Our dear family friends return for their 4th annual visit. Each time, I learn so much from just listening to the mother. I learn so much, in fact, that I want her to write a book for the rest of the world. Watching this mother with her five children reminds me of all the things she’s taught me so far.
First it was that the sign of a happy childhood is dirty children. The next year, I learn how their family survives without television or computer games. Her daughter tells me exactly what a 5th grader does without a television set. On visit number three, I learn the best phrase to tell your child.
This visit, I learn so many things about the joy of motherhood. She tells me that children are like gifts to unwrap to learn who they are. One of the ways she unwraps these gifts is through mother-daughter book clubs. You can learn so much about each other! She tells me about book clubs she’s started with children and their mothers beginning as early as 2nd grade. She and her daughters make a list for me of all the great books my daughters should read with me this year. Books like Tumtum and Nutmeg, When You Reach Me, Fires of Jubilee, The Last Safehouse, Swordbird, View from Saturday, Surviving the Applewhites, and Summer of the Monkeys.
I haven’t heard of even one of these books.
Finally, her last bit of advice to me is that daughters need to feel cherished and chosen. I begin to consider how I communicate this to my children. I want them to feel cherished and chosen–adored and preferred–by me.
Don’t you just love being around mothers like this? I have so much to learn, and I’m so grateful for older, wiser mothers who truly do instruct the younger mothers in the joy of motherhood.
Do you think our culture does a good job passing on the joy of motherhood?
“…children are like gifts to unwrap to learn who they are.” This is so true, and not only for children. It just makes me think of my own childhood when my parents were not really able to help me develop my gifts or talents (because no one showed them either when they were young). For the first time I can understand how this is connected to my struggle for self-acceptance and self-worth today. A great post, it made me think a lot about it!