“Mamma Mia” Abba 1975

Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!

How’s your mom and ‘em? (Southern for how’s your family?) Is your momma still living? Did you get to see her on her day of honor – Mother’s Day? I did not get to see my mom. Not quite sure about driving that far with only one good leg. But I will get down to see her soon. My sister visited her and face timed with me. Our sweet momma. I have never doubted her love for me or my sisters. She has loved us and her grandchildren fiercely. Like all moms, ours sacrificed so much for us and raised us to be independent, compassionate, strong women. Funny, I never truly realized how much she loved me, or how much she did for me, until I became a mother.

“I used to think that children were given to me so I could mold them and shape them, actually it’s the reverse. Children were given to me so they could mold me and shape me.”

I always thought my “job” as a mother was to “mold and shape” my children – to bring them up in a loving, caring, and faithful home, which I think I succeeded in doing. But truly, my children have molded and shaped my life. I never knew unconditional love until I became a mother. For the first time in my life, I knew I would lay down my life for someone, well 3 someones! My children made me a better person. I needed to set an example for them and as they did not want to disappoint me, neither did I want to disappoint them, especially as they got older. And I did not want to embarrass them. Well, maybe that last part is not totally true. I did and still do embarrass them at times, not on purpose of course!

“When you look at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know.”  Mitch Albom

My kids have taught me a lot in their “young lives.”  We talk about some pretty controversial issues, some that we do not always agree on, but respect and accept each other’s opinion. They have taught me to keep an open mind and be less judgmental. And I have learned A LOT from my kids, from how to use Waze on my IPhone, stream UNC baseball games on my TV, to what some “ways of the world” actually are. And I am thankful for that. So thankful!  If I can’t remember a password, I call them. If I don’t know what something means, I ask them. After they pick themselves up off the floor laughing, they explain it all to me. One of the biggest things I have learned recently? I am not afraid of dogs! I know, I know, I know… but I was a bit afraid until sweet Paige, my granddawg, came into my life. And my older daughter, who would have panicked at dog hair earlier, now relishes being covered in it. My sweet children convinced and showed me that I can have fun and enjoy life SOLO. And with them!

“Hanging out with your grown-up kids is like visiting the best part of your life.”

My daughters have become my friends. I am still their mother, and they still come to me for advice and comfort, but we are also friends. We enjoy doing things together whether it be mani/pedis, running, cycle classes, movies, trips, or just going on walks and talking. My older daughter introduced me to the love of dogs and tailgating, and my younger daughter introduced me to the love of wine and Moscow Mules!

“I asked God for a best friend and he gave me daughters.”

Then there’s my sweet son. Oh my gosh y’all, I am crazy about my baby boy. Well, actually he is almost 28, but he will always be my baby. He is tall and handsome and so kind. His girlfriend recently told me that her sisters said she had trained him well after he did something so sweet for her, and she told them, “he came off the rack just like that.” My “Bud” makes me smile every time I see his name pop up on my phone or email.

“I asked God to send me a man who will always love me. So he gave me a son.”

Yes, my kids fill my life with happiness and pride. I am so proud of them, like most moms are. They are compassionate, honest, smart, hardworking, and of course good looking! I read that kids get their smarts from their Mothers, so I must be brilliant because my kids are very smart! Even though they will always be my babies, I love the adult relationship we share now – they are so fun to be with!

My people!

Speaking of which, remember my secret crush? You know, the one I meet twice a year in the aisles of Barnes and Noble? Well that opportunity presented itself again last Friday night in Richmond. And this time, my older daughter came to chaperone. And to carry my books – can’t do that on crutches! We certainly made an interesting pair being entertained by David Baldacci in that Barnes and Noble: me on crutches with an out-of-commission leg and her in a sling with an out-of-commission arm (she had surgery on her wrist last week to insert plates just like her momma’s wrist). We needed a wagon to carry all of the books I was bringing to get signed, but we settled for a very strong bag. Luckily she does not have an out-of-commission shoulder! Looking forward to our next rendezvous in November! Funny thing, I gave my younger sister Baldacci’s last book for Christmas. She read it and became his newest fan, continuing to read about 10 more of his books and now cannot wait for this latest one, which of course I had signed for her. I love giving books as gifts!

Another thing you can’t do while on crutches: pick strawberries! But I did not want to miss out on getting strawberries for my smoothies this year. So, Saturday morning, before the habitual rains descended on our weekend again, my younger daughter took me to Chiles for some strawberry picking. We were not disappointed as we picked 14 pounds of very large, very sweet strawberries! Luckily, I was not the one carrying our strawberries! And they gave us 2 fudge-dipped strawberries for Mother’s Day. My daughter put the berries in the back of my car and headed to work as I headed home to meet my older daughter and son-in-law, who were taking my son-in-law’s mother and me out to lunch for Mother’s Day. We had fun catching up (mother-in-law to mother-in-law) and visiting with our married children, and of course Paige, our granddawg.

 

I spent my Mother’s Day by sleeping in (back in my recliner), and meeting some friends at King Family Vineyards in the afternoon. My daughter was working and I decided it would be fun to at least be near one of my kids, and it was! Amazingly, it did not rain and we were able to sit outside and visit over a bottle of wine, warm bread, and cheese. And my day ended with my younger daughter taking me to the movies (complete with a hot dog!), because as she says, that is what we do!

“Your mom is your Mom… Nobody can replace her… Nobody should replace her… Nobody can do half the things she does, or has done, for you… Nobody can compare to her… Only God can love you more than she does…. She’s only one person… But she’s the person that matters the most.”

There are all kinds of Moms… you don’t have to have given birth to be a mom to someone. Yet Mother’s Day is hard for many people, those who look to heaven for their moms, those who look to heaven for their children, and those who want so desperately to be a mom. It truly takes a tribe to raise children these days. We women are all “moms” in some form or fashion. My sisters are moms to my kids (aunts as well) and same for me with my nephew and his wife. I am a “work mom” to many of the younger people I work with. And I love it! So whether or not you are a mom, let children mold and shape your life, while you also mold and shape theirs. The world will be a better place. Don’t wait, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.

Best,

Leslie

PS I became a mother 34 years ago this Friday. One of the 3 happiest days of my life! Happy birthday to my oldest child, who talks to her momma several times every day just to check on her. Love you girl!

My beautiful daughter!

 

 

 

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