The older I get, the more I realize some things that I wish I knew in my 20's.

I wish I would have known that the little boy that left me exhausted until he was about 12 would turn out to be a guy that I just love to stand next to now and look up to him. That he'd be the one that is now bailing me out when I need an extra pair of hands and a ton of muscle. (no pun intended, he works at the jail)

In my 30's I wish I would have known that the little girl that arrived in my 30th year would one day give me a hug that meant the world to me on a terrible, lousy, no good day.

In my 40's I wish I would have known that the kid that was scaring me to death would be alright and that I'd have hour-long conversations with her now and feel like she's like me, but a much better version.

In my 50's I'm hearing about a little girl that thought I didn't seek her out when she was little and she felt a little ignored. I was fortunate to be able to tell her that many nights, I'd go down the list of the children and always when I got to her I'd say, "she's the only one that didn't give me any problems today." And telling her that helped her understand better that I thought her sweet attitude was such a blessing to an overwhelmed mom. But now she doesn't live in town, so I really do have to seek her out to have lunch dates and to hug that lone grandson of mine.

I also got to see my years of drilling the importance of managing your money be shown in the 20 year old that bought her own house, putting down a huge down payment as well as watching a son in the financial field. I'm thinking their grandpa would have busted his buttons over seeing that!

In all of those decades between my 20's and 50's there has been one thing I've been unapologetically doing and that is pouring my life into my kids.

I stayed home after the third baby was born and didn't regret doing it.

I homeschooled all 6 of them and can remember the elation as they all read Dr. Seuss' "Green Eggs and Ham" book for the very first time, all by themselves, and when they graduated some of them pulled the same ACT scores as other kids pulling a 4.0 at school, so I knew I had done it right.

Being a mom has been a dream job. I didn't always get it right, but hey, no one gives you a manual.

There were times that I thought I was teaching them to be too independent. I know they thought that I was pushing them too hard by making them work around the house, but I'm sure their spouses are all appreciative of the hard workers they inherited.

There were times they growled about having to go to church, again. But now I smile when I think of them dragging the grandkids to church, again.

I smile as I see them become involved in their churches.

I grin when I see them hard at work in their jobs.

When the boys were just about teenagers and through their teenage years they worked alongside their great uncle doing various jobs. As I watch them now when they are around him treating him like a grandpa that they no longer have, it melts my heart.

Watching them all with their children, pouring themselves into the next generation, leaves me in a sappy puddle of love for them all.

As I see the next generation carrying on and teaching their children I feel like my job is done. I can now rest a little.

I know it's not all me, I know a ton of who they are is because of well, who they are and God's goodness to all of us.

Yeah, I know, I'm not the only one with great kids. And probably this has bored the socks off of some of you, but hey, it only happens once a year that I get to talk about being a mom...well alright. Only one day a year is designated as Mother's Day so this is acceptable. The rest of the times that it might happen it's just because I can.

But moms, don't get discouraged. Don't feel like you aren't doing everything right. No one does. But what's important is that you try.

Do your best. Hug them often. Talk to them often.

Let them know that you love them.

That's your job.

Sure, teaching them to work, helping them with their homework, running them to games, cooking and cleaning, that's part of the job too. But the most important part is to make sure that they know that you will always be there for them. You wish only good for them, but you'll be there when it goes bad.

Be someone they can look up to, that's all that matters. Be who you want them to be.

To Bethany, Jonathan, Phillip, Leah, Lydia and Abigail, thanks for being the best kids that this mom could have ever asked for.

My favorite picture

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Comments (1)

Valerie, this is a beautiful piece of writing. You revealed to all of us what you expect a mother to be and how you did it in those six lives.
The eye's a better student and more willing than the ear.
Fine counsel is confusing, but example's always clear,
and the best of the preachers are the women who live their creeds,
for to see the good in action is what everybody needs.
Author unknown
I appreciate VINTON TODAY. Thanks for being you,
By: PAT DAVIS on May 10th 7:42pm

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