Monday marked the 19th anniversary of the time I shattered my elbow when I crashed an ATV. I will never forget that day. Well, what I mean is that I’ll never forget when that day happened. Because it was the day after Mother’s Day in 1999. Nineteen years ago. What a great gift for Mother’s Day, eh? The day before we probably did something special to show mom what she meant to us (like breakfast in bed, or cleaning the house, or maybe us kids called a 4-way truce for the day). But the next day? Back to chaos.
But that was just sort of typical for my mom. Each one of us kids had our accidents that probably took a year or two off her life. Like the time Joe sliced his wrist open on a broken piece of glass on New Years Eve and had to get like 40 stitches. Or the time Alicia broke her arm after flipping off the side of the trampoline. Or the time when Chrissy was, well, Chrissy. My mother put up with a lot of crap.
She started young, too. She and my dad got married when she was 19. About three weeks before her 21st birthday, my brother was born. By the time she was 28, she had four kids under the age of seven. I think about all the things I got to do between the ages of 21 and 28 that my mom never got to do.
But she never complained about that. She was too busy loving on her kids to worry about that. Sure, there are probably plenty of things she wished she could have done, but if you were to ask her, I’d bet my next paycheck she’d say she wouldn’t trade her experience for the world.
My mother is a nurturer. She is kind, graceful, and forgiving. She fights for her kids, sometimes to a fault. She’s a bargain hunter, and SHE WILL MAKE YOU RETURN THAT SHIRT IF YOU PAID FULL PRICE FOR IT. She’s resourceful, and crafty. She doesn’t mess around, but she’s a goof. She’s proper and polite. But don’t make her angry, because she is scrappy and knows how to win – if necessary. Each of her four children own bits and pieces of her personality, but nobody on earth can measure up to this woman. She is strong. And she is loving.
I remember when my dad was working crazy hours at work and my mom was tasked with getting all four of us kids ready for school, dropping us off and heading to work herself. And again, never did I hear her complain. I did hear plenty of “soft rock” – think Kenny G., Sade, ABBA, and Billy Joel – on 107.9 (Double-U-TeeePeeeIyyyyy!!). But I never heard her complain.
For that, thanks Mom! The list of all the things you have done for our family is limitless. We love you very, very much and we are blessed to call you “Mom”.
My wife is absolutely incredible. If you’ve read The Miracle of Birth, you know this already. But as incredible as that story is, it pales in comparison to how amazing she is at being a mom. And that’s not meant to downplay her superhero status attained when bringing Hendrik into this world. Instead, it’s meant to show just how great of a mother Allison is to our son.
From Hendrik’s first days on earth, she’s been such a caring and loving mother. Not only did she nurture and provide for our son in those early days, she also ran him around to his various appointments and diligently followed his rehab routines to get him to full strength after his birth. It wasn’t even a question in her mind. She just knew that was the best thing for our son. Anything she had going on personally would just have to wait because he needed her and she wasn’t going to let him down. She was so selfless with him.
Now that he’s almost two years old, I see a different side of Allison’s motherhood. She is patient and tirelessly compassionate with him. She teaches him and encourages him. She disciplines him when he needs it, but she always helps him understand why he’s being disciplined and how to correct his behavior. When he still doesn’t listen – because, well, toddlers – she stays calm and loves him through his meltdowns. On the other hand, she celebrates his successes and spurs him on. She dances with Hendrik, gets into tickle fights with him, and cuddles him relentlessly.
Hendrik loves his momma so much. When he’s upset, she has the power to comfort him better than anyone else. He feels so safe, so secure with her. He knows that as long as momma is around, everything is going to be okay. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me. I have the utmost confidence in Allison as a mother, and I’m truly blessed that she is my partner in this whole parenthood thing.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! Of course, Mother’s Day was a few days ago, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop celebrating you. Thanks for all you do. ♦