April 30, 2010

A while away ~ The Name is Mom

One of the great pleasures of being a mama is time alone with one of my darlings. This weekend, my little bird and I are going away to Mother-Daughter camp.
There is peace and great joy hidden in that sentence.
We expect that we'll:
~ Drive for a long time into the mountains
~ Talk
~ Listen to music (JB?)
~ Stop for tea or soda
~ Be alone together in our own cabin for the trip
~ Be cold - it's a 30's to high 50's forecast
~ Meet lots of other moms and girlies
~ Sing
~ Eat
~ Laugh
~ Gather in groups
~ Play games
~ Do cool crafty crafts
~ Have time, lots of time, for us and conversations
~ Snuggle

We also expect that we'll be surprised by what we don't expect.
There are many things I love about being a mom. This is among the most favorite.
See ya when we're back.

April 28, 2010

A rubber band or two and God ~ The Name is Mom

I'm not saying whom, but someone in my house (besides me) can spit out snappy responses with a bite. (OK, more than one someone.) I've found myself concerned, confounded, curious about the how of the necessary change. Admonishment, punishment, etc.? Not so effective when the moment strikes and the response is spat. So there we are, my Missy and I on Sunday at church and our pastor takes the stage (in my younger days it was a pulpit - now it's a stage) and begins to talk about blessing with our mouths.

Two seconds into it, I was giddy. Exuberant even. There he was, my friend, my brother, my pastor talking directly to me...I mean, my girlie and I, us, her, us! Bless. Choose to bless. Bless with your tongue. Oh the talk is much longer about how he got there and the James and Corinthians scriptures that underscore the dangers of the tongue, but all that mattered was the shift.

As a mom I know the distraction away from "don't" to "do" is powerful. And there we were. Soaking it in. Bless.

Then he handed out these lovely bracelets (rubber bands) to remind ourselves every time we revert to misusing our mouths. We're in. Both of us. Even as we snap away, the awareness has shifted. Oh, I love my new point of view and I love watching daughter, my friend snappin!

Once in a while God does the parenting.

April 27, 2010

Someone else's son & Cheesy Potatoes ~ The Name is Mom

Somewhere in this mass of football men is my sweet friend Rene's middle boy. His name is Tanner and he"s a fabulous kid. Smart, sweet, athletic, musical and rather random in his choice of conversational subject matter. I adore him. My kiddos look up to him. And he has two brothers, equally cool in their own styles.
This weekend Tanner really tickled me. His mom is going through a rather rough patch and it includes tending to her dad as he faces a terminal illness. Rene's a giving gal and her dad is with her at their home. Sunday she was MIA at church and just after the music started, T, as we love to call him, came and sat with us. I asked where his mom was and he let me know she was taking care of Grandpa. Somewhere in the middle of the service, I put my arm around him, rubbed his back and  asked him which night this week would be good to fix dinner for his family. (This would include his taller, younger, angel brother Kabee.) We negotiated the date and just before we headed out for the morning I began to suggest what I'd make. He cut me off swiftly and asked for Cheesy Potatoes and asparagus. I said sure and off we went. Cheesy Potatoes?  I immediately texted Rene in a slight panic. What are these potatoes and can I have the recipe? It turns out, they're a favorite from our other friend, Lori's mom. Note well all the mom connections.  These are the comfort food of comfort foods shared between families who love each other well. (I'll post the recipe below.)
Tanner went home and let his mom know I'd bring dinner over on Wednesday and that I was making Cheesy Potatoes. A very happy guy indeed. He needed a favorite food and found a mom who'd take care of it.
I'm thrilled to have the recipe - the favorite of big boys I love and I"m quite sure that when I make it for my kiddos, they'll become an adopted family tradition.
Yet another reason to love being a mom: I'm surrounded by other women whose name is Mom. 'Moms with wonderful kids, wonderful traditions and wonderful love.

Lori's Mom's Cheesy Potatoes

2 bags shredded hash browns
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cube of butter
1 pint sour cream
3 ½ cups grated cheddar cheese
½ bunch scallions
4 cups corn flakes
1 cube butter

Heat soup, butter and sour cream, bring to a boil. Layer potatoes, chopped onions, sauce and cheese alternately. Two or three layers. End with cheese on top add sautéed corn flakes to cover top.
Bake 1 hour at 350-375 or until heated through.

60's cooking in full regalia! This was, apparently, before they invented fat and cholesterol. Oh, and completely outside the realm of green.

Arrows ~ The Name is Mom

You are the bows from which YOUR CHILDREN as living arrows are sent forth. -- Kahlil Gibran

There is such responsibility in being that bow, being a mom. I came home yesterday, drained by my day and, would that I were childless, I'd have dawned my jammies early and taken to bed with a glass of water and a book. Rather, I was greeted by my darlings and their dad, all of whom saw the pallor in my skin, who took me on as their case, to love. My youngest suggested dad grab burgers for the three of them for dinner so I wouldn't have to cook. Then they cautiously attended to me with little touches, an ice pack and stories of the day.

My bow felt a little crocked last night, but the arrows seem to be fairly true. I like it.

April 26, 2010

What is a Mother?

What is a Mother
~ Francis Cardinal Spellman.

What is a mother? Who shall answer this?

A mother is a font and spring of life,
A mother is a forest in whose heart
Lies hid a secret ancient as the hills,
For men to claim and take its wealth away;
And like the forest shall her wealth renew
And give, and give again, that men may live.

April 25, 2010

Quotable Sunday & The Name is Mom ~ starts tomorrow

 - Langston Hughes, 1922

Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
I have to say I love Langston Hughes work. My friend Rachael used to quote his poetry to me when she was 11 or 12. Now she's post college and off living in Spain. Someday I'll have to tell ya'll about her. We met when she was 6 and I couldn't be clearer that she was quite a nudge to my heart to get workin' on them babies and being "Mom."
Leading up to Mother's Day and into May you're invited to join in:
The Name is Mom.
We'll just celebrate everything the word means.
How we are, what we do, how we learn, who inspires, what we think of...Mom.
To join in, send an email my way and I'll send a button, add your name and off we go.


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