I was going to write this post a month ago. And then I was going to write it for Mother's Day. Let's just say this is Mother's Week and call it good.
First of all, let me set the record straight on my Mom. She is pretty cool. A fact I learned after those tumultuous adolescent years, but knew all throughout my childhood. I seriously thought my parents were the coolest. In fact, you could probably say that I get all of my coolness from my Mom. But I wouldn't call coolness her defining characteristic.
I think I would define my mom as kinetic.
Not only is she constantly active and involved in something, she is always active and involved in something different; always learning, forever progressing.
We were reminiscing the other day about my freshman year when she decided she would go back to school and be a lawyer. She did go back to school, but she took art classes, a significant portion of them involving naked people. "I've decided Speech Pathology is boring," she once told me during the "Art Era". But now that she is working again as a speech therapist, she is wildly passionate about technological communication aids. She is always telling me about a new class she has taken, or a new device she has implemented in one of her schools.
This trait is universally applicable. Her passion for life, her love of the Savior, her dedication to her family, future, past, and present, all stems from this kinetic energy, constantly driving her toward greatness.
My grandfather told me about how my mom insisted on going on a school trip to Europe during high school. (If you didn't know, my mom has been using crutches to walk since she was five.) "She did?!" I exclaimed, surprised at this new information. "Yep," he replied, "nothing ever holds Donna back". It couldn't be any truer today.
The tenderness of our relationship is sweeter still with the birth of my two daughters. I have a heightened awareness of her love for me, and appreciation of all that she gave us, and continues to give. I never really realized that my grandma was my mom's Mom until I was a mother. She makes an entire pot of gumbo without seafood, just because my mom recently developed an allergy to shellfish. And when she sees a purse that she thinks my mom would like, she buys it for her. Why didn't I notice all the Mom-things Grandma was doing? Maybe they were eclipsed by all of the fun Grandma-things she did. Ice cream and sandwiches, swimming and staying up late. Grandmas are fun. But how sweet it has been to be aware of the mothering that still happens in her home. Kind of like how my mom buys Ella organic graham crackers and juice, just because I tend to be a food nazi. That's the mothering. And then feeds Ella all the brownie she wants from her own plate. That's grandmothering.
She's good at both.