I remember one of my college professors saying to me, "I really want to meet your parents. They have done such a good job parenting you." My twenty-year-old self thought, "Well, they are pretty great and everything but I am who I am. " In the years since, I have increasingly come to realize that though I have definitely been influenced by my own decisions and other influences, I have largely been shaped by two wonderful people.
I come from a long line of strong and nurturing women and for that I will be eternally grateful. My Oma sewed little dresses for my mum out of scraps during the war. She made way more dresses than my toddler mum could ever wear but it was SO FUN, my Oma told me. She emmigrated with four childen and made a life in a new country. Now I see my mum doting on her when she goes to visit in her care center, rubbing her hands, kissing her cheek, and I know that she is getting back all that she invested in my mother and her siblings.
I remember my mum sewing me new dresses too, and finding them at the foot of my bed, completed. She spent time letting us mess around with her craft materials, supplied teabags for parties with our dolls, and was a parent volunteer at every field trip that I can remember. I remember being a little girl and past bedtime I sometimes would call down to my parents, "Can I come sit with you?" My dad would call back, "NO, go to bed!" Then I would hear my mum say, "Chris!! TLC!"
Tender. Loving. Care.
I am sure my mum would be the first to wave her hand and admit that she's not perfect but I would beg to differ in this area. She is pretty perfect at giving TLC. I have felt it when I have had my babies and she's come to cook and croon for as long as I have needed her. I have felt it as she has slipped us money for a date, and sent us out the door while she and my dad watch the kids. I have felt it so many times.
Now I watch my kids receive her tender loving care and it does something for me that I don't even know how to describe.
A couple weeks ago she taught Ruby how to knit. She brought the supplies. She cast on the stitches. She encouraged. She corrected. She made my little girl feel very cared for. She took her time.
Ruby flourished. My mum smiled happily.
Pretty much my mum's biggest concern is that we all feel really loved. She doesn't care if I photograph her before she's had her shower in the morning. She doesn't care if her lipstick is just so. She cares that our littles know that she values them.
I have a little girl who will be a mother one day. I want her to be strong and a nurturer too. I want her to be like me and I want to be like my mum.
Thanks for all the TLC, mum. It's making all the difference in the world. I love you. Happy Mother's Day.