Thursday, May 07, 2009

Thankful Thursday

As a child and young woman I always wanted a house full of sons after I married. In His wisdom, God intervened and also granted me a couple of girls. As proof of His sense of humor, however, He kicked off our family with four boys in a row and then threw in another boy for good measure between the girls. I'm of the opinion that mothers of multiple boys are a rare breed -- even more so when those boys come one right after the other. Those mothers, if they haven't acquired them already, are forced to develop a myriad of necessary characteristics -- courage, patience, and self-control being at the top of the list. Sons just have a way of testing the mettle and stamina of even the most seasoned of mothers. Still (and I hope to make this very clear) we wouldn't trade one of our boys (or girls) for anything! ;o)

Since Mother's Day is looming on the horizon my Thankful Thursday post this week is a tribute to my mother-in-law. She's the mother of four boys and one girl -- in that order. She's a wonderful, patient, forgiving individual. To illustrate her saintly qualities, I submit the following story...

During my husband's 7th grade year in school, his mother took a job at a local high tech company as a graphic artist. One of her responsibilities for her job was to strip film negatives. The negatives were photographs of printed circuit board artwork. When the photo was taken of the artwork, the negatives that were developed had imperfections. My mother-in-law's job was to fill in those imperfect spots. This process was called "stripping a negative."

That year an information sheet went out from my husband's middle school administration asking for parental and family information, such as parent's names, addresses, phone numbers, and occupations. Being a smartalecky 7th grader my husband filled out the information sheet, including the section that asked for the occupations of his parents. He identified his father's occupation as "electrical engineer" and wrote down his mother's occupation as "stripper." Shortly after he returned the information form to the school, his mother received a phone call from the principal. My husband is unsure of what was said during that conversation, but he remembers quite clearly the conversation that his parents had with him later that night.

My mother-in-law has my admiration, love and appreciation. I'm grateful that she overlooked her son's improprieties during this instance (and several others) and allowed him to live to adulthood. I do believe his behavior has improved since that time -- due in large part to her sweet and persistent mothering.

My mother-in-law's unlimited patience has always surprised me. She inspires me with her vitality and enthusiasm. Her caring, supportive nature moves me.