I’ve enjoyed Pinterest this summer. As I look back at my boards, it is evident that I enjoy inspiration the most, however. I have pinned a measly 10 recipes, but a whopping 60 quotes of inspiration (thus far).
I like witty little sayings because I can immediately reap the benefit of reading them. A craft or recipe would certainly take more time. I like the quotes that make me laugh. I like the quotes that make me think. I especially like to be inspired. I like the honest ones, too – the ones that speak directly to my mommy heart.
A few of the ones that get down to the nitty gritty of day-to-day motherhood are:
- I used to have functioning brain cells, but I traded them in for children.
- Cleaning with kids in the house is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos.
- I just closed the bathroom door, so the knocking should begin in 3, 2, 1…
- The longer I stay in the shower, the longer I can pretend that the kids aren’t fighting or destroying the house.
- I love cleaning up messes that I didn’t make, so I became a mom.
Yeah, so while we’re on that number 5 - I would not know what to do with myself if I actually came upon a toilet in the house that was flushed. I mean, how much effort does one quick downward swoop of a finger really take? Anyhoo – I guess I’ll keep finding poo in the toilet – no one has caught on to the simplicity of the task of flushing. Someday. In the meantime, I have strongly considered that automatic flushy thingy, but goodness knows that would scare the heck out of us all in the middle of the night (surely we’ve all had that certain public toilet that kept flushing over and over while we were STILL sitting on it?!) Moving on.
Then there are those special quotes that tug at my tear ducts like, “Without my children, my house would be clean, my wallet would be full, but my heart would be empty.” When I get agitated with their picking and whining and moaning and groaning, I always seem to hear that graduation song or that daddy-walks-daughter-down-the-aisle song in my head and it stops me in my tracks. I know they will only be little for a short time. This too shall pass.
Moms are pretty hard on themselves when it comes to mothering. It doesn’t take much for us to feel guilty about something we did or didn’t do. And, we constantly question ourselves if we are or aren’t doing a good job on any given day. Well, at least I do. When I see their angelic faces sleeping, I recall the times I have been impatient with them that day and I say a little prayer that I’ll be able to do better tomorrow.
I ran across this wonderful little list of things that we should say to our children. I think the list speaks volumes and was a great reminder for me:
- I love you! There is nothing that will make me stop loving you. Nothing you could do or say or think will ever change that.
- You are amazing! I look at you with wonder! Not just at what you can do, but who you are. There is no one like you. No one!
- It’s okay to cry. People cry for all kinds of reasons: when they are hurt, sad, glad, or worried; when they are angry, afraid, or lonely. Big people cry too. I do.
- You’ve made a mistake. That was wrong. People make mistakes. I do. Is it something we can fix? What can we do? It’s all over. You can start fresh. I know you are sorry. I forgive you.
- You did the right thing. That was scary or hard. Even though it wasn’t easy, you did it. I am proud of you; you should be too.
- I’m sorry. Forgive me. I made a mistake.
- You can change your mind. It’s good to decide, but it is also fine to change.
- What a great idea! You were really thinking! How did you come up with that? Tell me more. Your mind is clever!
- That was kind. You did something helpful and thoughtful for that person. That must make you feel good inside. Thank you!
- I have a surprise for you. It’s not your birthday. It’s for no reason at all. Just a surprise, a little one, but a surprise.
- I can wait. We have time. You don’t have to hurry this time.
- What would you like to do? It’s your turn to pick. You have great ideas. It’s important to follow your special interests.
- Tell me about it. I’d like to hear more. And then what happened? I’ll listen.
- I’m right here. I won’t leave without saying good-bye. I am watching you. I am listening to you.
- Please and Thank You - these are important words. If I forget to use them, will you remind me?
- I missed you. I think about you when we are not together.
- Just try. A little bit. One taste. One step. You might like it. Let’s see. I’ll help you if you need it. I think you can do it.
- I’ll help you. I heard you call me. Here I am. How can I help you? If we both work together, we can get this done. I know you can do it by yourself, but I’m glad to help since you asked.
- What do you wish for? Even if it’s not yet time for birthday candles and we don’t have a wishbone, it’s still fun to hear about what you wish for, hope for, and dream about.
I know that our children might not hear what we say sometimes (well, possibly MOST of the time, especially if it’s in regard to FLUSHING TOILETS – hee hee), so it’s important that WHO we ARE speaks louder…the simple beauty found inside…our character…our heart and soul.
My Uncle Erol recently bought himself an old car…actually a classic...a 1956 Nomad, to be exact. He is so proud of his new ride. As we were chatting over the weekend, he quickly corrected me when I asked about his OLD car, so we came to a loving agreement that we would refer to it as a “vintage beauty” from here on out.
He showed me several pictures of his old car, uhem, vintage beauty. Guess which picture he was MOST proud of? It was the one taken of “the inside” - the engine under that hood…the amazing thing that makes it purr. It is what mattered most to him (and many other car enthusiasts, I presume? I couldn’t make a lick of sense out of all the belts and hoses and powerful-looking things that make it go vrooooom…BUT, I took away an even bigger picture…)
I came away with the thought that vintage beauty might be something for us moms to strive for, too. Our children love what’s underneath the make-up – our classic beauty. Vintage beauty is found in the pure and timeless love that we have for our children. It’s the beauty that our children see in us when they just want to hug us and snuggle and sit on our lap (they’re never too old… leg-numbing-heavy maybe, but NEVER too old!).
Vintage beauty is us remembering to say “I’m sorry” to our kids when we need to. It’s us remembering to say, “You don’t have to hurry this time.” It’s us remembering to say, “I love you, my child, and there is nothing you can ever do to make me stop loving you.” It is us assuring our children that they can talk to us about anything at anytime.
I think the beauty of motherhood is found smack-dab in between two extremes of “crazy.” How can children drive us to the absolute limits of CRAZYville in one moment and wrap their hearts around ours in the next as we fall CRAZY in love with them more and more each day? I don’t know how they do it, but they do.
I love you, kiddos. I love the beauty found inside each of you. I love the uniquely wonderful things that make you “purr.” I love vintage beauty…because the beautiful love of a mother stands the test of time. Oh, and I almost forgot, if you see my uncle cruising in his Nomad, please wave to him in an extremely obnoxious fashion – I told him that’s just what people do when they see cool, classic, vintage beauty driving down the highway! (Okay, okay at least that’s what I do…)