A Letter To Mom

There is a little girl in all of usDear Mom, Now that I have children and grandchildren of my own, I’m beginning to realize what a challenge it is to find the balance between encouraging them to continually strive to do better and instilling confidence in them and letting  them know that I’m happy with their best efforts.

I’d like to know your secret, because you’ve always seemed to know just how to do that with me.In school, of course you wanted me to make straight A’s, but if I’d truly done my best and gotten a B or a C, I didn’t have to be afraid  to tell you. You let me know that you wanted my best, not perfection.

Even though I wasn’t the best athlete, no one in the bleachers looked prouder than you, and knowing that pushed to keep trying and improving. Thank you, Mom for being my inspiration. Love, your child.

Why I’m thankful you were my mom…

 You never tired of practicing words with me the night before the spelling bee.You comforted me when things went wrong.You ran to help me when I fell and told me funny stories to ease my pain.You wiped away my tears, held me close, and loved me. In your arms there was shelter from the storms of life, peace when my heart was troubled; joy when the day was dark.

Your love never failed me.You forgave me when I messed up.You patiently cleaned up the many spilled glasses of milk with only a gently reminder to be more careful the next time.You listened as if I was the only person in the world.You inspired me to do my best.You taught me about God’s love.You made our house a home.You always believed in me.You cheered me on even when no one else thought I stood a chance, you always cheered me on!

Mom,If I had a flower for every time I have thought of you, I could walk in our garden forever.I know other beautiful things in life come in twos and threes, by dozens and hundreds.There are plenty of roses, stars, sunsets, rainbows, brothers and sisters,aunts and cousins, comrades and friends. . . but I only had one mother in the whole world.

 

“When Mama Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy!”

Many couples are putting their children at the center of the family. This doesn’t sound like a bad thing, after all, aren’t your grandchildren the apple of your eye too? But when parents put their children ahead of  their own needs, ahead of their marriage, it may seem child friendly, but it can lead to complications.

When children are the absolute center of the family, they can grow up without boundaries. This can lead to demanding, entitled kids. Who become demanding, entitled adults. You might have a friend or two who are demanding and they can be difficult to get along with. Can’t they? 

 No one wants their children or grandchildren to turn out to be demanding. Do they? Some acting out might be all right for a child, but future bosses, spouses and friends will probably not be so tolerant. Will they? Furthermore, being the center of the family is too much pressure for most childrenChildren cannot fulfill all their parents‘ emotional needs and it’s not fair to expect them to. Children in this position often feel they need to parent their parents and that’s not their job. Actually, it’s your job to be there for your children when they are parents.

Remind them to make time for themselves, their spouses and friends if you want to be helpful offer to babysit so they can have a date night or weekend getaway, and you’ll get to spend extra time with your grandchildren.  Bob and Jane being the wise parents and grandparents that they are, offered to babysit their grandchildren while Jim and  Lynn went out on the town.  As Lynn was leaving, she told her children to listen to Nana and Pops and then gave them a kiss on the cheek and thanked her parents.

Well, Bob winked at Lynn while reminding her of this old saying,”When Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!” Bob’s point was that couples need to spend time together just the two of  them and keep the romance going.  Now Jim plans romantic surprise date nights at least twice a month and all Lynn has to do is show up . Jim and Lynn are feeling reconnected and Nana and Pops are “Happy Grands.” Jim agrees with Bob “When Mama Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy!

Create A Happy Heart

Life is full of opportunities to create a happy heart. My mother use to say the most wasted of all days, is one with out laughter. She believed in positive thinking and that singing happy songs help to make for a happy heart.

 She loved to dance, sing and laugh. When I was a young girl my mother had a happy song, dance, a funny joke or saying for every situation in life. I don’t mean that as a metaphor I mean it literally.

When life dealt her lemons she was the kind of mother who would make lemonade out of the lemons. She was a half glass full kind of mother. One of my favorite examples of my mothers positive attitude and keeping a happy heart took place when I was thirteen and my best friend Vicky was celebrating her birthday at Disneyland.

The day the invitation arrived I was ecstatic. As far as I was concerned there was nothing better than the E ticket rides at Disneyland. I had lots of E tickets from  previous visits and I was full of expectations. The night before the big day all I did was talk, talk and talk about the rides. I don’t know how my mother kept her wits about her while she listened to my excessive talking. 

 One of the songs my mother and I use sing and listen to was called ” You Talk To Much”. I remember she was singing the words to the song under her breath. I’m sure she was hoping that I would get a clue and stop talking but you know how thirteen year old girls are.

Finally when the big day arrived I woke up and my neck hurting when I told my mother she did everything she could to try to help stop the pain but nothing worked. I was broken-hearted when my mother told me to call my Vicky and let her know that I wouldn’t be able to go.

I hung up the phone and I realized that I was not going to be able to celebrate Vicky’s birthday. I wondered how was I ever going to get over being disappointed?  The girls and I had mapped out and made a list of rides we were going to on and we saved our allowances so we could buy a present for Vick’s birthday.

 I started crying and my mother tried to console me. She said maybe, if your neck starts feeling better she could drive you to meet up with Vicky and the girls later in the day. I said, sure mom that would be ok. When I finished my melt down I noticed that my mom had left the room and I became curious and went to find out what she was doing.

When I found her she had taken off her night-gown and had put on a funny dress, hat and fun music on her old RCA record player.  At first when I saw her I thought to myself, how dare her be so happy when I was so sad. Then after listening to a few of her happy songs I started to sing and dance along with her. The next thing I knew. I wasn’t sad any more. The pain in my neck was gone but it was still stiff.

I’m glade that my mother applied a positive attitude to my situation and it did make for a merry heart. Life isn’t always about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.

 

Call Her Sweetheart

Your loves name is more than a word. When you say his or her name aloud or in your head, it evokes everything, all your memories, all the time you’ve spent together, all the trips you’ve made, the children you’ve had, and the obstacles you’ve overcome. Some people only say their partner’s name when they’re angry, they want something, or they’re yelling or complaining.

The  name loses its valuable identity and becomes associated with negative feelings. So make sure you use your loves name with tenderness, caring and emotion as often as you can. Each time you say it that way, you’ll be filled with love. Dear… Honey…Snookums…Baby…Lover…Kid… Sweetheart… They show you care, especially when your love saves them just for you. But they’re not the same as saying someone’s name. Give what you say, meaning; speak and act with care when you call their name out.

Some parents call each other Mom and Dad, imitating their children. This may sound cute, but it removes your individuality and replaces it with a role. So it’s better to reserve those titles for your children’s use. Sweetheart it’s best to use an enduring name for each other.

Moms and Dads Are Raising Great Kids!

Do moms really read parenting books?  Of course they do they’ve probably read dozens especially when their first baby was born. Have those books been helpful? Yes. In some cases the information about childcare development and medical health issues is very practical and often comforting.

But frankly, reading book after book hasn’t reduced the amount of guilt, stress, and mania among mothers around us. In fact it may have increased it.

There have been just too many parenting books by too many authors who call themselves experts. The net result has been confusion, and mothers who still doubt themselves and worry that their children aren’t thriving.

When researching parenting books make sure that the author has children and is actively involved in their children’s day-to-day lives. It’s not too much to ask of authors of books on parenting to have hands on experience and education about parenting. That is the best. Isn’t it?  There are some solid parenting principles that have been around for decades but all to often forgotten. There are parenting books that simply remind us all the basics. What has always been natural, instinctive, and intuitive for real mothering. Unfortunately, these core principles have been obliterated by the frenzy and mania of commercialized parenting. But now it’s time to get back, get real, and restore the simple truth about mothering: That its foundation is the powerful and unconditional love and connection that ultimately lasts for always. 

  So trust yourself and those maternal instincts no one knows your child better that you. Don’t forget to relax, enjoy the moment, and remember to laugh. I know! You’re thinking that’s easer said than done. Yes, it is but it works!

Working Women

Elizabeth and Julie have a lot in common they work in the same office, have the same duties and earn the same salary.

They both like movies and meet every friday night at the movie theater. So how can you tell which one is the grandmother?

Easy! The one who goes to the store on her lunch hour, calls to see if the baby vomited, and rushes to take a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to her son because he forgot his lunch. She’s the mother.

The one in the darling little dress with matching accessories and is perfectly manicured, the one who sits and orders a salad and a glass of wine while unfolding those endless pictures of adorable kids, she’s the grandmother.

 Can you see how nothing separates the generations like lunch?  Mothers are the ones gobbling down their food, while checking their bank balance on their cell phones. They are the ones using their techie gadgets to keep track of all their responsibilities. Grandmothers are the ones who wait in line at the best restaurants for the best tables.

They care about staying away from fattening foods and sometimes they’ll order off the low-calorie menu or ask the chef to leave this and that off their plate. But on other days when they go for it, on days when they say, Why not? Let’s live a little,” and have things like crème brûlée for dessert with a liqueur. On those days they just breathe a little deeper and rush off to fancy gyms, where for the price of nursery school tuition, they roll back into shape with the help of their personal trainers.

Mothers on the other hand after splurging on a double helping of chocolate chipcookies get back in shape by following exercise videos at home. Grandmothers at lunch discuss the accomplishments of their children and what to buy their grandchildren. A mother’s idea of a relaxing lunch is to turn their cell phone off, drive through and order fast food and enjoy their me time. Elizabeth and Julie have a lot in common except for how they spend their lunch hour. However Julie the grandmother, remembers how she spent her lunch hour when she was a young mom. She enjoys providing a listening ear for Elizabeth, just not at lunch.

Grandma’s Common Sense

Letters are among the most significant memorial a person can leave behind them.  Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe~

Sometimes a grandmother’s common sense can teach their grandchildren that life’s simple pleasures can bring them the most happiness, and that they cannot buy it with money. Like going on walks and showing them the beauty in nature.

I preferred my grandmothers homemade toys, which she created with her own hands, over the expensive toys my parents bought me. From the age of five, I can remember her writing letters to me. She introduced me to world-famous classics and the library. By the time I was six I was able to read classics like Oliver Twist and Great Expectations because my dad had read them to me over and over. I’m not sure if I read them or if I memorised them.

My grandmother lived far away and would come to visit us and when she arrived I was glade to see her and sad when she had to leave. She felt the same. I missed her right away. But then, one week after she left, a letter would arrive.

Dear Granddaughter, I miss you a lot and remember absence makes hearts grow fonder? Write to me when you feel low or bored. So I started writing to her and I poured out all my problems into those letters. One of my favorite letters that I wrote to her was when I was in second grade and I explained to her that an older girl was being mean to me at school and called me a brat.

 I wrote to my grandma: Grandma, I’m being treated unkindly at school and I feel hurt. She wrote back: Dear Granddaughter, Just follow my instructions when the older mean girl says something that is hurtful to you. Tell her that you are hard of hearing and ask her to repeat what she said again and again. She will repeat it. Keep telling her that you can’t hear her, and she will get fed up and leave you alone. I followed grandma’s advice and it worked.

Then in my first year of high school we were having our annual health fitness week. I was good at sports but not at rope climbing and gymnastics. All my class mates were stronger in the upper parts of their bodies than me. I couldn’t complete rope climbing or any of the gymnastic part of the testing.

I wrote to Grandma: Grandma, I’m not good in sports, and Mom is making me sign up  for sport. She says sports and rope climbing are two different categories. She wrote back: Dear Granddaughter, I heard a song recently that had a wonderful message. There may be mountain peaks you have to climb on, there may be rivers fast and wide you may have to ride on. Unless you dream, unless you try, how will you know how far you can fly? Remember these words and believe in yourself. It turned out that because of my mom and grandmother I continued to pursue sports. I was good at sports. However I never did climb a rope.

Letters passed between us every week and she often sent quotes by great people from newspapers and magazines. All of them, in one way or another, told me the same thing:” Believe in yourself, then you can reach even the farthest star.” I kept all of Grandma’s letters in a file. When I felt low and sad, I would read them one by one. They lifted my spirits, and I came back to my self again. The lessons my grandma taught in her letters will forever remain the most valuable and treasured ones.

Grandma never owned a computer and she didn’t foresee in the future that her granddaughter would be passing on some of her advice on a website. I wonder how will our granddaughters be passing on their grandmother’s advice in the future? What is going to replace computers?