Wednesday, November 9, 2011

All Growed Up!





My mother's name is... Scarlett.
Her favorite color is... red.
For fun, my mother likes to... write.
My mother likes to eat... pizza.
The food that my mother cooks best is... green beans.
If I had lots of money, I would buy my mother... a book.
My mother looks pretty when... she's at a circus.
My mother doesn't like to... have a lot of noise.
My mother loves me because... I hug her a lot.
My mother makes me feel... happy.
I love my mother because... she loves me.
(Freddy, 6 years)

Freddy's Mother's Day Claymation

Write it down!

When I first learned I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to write it down. Eighteen years and three children later, I am still keeping journals for my kids. I began each pregnancy with lists. First, there were lists of every morsel, every crumb of food that I put into my mouth. (Didn't last long) Then there were my long, rambling attempts at keeping a poetic history of their childhood. (Lasted even less time than it took me to cuss, in disgust, that I could no longer tie my own shoes with this belly!) Eventually I found my groove, by simply promising myself and my children that I would be as honest as I possibly could with them, while being nice.

"In the fierceness of my own battles, I chose to tell you only what would inspire you and keep you safe." 

My cedar chest, that place which holds all things special, keeps many of these journals today. Someday, I will give them to my children. They are theirs, after all. Their artwork, Their words, Their memories... with all my love.  As a child, I remember sitting with my mother, as she read her own small hand-written notes. So many, in fact, that I knew then she must really love me. I had heard many stories, but here was proof, in writing, that I was loved and adored. I think it was my mother's listing habits, which inspired me to keep my own children's stories... to remember that I may not have been perfect, but I did love them.

This year for Mother's Day, my youngest son gave me something precious. Our story... through his eyes. (Stop-Action Video, "A Mothers Day To Remember", by Freddy, 12 years). And, as is now tradition, it will be added to his journal. It's the one busting at the seams with drawings of his family, his pets, his musings, his dreams! Rifling through its pages today, I found this entry...

May 2, 2006

"I was quietly doing laundry in my most favorite room of the house the other day. We know this by how much time I choose to spend there. I heard the laundry chute open up and slowly cast my eyes in the direction of the pile gathering just below it, to see a soft baby blue blanket with a hole in the corner and two stuffed bears plop on top and roll down the mountain of laundry below. 

Two seconds later, I heard your sweet little seven year old voice quietly call down, "Are you okay down there, Butter Bear? How 'bout you, Oats?".

When the hole in the ceiling snapped closed again, It came to me. I am already in Heaven, and I just don't know it yet. Then I wondered... So, what's Hell going to be like? 'Cause that's where I'm goin' for all of those bad thoughts I was thinking just before those bears plopped onto that mountain and into my heart.

You are still my littlest one, Freddy!, and I'm going to miss you when you're all "growed up". 
I already do."

Tell your children you love them more than life itself. Then show them. Their history resides in our memories. If nothing else, it will give them a head start in the lesson of forgiveness.

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