster, and I tucked my pressed flowers into the pages of my current book. I felt loved and appreciated still.

This weekend, I have wondered just how much my work as mom to my kids depends on Jon's support. As a mother, I think the quality of my work and the depth of my joy in it is very much related to the support and love I receive from Jon. A husband's leadership, his expressions of love, appreciation, trust, and moral support are critical to the effective and tireless work of mothering. It's the quiet fuel sensed within when everything else is downright hard. It's the sense of companionship and mutual purpose in a    long-term task that provides little immediate reward and success. I'd say Jon plays a critical role in my ability and desire to press on.

Of course this is not to say that the single mom is then left without hope: Whatever our need, God's grace is still bigger, deeper, and unfailing. But for me, on this Mother's Day weekend, I have grown in my appreciation for my husband, the father of my children.


Sickness or not, the pool is always a fun diversion for my boys. Recently they have "surfed" and boogie boarded, "fished" with great seriousness, and cooled feverish bodies. They often swim till their lips are bluish then retreat to the hardscape to bask in the sun.

We've stayed healthy all season long, but now that spring is ripening to summer my kids are under the weather. Each of them have had separate sets of symptoms, the virus attacking in different ways. This has been quite puzzling to me. The only fun thing is that I'm getting to test new homeopathic treatments and remedies and contrast them to traditional therapies. For instance, one kid is on antibiotic eye drops while the other is trying out a natural treatment; both seem effective. I've also managed to treat an ear infection without antibiotics, which is an option I never would have considered until now. It's all very interesting to me...

Jacob had a few difficult hours this morning, but with the exception of a cough I think he is on the mend. Poor guy-- He makes the sweetest patient ever.

Today I took an awkward shot of my latest piece of jewelry. Unlike a macaroni necklace, I can totally wear this out of the house, even on a day other than Mother's Day! ;)



  1. i'm interested in your homeopathic remedies. I usually treat ear infections without antibiotics and it seems to do the job well.

    1. I used Hyland's Earache Drops, and massaged the lymph nodes closest to the ears. (If that didn't work I was going to try the mullein olive oil drops.) For the eyes, I used Similasan Irritated Eye Relief (it used to be called Pinkeye Relief). They sipped on green tea with a little raw honey, and gargled apple cider and warm water for soar throats. For everyone who was sick, regardless of symptoms, I gave children's echinacea drops. Finally, I made a big pot of chicken stock which became chicken soup with carrots, cabbage, ginger, and garlic. We called it 'medicine soup,' but it was tasty and comforting, too.

      I'm just beginning to learn about these remedies, and I'm really not the person to look to! I'm sure you have way more tricks in your bag!

  2. I love this post! Miss you Katherine. Your blog is a 'go-to' for inspiration. :) xx


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