On the porch.

I can’t go back and undo the mistakes I made as a mother.  I can’t unwind, redo, spend more time, hug more often, be more patient, be more present.   I so envy those of you with little ones who have the chance to start today …. if only I could go back.  

I read a book recently and something the author said struck me so much.  How I wish I had read it 30 years ago.  She said she pictured her children sitting on the back porch one day when they’re all grown up.  Around them are their own children and they start telling them about growing up.  She said she wished they would say something like this…. and I’m paraphrasing and adding my own two cents here but you’ll get the idea.

My Mom let me cook a lot and man did we make a mess.   She’d get frustrated but we’d all turn cleaning up into a game.   She always wore her hair in a ponytail and went days without a shower but somehow she managed to smell good when she cuddled up next to me at bedtime.   Mom didn’t have time to decorate the house or make cutesy cupcakes or costumes, we always bought them at the store, but you know what?  She always had time to listen.  She wasn’t really into games or puzzles but she’d get so excited if we went bike riding or walking through the woods.  She’d always beg me to tell this joke or that or talk in my silly voice and then she would laugh until she had to run to the bathroom which was hysterical.  Mom wasn’t the most punctual at turning in papers at school or sending back sign up sheets but she never missed my stuff at school if she could help it and when she did, she was sad.  I knew she wanted to be there.  She was always the first one to wake up and would come running in some mornings saying, “Come see the sunrise, it’s amazing!” or she’d be the first one to notice awesome clouds shaped like something crazy and we’d start trying to figure them all out.  Mom never missed a chance to take a picture of us or with us, she’d always say, “I look terrible or my hair’s a mess” but then she’d hop in and smile with us, mess up our hair, or say something silly to make us laugh.  I wouldn’t trade those pictures for anything…..  I never had to wonder if my Mom loved me. 

Picture your kids one day sitting on the back porch with your grandchildren.  What will they say about you?  If you’re a parent with little ones, you have time to write that conversation starting today.  If you’re a grandparent or one day will be, regardless of what kind of mother or father you were, what would your grandkids tell their kids about you?   

Let’s start writing those conversations today, what do you say?  

Just a Crazy Girl

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