Over the next few days we will be remembering, celebrating and saying goodbye to my husband’s grandma. She was a sweet and loving woman who made me think a lot about motherhood…what kind of mother I want to be, what my priorities are, what I want to teach my children, etc. In thinking of her, I wanted to share a portion of a post from 2008. I wrote this shortly after visiting her, during a time when I was exhausted from being in the midst of toddlerhood, while being about six months pregnant. I now understand her words and perspective more than I did these few years ago. Dare I even say I now enjoy having babies around? I might not be to the same level of her appreciation, but I do know one thing for sure: I still admire her love of babies and love for her own children. Her love for little ones has inspired me in my own parenting, and she will continue to be an inspiration and a Wonder Woman in my eyes:
We visited Matt’s grandma a while ago and, as always, she just gushed all over Jonas—he’s just so cute, precious, full of energy. And then she said something that took my breath away. She said, “I miss having little ones around the house. I just loved taking care of little kids. Oh, to have babies again.” We sort of laughed at first and said, “Oh, yeah. They grow so fast….” But she was steadfast in her opinion that having babies and small children to care for was perhaps the greatest season in her life. I should point out that Grandma has Alzheimer’s, but in this statement, she seemed completely coherent and certain of how she felt. And I suddenly felt grossly inferior. This was a woman who raised four children on a farm, while taking care of day-to-day tasks sans the modern conveniences of microwaves, pizza delivery and even in-door plumbing for a time. I wouldn’t doubt it if she walked up hill both ways in 10 feet of snow to get to the grocery store every week…even during the summer. At least in that moment, I felt this woman was invincible. This woman who repeatedly asked how old Jonas was, while sometimes struggling to remember her own age, suddenly seemed like Wonder Woman to me.
~ from “Genes,” first posted on Defining Motherhood, July 17, 2008.
So who has influenced your perspective on motherhood? Who has been your inspiration?