After vacationing and then being sick this past weekend I am finally beginning to navigate myself back into my regular routines.
I'm quite the habitual creature. I like routine. I like structure. Even on vacation I like a loose structure. I like, when possible, to know what's coming next so I can adjust my expectations accordingly. I'm not fanatically structured, but I do like days that flow; days where I'm prepared and organized and on time. I also like making and crossing off lists.
One of the new routines I've added recently is taking Simon to swimming lessons twice a week. I've been thinking about my Mom so much as I pack his snack, gather his suit and towel, pick him up from school, drive him to the pool and watch him interact with his instructor. I think about her and wonder what she was thinking about as she did this for three kids, each just about 15 months apart in age. This whole process of snack-making is such an everyday activity. Did she embrace it? Did she mutter frustrations under her breath? Did she long for something else? Did she enjoy it? All those practices, all those meets and matches and games...all those moments packing snacks.
Lucky for me my Mom reads my blog and I'll likely get a call with an answer soon.
My Mom was a serious carpool/sport Mom and she was always big on being early/on time. I remember her telling me at some point how it makes life so much less chaotic and peaceful. She was so right and I have always been a big fan of punctuality and often enjoy the benefits of being early.
She was really fantastic at packing those snacks to fuel us through our practices and events. As I was making Simon's snack for swimming this morning I know I did it in a more consciously loving way as I thought about her and the gifts she possesses as a Mom. I've been thinking about the hours upon hours she spent driving us three kids between practices and schools and home and how she never missed a thing (except that one birthday - you know the one Mom).
Perhaps it's my own rose-colored memory, but I can't recall ever hearing her complain. I also don't have a memory of her being in a hurry to get on to something else.
It's been often throughout my own motherhood journey that I think about my Mom and the role she has played and continues to play in my life. I compare and contrast and often call to ask her for advice or suggestions with my own kids. I have a deep, deep love and fondness for her and the ways she interacted with, taught, guided, supported, instilled confidence, encouraged and loved us as we were growing up.
That Simon has gotten to know her as well as he has is one of the greatest gifts of my life.
I think I recognized I was lucky as a kid to have her for a Mom and now, of course, I know.
As I was writing about how I'm navigating through the middle of a bunch of different projects, that image of me standing at the kitchen counter making Simon's snack and thinking about my Mom making snacks for us to eat between school and sports kept entering my mind.
I've given thanks many times in the past for my parents, I'm sure this won't be the last.
Sometimes stories come to me in this sort of way. They interrupt the path I was on, often unexpectedly as I write about something else entirely.
Today I encourage you be open to those stories that come to mind when you are thinking of other things or working on other projects. I invite you to get pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard see where it takes you.