Growing Wise: My Child, My Teacher, My Friend…

This is a special tribute to my three amazing daughters on the birthday of my middle daughter, AnnaLynne!

Dear Angel, AnnaLynne & Rachel

From the moment I first saw your face, you gazing with eyes not yet focused, me gazing with eyes filled with wonder…until the moment when I watched you fly from the next to meet your appointments with life, I am certain that being your mom has been the most rewarding, fearful and joyful experience I could ever hope to have. I am convinced that it is you who has been the teacher, and I have been the student.

You begin making sentences, with “Why, Mama?” Later in your teen years, you said “Why not, Mom?” Your stream of endless questions kept your thirst for life as a continual quest. You never tired of learning and growing and exploring and dreaming and creating. All I had to do was comment that I wasn’t sure how or if a particular thing could work to set you in motion. You put your heart into the things you are passionate about. This is one of many big lessons I have learned from you. Be passionate about what and who you love!

Even before you could speak, your eyes asked questions and your tiny hands reached to touch, learn, taste and see. I would stop to teach you numbers, letters, animals, colors, textures, foods, shapes, trees, flowers, stars, and clouds. We read books and you became the much-loved characters. Your imagination was infinite. You would lead, and I would follow. I grew so much more aware of the world around me through the wonder in your eyes.

You taught me trust, delight, and hope. You gave my life meaning and purpose. You held a mirror before each of my attitudes and you role-played all my reactions. You became the reason for me to make better choices, to mean what I said, to live what I believe, and to internalize all that is good in my life. It is you, who connected the dots for me. In a sense, I grew up right along with you. I wanted to be more like you. I still do!

I understood why God said that to get into heaven, I would need to become as a little child. I learned that your spontaneous way of doing life was so much more freeing than the legalistic and controlled way I had attempted to live it. You wiped away the dust from my daily routine and colored the common things with fresh ideas and showered me with delight to hear your giggles and laughter. You made things new and gave me a reason to be myself again, to live authentically.

You gave me eyes to appreciate and see the value in people, whether they were aged or from different cultures. You saw the beauty in the plain and creativity in those timid or challenged.

And in this season of our lives, I can simply be there for you….  because you have grown into the most beautiful young woman, not so much my children, but now, my friends.

You taught me that love is my commitment to the welfare of another. You are the reason that it all makes sense for me now. I love you!

Your Forever Fan, Mommy =)

Sheri 

A Tribute to My Father

This weekend we celebrate a wonderful day to honor our dads. I love Father’s Day and that may sound strange from someone who grew up without a dad.

My dad, who was career military was overseas quite a bit of my young life. He came home in May of 1970 for what was to be a long season stateside.

Five short months later, just 2 weeks after my 9th birthday, Daddy lost his life in an auto-train accident. It wasn’t so strange at first because I was accustomed to him being away most of the time.

But as I grew up and witnessed other kids interacting with their dads, I began to sense the true weight of the loss of my dad. It would take some 30 years before I would come to realize that I hadn’t grown up without a Father.

I had merely overlooked the fact that although I grew up knowing and loving God, I had not fully realized that He was the Father who had observed every tear that I had cried, any time disappointments left me with a broken heart and dashed dreams. He had been there all the time to remind me that I was loved and supported. He had given me hope and courage when my strength would fail.

So although I don’t have lots of memories of an earthly father, I loved my daddy deeply and know that I will see him again…. the Father who loves me more than life … the one who dries my tears, watches me dance when no one else is watching, and understands when life doesn’t work out to be fair, is my Father God.

So Happy Father’s Day, to my Eternal Father, God, and King! And thank You, Lord, for a lifetime of love and hope that I will be able to share with You for all eternity! I could not ask for more….

If you are missing a special “Dad” this weekend, remember, God is with you!

Sheri 

Who is My “Favorite” Child?

Every mom has a favorite child. She didn’t plan it this way. It’s the human nature of a mom. I have my favorite too.
She’s the one with whom I feel a special closeness. The one I reach out to in a rare moment to share a love that no one else could understand.

My favorite child is the one who smiled with her lips closed because she was embarrassed about her teeth. The one who had such gratitude for the opportunity to have them straightened and followed her orthodontist’s guidelines to the letter.

My favorite child is the one who worked very hard to complete her school work so she could bounce into the world and into the career focus she had her heart set on. The one who is rarely swayed to waste time or money and is willing to delay gratification for the things she values in life.

My favorite child is the one who had to hear the news that she has to say goodbye to a much loved pet. She’s the one who will hold a little tighter to the special people and pets in her life for fear of loss.

My favorite child is the one who saves her money to give a gift to a friend or family because she understands that receiving a gift helps others to feel special.

My favorite child is the one who has chicken pox when it’s hot and sticky and to keep her from itching, her mom bathes her in oatmeal and puts honey on her “spots” to kill the itch. Even though she doesn’t like it, she makes the best of it. She doesn’t laugh two weeks later when both of her sisters are going through the same torture.

My favorite child is the one who plans a tea party for her friends and includes her sisters and their friends too. She later discovers a special knack for entertaining and decorating and becomes the family consultant on such matters.

My favorite child is the one who plays by the rules to try to be fair to everyone, and if there is ever one item short of something, she steps up to be the one who doesn’t receive it so that another will not be left out.

My favorite child is the one who has an amazing offer to do something really cool and when her mom doesn’t “feel right” about it, she chooses to honor her mom. She later finds it turned out to be a bum deal.

My favorite child is the one who works tirelessly at her job or on her project to help another, even after she clocks out or at the expense of her own time to relax.

My favorite child is the one who calls her mom to tell her she’s concerned about her sister because she’s not eating, she’s seeing a loser, she’s not sleeping, or a host of other out-of-character traits that she is observing. She reminds mom that the sister might listen to mom when she won’t hear it from anyone else.

My favorite child is the one who has to part with special items to pay her bills or to insure that she can buy something special for a sister’s birthday.

My favorite child is the one who goes shopping with her sisters and foots the bill, because she can and she loves to see how excited they are.

My favorite child is the one who plans the events that keep the family connected.

My favorite child is the one who is alone, away from home and family for the holidays, and calls to say hi knowing it will break her heart when she hangs up the phone.

My favorite child is the one who when using a questionable word, apologizes to her mom to preserve the purity of their relationship.

My favorite child is the one who sees her mom’s tears and cries with her and for her.

My favorite child is the one who calls from across the country or the world and says, “Mom, I can’t do this anymore!” And knows, that mom is on it. She learns quickly that she may need to come home or just have the encouragement of venting her feelings and know that her heart is heard.

My favorite child is the one who has to tell her mom some hard things about when she was growing up and has to muster up incredible courage only to learn that the bond between her and her mom only grows stronger as each one opens her heart.

My favorite child is the one who chooses to give back to her community, her country, and her world. She sees the value in growing up without everything because it helped her to develop empathy and compassion for others with whom she can relate to on a deeper level.

My favorite child is the one who cries alone in a faraway city when her heart is breaking with disappointment, having put great effort into making a job, a relationship, or another important event a success and things didn’t work out as planned.

I cheered as you learned to crawl, toddle, walk, run, swim, dance, ride a bike, drive a car. I watched you grow tall, walk alone, run from evil, dance for joy, endure the difficult times and press on when you felt like giving up. I have waited while you crossed the road, and prayed while you crossed the oceans. You were God’s best instruments for teaching me unconditional love, hope, trust, delight, how to pray, how to forgive, how to laugh, how to let go so you could soar, and how to view life as a series of miracles every day.

And, you will always be my baby! 😉

Mom (Sheri)