The Mother’s Day Gift That Keeps On Giving

Something About Nothing by Julie Seedorf

Published in the Albert Lea Tribune the week of May 8, 2017

“Children are the anchors that hold a mother to life.”  — Sophocles

File May 09, 10 49 34 AMAs a mother, it is hard to let go of my children and let them lead their lives their way. I want to protect them from making the same mistakes I or others have made in the past. I pray for them every day and they are never far from my thoughts. They are always in my heart. Being a mother was the most important career I can have. 

I love to watch my grandchildren grow and see the way they mimic some of their parents’ gestures when their parents were young or how they grow to resemble another family member. I love to see them develop into their own personalities.

I think most mothers feel the same way. I have noticed when talking with other mothers on my writer’s journey there are many lonely mothers out in the world. They are not lonely because their children don’t love them; they are lonely because life for their children has become so busy a phone call or a short visit may only happen occasionally, or on Mother’s Day. But life is busy, perhaps busier than my generation when we were raising our children. Plus, there is also the distance many families now face with children living all over the United States and abroad.

Mother’s Day is next Sunday. The stores are full of flowers, and restaurants are filling the advertising spaces with ideas of gifts for that special mother. While gifts are nice, I have a feeling that what mom wants is to spend quality time with her children, especially if you are a mother whose children no longer live in the area or live at home.

Those of us who have lost our mothers will tell you that perhaps we can give you this advice because of regrets from the past of the things we never did and said while our mothers were alive.

My family wasn’t a hugging family, so I can probably count on my two hands the number of times my mother and I grabbed each other tightly and gave a hug. When we did it always felt awkward because that was not our relationship. But now, I wish I had one more awkward hug I could give her. I wish I listened when she talked about her past. I wish I made it a habit of asking about her day more often.

In conversations with other mothers I have heard the reasons why kids, adult kids, don’t call their moms at least once a week, or if they live close, stop in for a visit. And because we are moms and we love our kids, we accept what is happening with their life because we don’t want to put more pressure on them. We always want to make our kids’ lives easier. We have all heard these words in conversation: “The kids are busy. They run from morning until night between work, household chores and getting their kids to their activities. They say they just get busy and forget to call.”

Every person needs someone in their life to ask them about their day. Every person needs someone to care about how they are feeling. It might take a few minutes for a phone call, but those few minutes may make a difference in the life of a mother, especially if mom is older and less mobile.

I watch as everyone sits in restaurants on their cell phones; I do too. And I wonder if we put away our texting for a few minutes — if we turned off the television or took a five-minute break from the hectic schedule if there would be time for one five-minute phone call to mom.

I am blessed as I already have a Mother’s Day invitation this year. My kids live within two hours, and I visit with them on a regular basis. I hope that continues as I grow older and am less mobile.

Near or far, take the time to give your mother a Mother’s Day gift that lasts all year. Give her a gift certificate with a promise to call her once a week, or if you are close by, stop in occasionally and have a cup of coffee, give her a hug and ask about her day. Let her know that no matter where you are, she is a priority when it comes to keeping in touch. After all, you were a priority of hers from the minute you were born, and she would have it no other way.

Wells resident Julie Seedorf’s column appears every Monday. Send email to her at hermionyvidaliabooks@gmail.com.

Whatchamacallit? Thingamajig? and Snicklefritz?

final coverkindlehalfcoverI get so busy promoting my Fuchsia Minnesota and Brilliant Minnesota Series books that I have neglected my children’s series that I self-published. There is a little bit of a story behind these books. Whatchamacallit Thingamajig was actually the first book I wrote with my grandchildren when they were younger. I wanted to leave them something to remember me by, and what better than a mystery involving them and giving them a little glimpse into Grandma’s life when she was young.

Although I call it a children’s book it also is a great short book for adults to remember their youth, and promote showing their grandchildren who they were before the wrinkles.

As an adult and a grandmother we strive to be good role models for our grandchildren. We are not perfect and we had a life before children and grandchildren. We had fun, we made mistakes, and they all shaped us into who we are today. Much of the time we only share that which we feel will make us look good in our grandchildren’s eyes. We don’t share the fact that we almost burned down the barn because we were playing with matches in the hayloft. I had simple activities in my youth that children in this era don’t have. I also wanted to share that with my grandchildren.

I wanted to remind our adult self to keep the child inside of  us and let it out once in  awhile so life doesn’t get too heavy for us. Are these my best written books, absolutely not. They were my first, but they are meaningful to me because the kids played out the mystery acting out the pictures giving me feedback and ideas throughout the way.

Read them if you like, give them as a gift or don’t. I wanted you to know they are out there, they were written with heart and I am proud of them and my grandchildren. They are available in both Kindle and paperback.  And starting on September 2, they are both .99 as a Kindle download.

Maggie interviewr

 

 

 

My Heart is With My Granddaughter!


I love my grandchildren. This year I decided on each of their birthdays I will post a special blog about them. I know they don’t like to be in the spotlight but I want them to know how special they are to me.

Today is my Granddaughter’s  13th Birthday. I remember her tiny beginnings. She was our first grandchild and I jumped up and down with screams when I knew I was going to be a Grandmother and then panic set in. What did I know about being a Grandmother?

I remember when we got the call  she was here. I was overwhelmed by joy and love for a tiny being I hadn’t yet met.  A few days after her birth we were able to travel and meet her. She was the cutest, sweetest little angel I had ever seen. The first few days were a little challenging. There was a problem with milk and so she was a little temperamental and was awake and crying, making her displeasure known. Four of us grandparents camped in a tiny house along with her parents and took turns, holding her, singing to her, rocking her and loving her. She could do no wrong in our eyes. And there was another blessing during the time and it was the blessing of four grandparents forming a friendship that continues today. It seems like yesterday.

As she grew we rejoiced over every little accomplishment she made, her first words, her first steps and the first time she could say Grandma and Grandpa. Her twinkling eyes and cheerful spirits always make our days brighter.

I wish children could remember their early years and all the love they received from the special people in their lives and the special moments that were shared. They will only live on by the stories we tell, planting in their hearts memories that last forever.

My granddaughter is lucky because she has two very special parents who raised her and nurtured her into the beautiful young lady she has become. I am so proud of them and of her. She used to wake up in the morning and always remark, “It’s going to be a beautiful day.” My wish for her is that she can do that every day of her life no matter how old she becomes.

So Happy Birthday Ms Teenager. I wish you the joys of growth, the strength to get through the hills and valleys that accompany the teenage years and the wisdom to know the choices you are making for yourself are right for you. But most of all I want you to know you are so loved and you always will be.

Grandma Julie