Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

I looked through my baby book to see if there was a picture of my mom holding me when I was a tiny baby but it seems she was more often behind the camera than in front of it. I did, however, find this picture of my mom posing with my brother David, about a week before I was born. I paired it up with a photo Miriam took of me posing with Benjamin about a week ago:

Benjamin took one look at it and said, "Wow. Those look same!"

Things have sure come full circle in 30 years!

Maybe this week I'll try to recreate the pose (unfortunately I can't recreate the outfit) so they look even more similar...

Rachel noticed the similarity of the two pictures as well. Miriam however, simply grabbed a lock of hair and lovingly ran it through her hands, her eyes glazed over with horror, as she said, "Uncle David had blonde hair when he was a little boy?! But...but...but...he has dark hair now!" I'm not sure she's ready to part with her golden hair. And I'm not sure she will since life-long blonde hair actually runs in Andrew's side of the family (whereas it doesn't in mine).

In lieu of a picture of me with my mother, I put together a collage of my babies with me and their grandmothers:

I'm so grateful to have these women in my life! Without them I wouldn't be the mother that I am becoming. I remember once telling my mom that I admired her patience and she told me, "I wasn't always this patient! It comes with years of practice!"

That was years ago when my little girls were driving me crazy. Admittedly, sometimes my little girls—and especially my little boy—still drive me crazy but I think that I'm more patient a mother than I used to be. And hopefully I'll continue to improve in that area (as well as all the other areas that need work). It was so reassuring to me to have my own mother, who I admire so much, tell me that I don't have to be a perfect mother now.

My mom's not a perfect mother either, but I think she's a pretty great one, and she's still learning things about being a mom and a grandmother and a person. And I love that about her. She's never given up learning and striving to be better. She's hardworking and long-suffering and patient and kind and wonderful. I'm so lucky to call her mine!

I'm also lucky to have such an amazing mother-in-law! Karen did a fabulous job raising Andrew and she has done so much to help us learn how to have a happy marriage. She is so helpful, so giving of her time, so willing to love others. When Andrew and I got married we were practically babies still and it took me months to stop calling his parents "Brother and Sister Heiss," but his mom was so patient while I got through the what-do-I-even-call-you-guys stage. She said that she had no expectation of being called "Mom" because I already had a mother; instead I was welcome to call her Karen and we could be friends—and we really are! She's one of my dearest friends and favourite people.

I'm also grateful for the little ones who made me a mother:

We were looking through baby books today and on one of Rachel's pages was the caption, "You're magic!"

"How?" Miriam asked incredulously. "How is she magic?"

"Well," I explained, "She made me a mother. One minute I wasn't a mother and the next minute I was—just like magic."

"I made 'oo muzzy, too!" Benjamin said proudly. "'Cuz I magic!"

"You are," I agreed.

Motherhood isn't easy, nor is is always—or ever—intuitive. It's a life-long learning experience. Having a child is like signing up for 20+ years of not having a clue what you're supposed to do. But it's a magical journey, it really is, and that's what makes it all so worth it.

I'm going to quote Tolkien now to make my husband, oh, so proud:
The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.
Today and tomorrow are yet to be said.
The chances, the changes are all yours to make.
The mold of your life is in your hands to break.
How grateful I am for the loving family I have to support me on my journey: the parents who raised me and my husband, and upon whom we still depend on for advice (and more); for Andrew, who is down in the trenches with me, always willing to get his hands dirty; and for our beautiful children, who are so patient with my imperfections, who forgive me so willingly, who love so sincerely and completely (they're magic, you know?); and most importantly for my Heavenly Father, who has been with me through my most trying moments (I'm sure there are many more of those to come).

Then there are the aunts and uncles and cousins and siblings and friends who've buoyed me up as a mother when I have needed it most. I am so glad that I don't have to do motherhood alone—I'm a firm believer in needing a village to raise a child—because otherwise it would be much more overwhelming than it already is!

I suppose that's true of life, in general, not just motherhood. Life (and motherhood) is at once magical and mysterious, stressful and sensational. "Let us," as President Gordon B. Hinckley once advised, "relish life as we live it, find joy in the journey, and share our love with friends and family."

Happy Mother's Day to mothers everywhere!


  1. That was beautiful. Thank you, Nanners.

  2. That's way more credit than I deserve. You and Andrew are the special ones who have come together to create an amazing family!