Friday, May 11, 2007

Thanks, Mom - Life is really pretty good

Whenever I'm tempted to complain about my life as a mom in the 21st century, it is good to think about those that have gone on before us.

Since Mother's Day is coming up, I thought I'd thank my mom for all she had to put up with raising kids oh, so long ago.

Here she is with two under two, both in cloth diapers (that's my big sis, Rachel Anne). What, the beach without swim diapers? No clothes dryer?

My folks lived in some very, very terrible places when they were young missionaries in Mexico. They moved there when my brother was barely two and my sister was just two months. Here is the bathtub at one of their residences. What, no hot water?
And now let's talk about traveling with children. We did an awful lot of it growing up. In all my years as a mother, I have never, EVER had to travel in something akin to this setup. (Note: TWO spare tires. Hmm.). Come to think of it, I don't think I've even traveled with my children without air conditioning.

In another photo taken this same day, one can see the cans of Campbell's soup lining the back window of the car. I will say that as a mother, I have never opened a can of Campbell's soup (and heated it in/on what?) on a non-camping trip with my kids (a Happy Meal bag--yes; a can--no). And to think Mom could do it in such a flamboyantly cheerful frock (That's me in the middle. Wasn't I cute, even if I didn't get to wear the cowboy hat?).

My mom is a very good sport, and even seemed to enjoy camping with all of us, even though there was no such thing as an "electric hookup," and "running water" meant washing dishes (children, clothes, etc.) in the stream. Let's not even mention the bathroom facilities.
I'm sure there were moments in my mom's life as a young woman where she wondered if she'd ever make it. Life was a lot of effort, and that was just putting breakfast on the table! She never complained, but quietly went about the work of being a mother.

I'm so glad she hung with it. Her husband of almost 47 years, her other three children, and her thirteen grandchildren are glad, too.

Thanks, Mom. You inspire me every day. I love you.

She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.

Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her.

Proverbs 31:17, 28


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post! My parents were also missionaries, first in East Africa and then in South America. We still laugh at some of the things that we had to do. Good memories!

Andrea said...

Beautiful Katherine! A wonderful tribute to you mom and your family. Happy Mother's Day!

Rachel Anne said...

GREAT post! Couldn't have said it any better. Yes, you WERE the cutest kid in the fam. Still are.

Unknown said...

How beautiful. I also cannot believe how we complain when we have it so easy--amenity-wise at least!

kittyhox said...

I enjoyed this post and photos so much!

Now that I'm a mom I often think of and marvel at my grandmother. Six children in eight years (one of whom died). I wish she was still alive so I could ask her how in the world she stayed sane. Especially in the boonies in Alaska without any of the modern conveniences I think of as necessities.

I just love to hear about women who mothered during different eras. They were/are amazing! Thanks for sharing your mother with us!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely post about your mom. I think that large family photo is wonderful too. I'd love to do one of all the generations after my parents but it would be a hard one to arrange. This was wonderful!

Keri said...

Oh, my! I told you in the email I sent you a couple of months ago that I tend only to comment when I have something worthwhile to say. And I absolutely can't pass up this wonderful post without saying thank you for sharing. Thank you for sharing the reminders that life as a mom in 2007 has many conveniences that I take for granted. Thank you for sharing the touching pictures of you and your family when you were young -- it makes me feel nostalgic just looking at them. And thank you for sharing one of the most beautiful "whole family" photos I've ever seen. I can almost feel the love in your family emanating from my computer monitor. You truly are blessed!

Qtpies7 said...

Thats so great! I love seeing all the things your mom had to do! We went without hot water for about a month, and it was NOT fun. We heated water in a turkey fryer with propane, lol. But we managed. You can imagine how we all enjoy a nice, warm shower now.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely tribute to your mom.

Your little girl looks just like you in the photo where you're sitting on the car!

Beckyb said...

How true is that - where would we be without our strong mom's?!?!

Beck said...

What a gorgeous, grateful post. I can't imagine raising children in the conditions that your mother did - and she did it WITHOUT COMPLAINING! Good grief, I'm wimpy.

Gwen Sirmans (Ivey's Mom) said...

Awesome! Happy Mother's Day!

Barbie @ Mamaology said...

Wow how humbling! It's so easy to complain, but this helped put some things in perspective.

Hope you and your Mom had a Happy Mother's day:)

Deidre said...

Great post, Katherine! Wow, it makes me feel a bit guilty for complaining last week. We truly do have it easier, don't we?

I love those pictures. Your mom sounds amazing!

Annie said...

This was a beautiful tribute to not only your mom, but your family. . . looking at the picture of the whole family at the end was amazing! What a legacy. I'm so glad I fell onto this tonight.