Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mothering Weekend

In the UK, they celebrate "Mothering Sunday" instead of Mother's Day...I think I like that term better, because it's more inclusive in tone and considers other women in our lives who mother us. I have been mothered by so many amazing women, including my own phenomenal mother.

I had a wonderful "Mothering Weekend," making me grateful for my special friends and family.

1. Old Friends. On Friday, I met some very dear friends for lunch, Kristin and Catherine. We got to know each other because all three of us had preemies. Catherine's son, Parker, was born four months after Christopher was; he was a 23-weeker who lived for only 1 week. In spite of their tragic loss, Catherine and her husband Doug dedicated themselves to honoring Parker's memory by volunteering for years to support other families who were going through the NICU experience. I have never seen anything so selfless or inspirational as this amazing couple. They live in Tualatin, but our lives do not intersect often enough. It is one of the great regrets of my past few years that we do not see them more often!

Kristin and I became close friends through being co-presidents of the nonprofit parent support group, Precious Beginnings. Kristin and her husband Roger had preemie twin girls, Aimee and Olivia. Olivia did not survive. Aimee is now nearly 10 and is a beautiful, creative, and loving child. Kristin and Roger moved to Wisconsin nearly four years ago, much to my deep sadness. They also have a boy, Jonah, around Kieran's age. They are preparing to return to Oregon, and I'm thrilled (but will not believe it until they arrive back for good). They came to Oregon this week to look for housing, schools, and employment for Kristin. So on Friday, the three of us had lunch...and it was so wonderful to see both of them again. They are those rare types of friends with whom it seems that no time has passed at all...you just pick up where you left off. I love that.

I was amazed that it has been nearly four years since Kristin left Portland, and this was a huge wake-up call to me that LIFE IS PASSING WAY TOO QUICKLY!!! I need to pay more attention and not take things for granted!



2. Dance Party Bust. Friday night was the Maplewood School Dance Party, to which we were all looking forward. However, Kieran is going through his grumpy end-of-kindergarten phase, so he refused to dance. Chris was disappointed he didn't know more kids there, and Nicholas would dance only if we were holding him (which we could do until our arms got too tired). In general, it was a bust. But when we got home, we put on some Beatles and danced in the living room...

3. Room Changeover. This weekend we transported some bunk beds we got for the younger boys and did the big room changeover. We have two upstairs bedrooms, and we moved Chris to the smaller one and Nicholas and Kieran to the bigger one with their new bunk beds. Chris was initially unhappy about giving up his room but seems to have adjusted well; he is an incredibly resilient kid. Kieran is thrilled with the arrangement--he has the top bunk and has now acquired a desk as well--but Nicholas is less happy. I will not go into our complicated sleeping arrangements in this post, but suffice it to say that we are going through a transition!

We are still in the midst of swapping possessions between the rooms and going through all the books and other stuff the boys (mostly Chris) have accumulated.

4. Baby Shower. I highly recommend going to a baby shower on "Mothering Weekend," because seeing the joyful anticipation of new parents cannot fail to remind you of how excited you once were to greet your precious bundle. And how quickly time passes! How tiny those little clothes are...how many gadgets are "essential" for newborns (ha!)...how naive you are about what you are in for...how quickly time passes (again). And for me, to whom mothering did not come easily, how especially precious baby showers are for parents who have extra-special anticipation of their babies, because of difficulties. It was wonderful to celebrate with them!


With the monkey that came from the Costa Rica abiding grandparents!


Comparing tummies...

My little babies--grown up!

Kieran and Nicholas posing with Kieran's garden gnome, which he bought specially with his grandma on their Fred Meyer gardening shopping trip--posing like a gnome!


He has to be like his big bro--notice the skinned knees? It's shorts weather!

5. Women's Meal Out. For the past several years, my sister and I have had a tradition of taking my mom out for brunch or lunch the day before Mother's Day. This year it was dinner because of scheduling issues. We had a late-night dinner at JoPa, and it was too short, but a very nice time!




6. Emotional Church Service. Our church community, Mission of Atonement, has a tradition for Mother's and Father's Day, whereby three people get up and talk about their mothers (or fathers). There is rarely a dry eye in the place. In addition to baptisms, these are my favorite Sundays in the whole year at church. Today three people spoke: a mid-20s son of a wonderful Irish woman who is a social worker who works with parents at risk; an 8-year-old girl who shared thoughts about why she loves her mom and grandma; and a late-20s young woman who talked about her mom. None of the moms knew that their children were going to be speaking today before they arrived! They were really amazing.

7. Brunch at Grandma and Grandpa's. The men in the family made brunch for us, and they did an excellent job--sweet rolls, a Mexican egg dish, fruit salad, lettuce salad, and homemade baked beans. Yum! I got a beautiful hanging basket, a cookbook by the kindergarteners in Kieran's class (of recipes their moms make--hilarious!), some coffee from Costa Rica, and some beautiful jewelry.

Me and my sweet boys


The three moms

The little boys table at brunch


8. Margarita candles. This was my Mother's Day project: margarita candles, made over several evenings. It was a fun project, but turned out to be rather time consuming...and I realized that I'm not a candle-making expert...I've only done it once before! I was pleased with the end product, but am always a slight bit critical because of the imperfections...



9. Quiet Evening. After our big brunch, none of us were very hungry, so it was a popcorn and cheese night. I listened to Kieran do some reading, played trains with Nicholas, and did some more cleaning in their rooms. Then it was an early night for Nicholas because of his bad night last night. And now, blogging and more cleaning!

10. Contentment.
Before I began this blog post, I read the guest book on CaringBridge of a family whose 21-year-old son was in a horrible accident and is a quadraplegic. I don't know them; they are future in-laws of a coworker. It was a complete freak accident, and this vibrant young man's life (as he knew it) was cut tragically short. The rehab place where he is at has essentially declared him "unrehabilitable." They are preparing to take him home and do their best with him on their own. Talk about an amazing wake-up call. I feel so lucky to have my beautiful sons--they are loving, spirited, energetic, lively, and sweet. They love their parents and express that frequently. I strive to remind myself of this daily. I don't ever want to take them for granted.
Tonight as I was nursing Nicholas before bed, I had a brief sentimental surge...he's in a "big boy bed," and I will not be nursing him much longer. He is no longer a baby. Even though I thought I was done with Kieran, I've been so lucky to have this one last miracle child. I want to savor every moment of his sweet toddlerhood. Time passes so quickly. I am very lucky.

1 comment:

  1. I love the candles. And it looks and sounds like you had a wonderful Mothering Weekend. I think we need more of those!

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