Sunday, May 8, 2011
Everything I did before I became your mother was preparing me for raising you. I know that now. Here are some examples:
1. I learned to work hard. My parents didn't expect me to work, per se, but I knew if I wanted anything special I would have to earn the money for it myself. So when I was thirteen, I got a job. And I never stopped working. I'm not afraid to work hard, and you can rest assured that I will do everything in my power to make sure you have all of the basic comforts. And you can bet I'll ask you to earn some of your own money when you're a teenager. (Get a job, Cole!)
2. I learned to take care of kids. I am the second oldest of eleven kids. Of the oldest five, four are girls. Of the bottom six, four are boys. So when I was a teenager, there were lots of little boys to care for. Raising boys is familiar to me. I thank Tim, Mike, Dan, Stevey, and Ryan for that. You are better cared for because I cared for your uncles first.
3. I learned the value of a hug. Your grandmother, my mom, has always been affectionate. To this day, there isn't a finer memory of her stroking my hair or my face, or wrapping me up in a hug. So, following her example, you will always know what my arms around you feels like. I'm sorry in advance for how embarrassing that will be as you get older.
4. I learned to follow my inner voice. I am going to teach you the basics, boys. I'm going to teach you to trust God, and be good. I am going to insist that you love yourself and your neighbor. I am going to remind you that God loves you deeply. And then, when you're older and you hear the calling of your own heart, I am going to encourage you to sit still, say a prayer and listen.
5. I learned I don't know everything. Here is something I really want you to learn: It's okay to not have the answer. It's in those moments, you will learn the most. It will cause you to look around you, listen to God and search out your own answer. It's good to admit to yourself, and often out loud, that you simply do not know. Then, once you do that, I will expect you to go find it.
I learned a lot before you were born, and you have taught me so much since. I am blessed beyond greatest measure to be your mother. I take my role very seriously and my heart simply overflows with the love I have for you. Every day I thank God that He gave me to you. For every moment that you are on this earth, I will love you.
Be kind, boys.