Thursday, 8 May 2014

The Mother Journals: Dedicated to my Daughters

   The Mother Journals

      In recognition of Mother's Day, I have a few Mother Stories to share.  My daughter Emma, age 26, has recently moved back into the nest for a couple of months before she relocates to Denver, Colorado.  Emma has been quite generous with suggestions and advice on household matters as she settles back into the house.  She has been a tad critical of my house-keeping skills which, I will admit, are lacking.  The new dynamic in our house has been interesting and there has even been some name calling.  She calls me Hoarder and I call her Boarder. 
The Hoarder and the Boarder in Front of the Cluttered Sink

    In the process of moving and changing furniture, Emma has unearthed some of my "Mother Journals" in which I recorded vignettes about the kids as they were growing up.

Some of The Mother Journals

Emma has been enjoying reading about herself as a child and particularly likes this 1992 excerpt from when she was 4 years old. 

       I took a parenting class in January and one evening when I was
       getting ready, the following exchange took place:

                 "Mommy, where are you going?"
                  "To parenting class."
                  "Why do you go there?"
                  "To become a better parent."
                  "Well, is there a sink there?"
                  "A sink?"
                  "Yeah, so you can do the dishes."

Emma, age 4.  Parenting Authority with Blankie
     Last week one day, I was upstairs puttering around, or maybe even napping when I heard Emma arrive home from work.  I went downstairs and found her in her bib apron and rubber gloves doing the dishes which I had neglected for two days.  She turned away from the sink and looked me in the eye as I entered the kitchen.  "I think you need to go back to parenting class," she said pointedly. 

Poor Parenting Practice
       Emma was 3 years old when Julia was born so she had been quite well-established as the only child when she had to adapt to a new sibling.  The following excerpt from the Mother Journal sheds some light on just how she was coping.

               One day while I was looking after some of Julia's
                needs,  Emma asked , "Why don't you call me darling anymore?" 
               Later that same day, Emma said, referring to Julia, "She's not
               the most important thing in the world, you know.  I'm important
               too and so is God."

Emma and Julia
     Of course the Mother Journals also have insights into Julia's opinion of my parenting skills.  Julia was 8 years old when we had the following exchange.
            "Mommy, do you love Emma with all your heart?"
            "Of course," I answered.
            "Well, then, do you have two hearts? 

Julia:  Heartbreaker in Pink
Often the Julia stories have a religious angle to them.  The following relates to both religion and parenting. 
             "It's too bad Jesus didn't have children of his own.  He would have
              been a great parent."

Jesus and the Children
Julia was always rather concerned about my appearance. 
                 One day when Julia was about 6 years old, I was home sick
                 from work.  When she ran into my room, I said, "Give me a
                 hug," which she did.  "Do you love me?" I questioned.
                 "Of course I do, Mother dear, even though you look like a total
                 maniac.  Maybe your hair will grow."
                 I had just gotten my hair cut and she obviously did not like it. 

Mommy (Total Maniac) and Julia at the Beach
And while looking at wedding pictures of Tom and me in our younger and slimmer days, Julia asked the following insightful question:
               "So how does that make you feel, now that you've got grey hair,    
                 you're fat, and you're starting to get migraines?" 
         Mommy and Julia in New York City    
And although I may have failed parenting class, being a mother has been and continues to be the best part of my life!
Happy Mother's Day to my daughters, Emma and Julia!
 Tucker, Julia and Emma
Until next time.....


  1. Thanks for sharing Barb. Very cute....

  2. Thanks, Joanne! And Happy Mother's Day to you!

  3. I laughed so much at this I had to read it twice. What's with you taking parenting classes??That isn't why I was laughing but "out of the mouths of babes" was. So great you kept these journals. I kept a journal but it was all about me!! Maybe I should have taken a parenting class so I would know to do this important stuff!

  4. Important things like the dishes....

  5. What a great gift parenting is! Even as 3 or 4 year olds their comments sound so much like them! Great girls and great parents. I'm still trying to get over that you asked for hugs!