Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Thankful Thursday

What moved me this week?
What inspired me this week?
I've been thinking about my mother lately. You see, we had our daughter and her family visiting this week and when they left a few days ago I thought of something my mother always said after my family visited her and my dad. She would call me a couple of days after our departure and mention how much she missed us, then she would chuckle and say, "The first few minutes after you left I gave a little sigh of relief, then after I caught my breath I started to miss you all over again." I never took offense to the first part of that thought -- if anyone knew "tired", it was me back then.

I think most of you know that my husband and I have seven children. The eldest one was 10 years old when I had the youngest, so they are very close in age -- stair steps to be precise. (That's a picture of our fam back in '96.) ...Back to my mother's comment. When my daughter and her little family of three left the other day, I realized I was a little spent from all the fun we had, but 10 minutes later I was sucking up tears missing that little family terribly. That's when I remembered my mother's comments. What moved me was the realization that years ago when our young family would go to my parent's home for a visit, it wasn't just three people coming for a spell, but NINE. Our visits must have seemed overwhelming to my parents, but they never let on. At the time I was used to our large family, but to my parents having that many show up for a little "R & R" must have been a bit staggering. Instead of acting overwhelmed they always showed us a wonderful time taking us on family outings that we probably wouldn't have been able to afford on our own and showering us all with attention and love. I know Mother's Day is a couple of weeks off, but I just thought I would tip my hat to my mother for all she's done for our family over the years. She truly is a wonder and she moves me with her thoughtfulness, and her generous spirit is an inspiration to our whole family.

What surprised me this week?
One of the most amazing parts of being a mother or grandmother is watching your offspring explore and experience new things. This week we took our visiting grandson to a butterfly pavilion. This "tropical rainforest" is home to more than 1200 live butterflies. They fly freely in this enclosure occasionally landing on an unsuspecting soul. It's a sight to behold -- especially when seen through the eyes of an 18 month old. Take a look at these expressions...
It's an incredible thing to watch a child see something for the first time and experience such awe and amazement. Their feelings are so pure and unadulterated. An experience that we adults take as somewhat familiar can surprise and delight us even more when we see the event through the eyes of a child.