On Being A Mom

A cloudy day in the Spanish countryside, about 30 years ago, with little Laurel.

Hi all — I read once, that when a child is born, so is a mother…  It all begins in a haze of long nights, and a steep learning curve that includes diapers, feedings and the most delicious tender snuggles.

Then one day you realize, they’ve turned from toddlers to small kids, with long legs and minds of their own.  And for the next few years, the joy is in watching them grow and learn and stretch into the people they will become.

And finally, one day you shuttle them off to college.  But you can’t help but still be a mom, with care packages and talks about new horizons.  And when they come home to visit, it’s the best to have them at arm’s length again.

The truth is, you never stop being a mom.  My mother is 85 and I still depend on her for a listening ear and her long life perspective.  I still need her near.

With Micah and Aaron on the beach, the year we live in Costa Rica

So for Mothers’ Day, I’m thinking through my “TEN BESTS OF BEING A MOM.”  Here they are:

#1.  Can I start with reading with kids??  In the dim light of bedtime, on road trips as we roll along, snuggled on the couch–sharing a story, talking it through…

#2. Of course, I love cooking together– decorating Christmas cookies or mixing up brownies with a little kitchen dancing thrown in.

#3. Vacations!  Hiking in Sequoia, studying our way through British museums, intrepid touristing from San Francisco to New York– the most vivid memories are of times away together.

#4. Quiet bedtime talks and prayers and songs– sweet times that fill a mother’s heart.

#5. Sitting around the table, talking through the day, insisting kids eat their peas!  (would skip the eating peas part if I were starting over).

#6. Sitting in church together, singing, praying, worshipping.

#7. Walking & talking–  through the park in Seville, along the beach in So Cal, across town to Yogurtland, along the trail at Land’s End– everyday conversations.

#8. And then –there’s a special joy in watching your children become parents to children of their own, with aplomb and grace.  I marvel at what tender, smart, generous, inventive parents they’ve turned out to be!

#9.  Plus grand-kids!!  So much happiness and wonder filling up days spent with those little people.

#10. I’ll end with grown kids coming in the door for a stay–the noise, the hugs, the breakfasts at the kitchen table.   That’s happening here in a couple weeks for some bridal showers and I can’t wait to see their pretty faces!

So that’s it.  Being a Mom– I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

With Ani on her high school graduation trip to NYC.

My Mighty Mom


Hi there–that’s her, my Mom, over there on the left.  She’s the 80 year old hiker, about ready to trek off around the lake with some of her favorite people.  There are honestly hundreds of reasons I love/admire/enjoy my mom– But I’ll just give you my top ten:

#1. She’s just plain fun to hang out with.
#2. She was always there when I needed her to pack me up for a new move ahead in life.
#3. She taught me how to cook.
#4. She loves God plain and simple
#5. She serves–at church, the Nixon Library, the thrift store, in the family, her friends…
#6. She is my “techie” hero –she’s an iPad whiz!
#7. She stood with my Dad through over 20 years of cancer treatment.
#8. She is a super Grandma–traveling to China to hang out with her great-grand girls, inviting a grandson to live at her house til her gets settled, giving wedding showers, commenting on every grandkid Facebook post…
#9. She’ll listen to me whine for hours, sympathetically
#10. She knows who she is and what she values.

She’s my mom.  I’m trying to be just like her.
Love you mom.  Happy Mothers’ Day!