Saturday, May 9, 2015

Mother's Day: Who Am I Mothering?

The very purpose of this space was always to chronicle my life as a mother so that one day my children could look back and see our life as a reminder of what we did, who we shared it with and the joy we had along the way in their journey of childhood and my journey of mothering them. 
And then Mabel was born and my writing shifted, as did my life in it's entirety.  My soul had a great need to purge feelings and emotions for survival during these emotionally heavy years with her.  And even though the writing shifted and the mood here is different, I still believe Nora and Braden will be grateful for that.  It's very telling of how our lives evolved over time.  Not only myself, but them as well.  Life has a brilliant way of growing and changing us-always always for the better.
So now, on Mother's Day weekend I would like to share a little bit about the children I am mothering.   These incredible little humans; who are they now?
Nora Elaine Larson.  8 years old.  3rd grade. 
My morning "diddler," bacon eater, chocolate milk slugger.  She is a perfectionist down to her core.  She spends an entire hour in front of the mirror before school (much like her aunt Jeni) to get every single hair exactly in it's proper place.  Drives this low-maintenance mommy crazy!  She is a cat lover, a horse rider.  She gets straight A's and is a rule follower at school.  At home, she is a button-pusher, and a back-talker.  She is incredibly independent.  She is ultra mature for her age and is a listener of all things adult.  She enjoys being where the conversation is grown up but you can find her hidden away in her room when she needs time to decompress.  Emotionally she is a hold-it-all-in kind of girl, though it has gotten better in the last several weeks and even she feels good about that. 
Nora loves to be outside.  She will play in the dirt, is intrigued by nature and loves all things animal.  She is a good eater and enjoys most things we try (and will try almost anything.)  She gets excited about girl things such as having her nails done, wearing lipstick (wonder where she gets that?) and flaunting perfume.  She enjoys baking, though we don't do it as often as I'd like.  Art is her favorite and she's incredible at it!  Whether it's drawing a picture to express how she's feeling or writing poems and songs that fill notebook after notebook, this girl is talented! 
She's a late-nighter and a late-riser if the opportunity arises for her to be.  She loves to go camping with her poopaw and shoot bows with Uncle Jake.  She has hundreds of freckles on her face, a deep love for justice, Jesus, and mercy, She shows an interest in anything intellectual.  She enjoys music and dancing but has a hard time carrying a tune or keeping a beat.  She loves fiercely but has a hard time forgiving.  She gets her brother in trouble often and is bothered by him daily.  She is Mabel's greatest comfort and I find that she most enjoys laying in bed with her, or being wrapped up on the couch together.  She's quite the little mommy, wanting to help with medicine, diaper changes or feedings and at any given chance. 
She is a deep thinker.  She has great common sense and wisdom.  She is passionate about God and doesn't waiver in her ideas about Him.  She is a fast runner and a fast talker.  She is picky about her clothes and is just not interested in boys.  She loves to spend time alone, just she and I.  Nora has the most tender heart and is full of compassion for others.  She sees and understands the world in a way that will make her a great teacher or a great doctor one day, I'm sure.  Though she says she wants to be a "bird scientist."
Nora is my freckled-face, first born, love of my life. 
She is a beautiful, funny, wild, impatient, yet tender, extra sensitive and easily tearful.  She is everything I ever prayed for wrapped up into one little girl.  She is all I ever dreamed about when I thought of being a mother.  She has always been the 'light' of my life (the meaning of her name), and the joy of my heart.  On this Mother's Day, she is as always, one of my greatest gifts. 

Braden Eugene Larson.  7 years old.  1st grade. 
Early morning riser.  Loud noise maker.  Dog cuddler and nonstop runner.  He is my fast talking, fit throwing, laugh at everything boy.  My one and only boy.  Unlike his sister, he spends an entire hour before school laying in bed before time to leave. He then gets dressed in the clothes that I lay out for him and wears the shoes that I tie for him.  He is less than independent.  He is a lover of home and doesn't want to spend any time away from me.  He is a picky eater, specializing in the every day home-made packed lunch of pb&j, chips and juice.  He is musically talented in a way that I think only young musicians are.  He can remember the lyrics of a song after hearing them just one time.  Though he seems aloof, he is a deep thinker.  Also unlike his sister, he says what he feels, almost immediately.  He cries often, daily even.  He is highly emotional and very dancy. 
Braden is incredibly tender and sensitive to those around him.  His feelings are easily hurt and though he's learned a few skills on how to cope with that, he is still easily affected by others.  He is often angry, mostly mouthy, always funny, and downright handsome.  He enjoys having his hair spiked before school and playing legos for hours when he gets home.  He is an entertainer.  He is a friend-maker.  He loves to bug and annoy his sister but doesn't like consequences for any action.  He has a hard time being told 'no,' and a fit usually follows.  He loves root beer, loves superheroes and loves Jesus. 
Braden has always and still has the most gentle heart.  He loves everyone in a way that most would envy.  He is easily scared, easily frustrated but easily forgives.  He doesn't retreat from a situation like his sister, rather he stays in it, pushes through it.  He is very teachable because though you feel like he isn't listening, he is and he always remembers.  He doesn't like sports.  He doesn't like authority.  He loves small trinkets that he can hold in his hands or put in his pockets.  He is good in school but less worried about grades than about socializing. 
No one can make Mabel belly laugh the way that he can.  He sings to her constantly and calls her his "baby girl."  He wants to be a cop when he grows up and has a few small crushes, though he doesn't want to talk about it.  He is my freckle-faced, only boy, 'broad valley' (the meaning of his name) of delicate and stubborn qualities.  This boy is a gift from God, one I never knew I needed but has completed the parts in me that needed a good reason to wake up every day and keep going.  He's demanding, frustrating and yet oh so fulfilling.  He makes mothering hard and humbling every day. 
On this Mother's Day, I am reminded that he is one of the greatest gifts that God could have entrusted me with and though I mother him differently, I pray that I would continue to have wisdom on how to do so, so that he can go on to be a man of integrity and loyalty. 
Mabel Audrine Larson.  4 years old. 
My brown eyed, curly haired, forever infant.
She is a barely sleeping, always screaming, used to be body jerking, and bottle drinking babe.  Now she is back to being a super lethargic, sometimes smiley, 17 pound sweetheart.  Like both her sister and brother, she adores music.  She loves the bark of a dog and the wind in her hair.  She still enjoys long stroller rides but not like she once did.  She responds to my voice immediately.  She loves to suck on her hands and chokes easily on her own spit.  She doesn't sleep without several medications and would go days at a time with no sleep if she didn't have them.
Mabel screams.  But she also smiles.  She doesn't like to be held much anymore and it's actually gotten much harder to do so.  She loves her brother's dinosaur noises and her sisters gentle voice.  She still fits into 3-6 month pants that now double as shorts/capris.  Generally she wears long footy pajamas and loves to have her feet smelled. 
She loves Millie and perks up when she's around. 
She can't poop on her own, loves to be rocked in a rocking chair, calms when Chris holds her, loves her Aunt Jeni and Uncle Jake in such special ways and is the absolutely joy of our lives. 
Mabel's name means love. 
There is nothing greater in this world than the love she shows, is given and continues teaching.  She is the most pure form of love I have ever seen and to be her mom feels like my great reward in life.  I am honored every day with the privilege of being her mother.  The sadness, and the suffering pales in comparison to the sunshine she is.  She is everything I ever hoped for and yet couldn't have understood I needed.  Mabel, even when screaming has the most calm and gentle spirit of anyone I have ever encountered.  She is a direct and perfect gift from God. 
On this Mother's Day, I am thankful for the love of Mabel.  
The humans I'm mothering are incredible. 
Beautiful.  Smart.  Curious.  Fun & Funny.
They are the reason I am living; my purpose and my joy. 
This Mother's Day is definitely different for many reasons but the one thing that remains the same is my total adoration and appreciation for these children.  Whatever life brings, I know they are mine to love and care for and encourage and guide.  I also know that they are borrowed from my Savior and are mine for only a time.  I'm grateful that the time is now.  Every day is a true and precious gift.  

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