Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day - My Daring Mother

Last Spring inspired by a post at Passionate Homemaking, I wrote about my daring mother. What did she dare to do? She dared to support and encourage me even when it was terrifying. She continues to do that and more.

Me, my mom holding a baby cousin, and my sister.

My mom is truly a remarkable woman. When many women at her age, not a day over 35 of course, have settled into their lives, their beliefs, and their routines, my mom breaks out of hers ever day. I've sometimes heard her lament that she's not as settled as other women she knows using words like stability and consistency. She's not married. She doesn't own a home. She's on the road more than many college students I know. But the ways I see her not being as settled as others are cause for celebration. Not being settled into a family home you've lived in for twenty years is one thing, but not being settled into the thoughts you've thought for twenty years is another thing.

My seminary graduation in 2007
It can be downright scary, but it also can be just liberating. Whether it's learning about politics, health and wellness, or the crazy way I chose to raise my children, she's willing. She doesn't just accept things people tell her, but when she hears something new she's willing to do the reading, the talking, and the research to make an informed decision about it. You should have seen her face when we told her we'd be having a home birth (I'll tell you it wasn't one of blind acceptance of our decision), but she chose to learn about it instead of rejecting it outright. She thinks for herself, refusing to agree with friends, family, co-workers or even me, just because.

Moments after my son was born at home in 2009

As I have embarked on parenting in unconventional ways, her desire to be an informed supporter has been an indescribable blessing. In holistic parenting circles, you hear nightmares of mothers and families doing everything from loudly judging a woman's choices to even trying to sabotage them when she's not around. For many moms, the best case scenario can be family who silently judges but leaves you alone. My mother questions and wonders about my choices. She's often confused and skeptical of them. But she wants to learn. She asks me for resources so she can be better informed of why we do what we do whether she agrees in the end or not. She wants to know who I've chosen to be as a mother and how she can support me in that as both a mother and a grandmother.

Sharing her adventures with her grandchildren.

In the past year as she's wondered about what she wanted from her life, yes you can still do that at that ripe age of 35, and what she was going to do to get it, I watched as my mother had daring thoughts and made daring decisions. She's made the choice to leave the job she's been at since before I was born because it's not what she needs right now. She's made the choice to move 125 miles from the area she's lived in, again, since before I was born, and she's made the choice to move in with my family. Because she can, and she can because she decided to think creatively about ways to meet her needs while finding new opportunities.  She decided to stop looking at her lack of stability and consistency as a negative thing and look for the possibilities inside it.

Christmas Tree Getting 2010

Some days, I'm sure she regrets raising such a daring daughter who encourages her to question, wonder, and change all. the. time., but I don't regret her teaching me to do so. I continue to learn from her example of living passionately and curiously, investing deeply in relationships and not so deeply in things, stepping out of her comfort zone on a daily basis, and being a positive presence in the lives of so many friends that they are more like family. That's a wonderful reason to celebrate this Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful tribute, Jamie. Happy Mother's Day!


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