Fire Pit Conversations With The Grandmas

Tonight, I got the chance to sit with both my mom and my mother-in-law and pick their brains. I asked them about their experiences as mothers - the highs and lows. While I knew some of these answers already, some surprised and delighted me. I have great respect for these women. One raised me into the awesome unicorn that I am, and the other raised the man that I love deeply. Without both of them doing an awesome job as mothers, I wouldn't have my own children. Hopefully you can learn from them even an ounce of the wisdom they so generously imparted to me.

Isn't that just the sweetest?

What was your favorite part of being a mom?

S -  Honestly, I think when my kids got married. In a positive way, because the fact that I tyighad raised them to want to be a family and to value that, and that somebody wanted to be a family with them - it was just so joyful.

J - You gotta give me enough time to think here. Bedtime. Because it's when everybody would settle down, and you'd read them a story or they'd cuddle because they were still, in one place.

What was your least favorite part of being a mom?

S - When my young adult children made bad choices, it was devastating. Because my whole life had been about convincing my kids to walk the straight and narrow. For me, it's a faith thing because I was trying to be the Holy Spirit in their lives. And it was devastating to realize that I wasn't the Holy Spirit and they were beings of free will. It wasn't about them buying into my marketing plan of walking the straight and narrow.

J - Cleaning up after sick kids in the middle of the night. That sounds pretty shallow. But I can't think of anything at the moment. (Editor's note: Probably because she's blocked my worst behavior from memory.) Oh, I remember now. All of you kids and your dad could speak French together, and I was left out of that.

That's pure joy.

What's the funniest memory of your kids when they were little?

S - Usually when we went on a trip - and we traveled pretty often - we would pray before we started pulling out of the driveway. One time, was started pulling out of the driveway and Kevin didn't pray. So I said, "Ok, while dad drives, I'll pray." And this little voice from the back, which would be Stephen, said, "And when mom drives, I'll pray."

J - When they put on a play - there were two plays. One when you (Amanda) were little, and another one when you and Weston put on a play with Tiffany (our dog). When you were little, you and your brother and sister put on a fashion show and your brother wore high heels with athletic socks and bracelets over his ears as earrings.

What was the hardest part of raising kids?

Kevin - The hardest part of raising kids is letting go - being able to just let them screw up. You have to let them screw up.

J - The hardest thing would be, although the kids have different personalities which require different discipline styles - and not so much discipline as their appreciation for values - it's hard to keep it consistent across the board. I was trying to keep it consistent to be fair, but life isn't fair, so I couldn't. I would do things a little differently - I'd make you give away a Christmas gift to someone less fortunate, and do something for someone else.


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