It must be rather surreal to have your firstborn become a mom herself... when time flies by so fast that it doesn't seem that long ago you held her in your arms, and now you're preparing to hold your first grandchild.
I'm sure over the coming years I will continue to have a fresh appreciation for my mom and all the work she did for us over the many years of growing up... a fresh appreciation for a mother's love that I know I have taken for granted far too often.
Mom was a piano mom... For seven years she drove us an hour (both ways) to the city for our weekly piano lessons, sitting through two classes with me and my sister. It wasn't until we moved to Summerside that travel eased up and she only had to drop us off and pick us up (or send a taxi!) for our classes... I only realize now that during those earlier years, the group classes with other parents likely had her in a bundle of nerves depending on how well our written homework was done and how well we had practiced our songs, etc... Every spring there was more travel to the city for our piano competitions and exams. She was the faithful one who ensured we practiced, pushing us when we whined and complained... I am thankful she did, because as much as I'd be a nervous wreck for the piano competitions, they were highlights of my childhood and teen years. I only wish I would keep up with the practicing...
I suppose you could also say Mom was a beach mom... we lived in a haven of gorgeous beaches so our hot sunny summer days were usually spent at one... *bliss* Sometimes even when it wasn't hot and sunny... I remember our Red Cross swimming lessons falling on rainy chilly days, and mom sat wrapped in a blanket while we did our thing for a couple hours. But I don't ever remember her complaining about it.
Mom may have spoiled us by not having us do many chores growing up, but she knew how to let us be kids. To let us play and expand our imaginations. She accepted that with letting kids be kids, she might have messy areas in the house. She welcomed our friends in and everyone loved her. Often, they'd prefer playing with HER over with us! :) Mom didn't hover over us to make sure we were doing everything 100% safely – we climbed trees, fell out of trees (thankfully no injuries worse than having the wind knocked out of us… maybe it was just me), rode our bikes with no hands, climbed under the old church building, and got DIRTY. We grew up in the best place a child could grow up – a quiet little town where you could ride your bikes around the neighborhood, play in a graveyard, run around bare feet, chat with neighbors and enjoy big yards all spring, summer, fall and winter long.
Mom was a stay-at-home mom who blessed us with all the comforts of being there… she baked homemade bread – the best smell to walk into when coming home from school! Homemade cookies were a staple in our home… Growing up it was a novelty for me to have BOUGHT cookies and BOUGHT bread at my friend’s house… if only I knew then how good I had it. (My poor children will encounter much more bought goodies than baked goodies I’m afraid…) Mom was there to listen to our stories, put band aids on our cuts & scrapes, hug us a million times a day and ensure we knew without a shadow of doubt that we were loved.
I'm sure she also helped us with homework, but I really don't have many memories of DOING homework, so.... ;)
We grew up knowing our parents loved their Lord and that giving us the opportunity to hear the gospel was a priority. They prayed for us faithfully. When Dad's work kept him from driving us to a gospel meeting, Mom always stepped up to the plate. These weren't short drives - these were hour long drives (both ways) summer, winter, fall and spring... I'm sure she was exhausted most days, but she made sure we were sitting under the gospel... praying that we would each come to know Christ as our personal Saviour. You don't appreciate these efforts as a kid, but it means the world to me now...
Mom is a giver. She hates being in the spotlight - even with just her family. She much prefers to be in the background - working and serving. She has a heart for others and is always pointing out the good qualities of someone or something. She is a true example to me of someone who loves unselfishly. This isn't always easy for her - especially when her family pulls in other directions and she's caught in the middle. But it will always be said about her - "She Loves. She Serves. She Cares. She Gives."
I know there are a million more things I could say about my beloved Mom... stories I could tell that would cause her to say, "Janna! Don't say that!" ;) But I'll stop and just say:
I love you SO much Mom!!