My mother’s 3 week visit on the heels of a move and new baby was the perfect timing to allow me to extend the baby-moon and linger in the stage of rest and recovery.
In true “Mary Poppins” fashion, I still cant fathom what magic allowed her to carry so many gifts and treats from home and still have room for socks and underwear of her own. And just like “a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down”, Grandmoni was administering M&M’s right alongside Tylenol as she arrived on the cusp of the worst flu that has run through our family ever!! Every 24 hours, another Smith came down with the plague which made its way through our entire family save Eden (thank you Lord!!) and Grandmoni who managed to ward off the heebie-jeebies with her Young Living oils!
Having lived most of my adult life with an ocean between us, Ive acutely missed those moments of being able to call in reinforcements when C is out of town, or having my mother pop in for a visit or meeting up for lunch on a whim. It was a real treat to have her “mother” me and insist that I stay in pjs and make me breakfast each morning.
We delicately balanced a few fun outings (which always end up being an ordeal with a newborn) and a lot of lazy days just making memories at home with the kids…tea parties, reading Anne of Green Gables, playing dominos, cooking for us, crafting, party planning for Gigi (more on that later),and gazing at the newest of 18 grands.
As an expert in interior decorating, we provided a blank canvas of sorts for her creative genius with the new-to-us apartment that we’d just moved into. Never mind those boxes that are still in my office….we got right to the fun part – decorating!! After a trip to IKEA for fabric and a sewing machine on loan from a friend, my mother whipped up cushion covers for the ostentatious gold pillows that came with our furnished place and recovered the purple glider seat cushion that has clearly been there since the 70’s. Whew!! So much more homey! While I love party planning and events, Ive not received my mother’s knack for arranging wall decor. So relieved to turn this project over to her and Im THRILLED with the result! She did her thing creating sweet vignettes throughout the house and filling frames with some of my favorite photos.
Among our most memorable times together was an afternoon get away in honor of Mother’s Day to a ritzy hotel for high tea at the “Chocolate Buffet”. The name says it all! Absolute decadence. In addition to a savory buffet of tea sandwiches and sushi bites, there are dozens of desserts comprised mostly of chocolate laced goodness. But the real treat is a fancy trolly staffed by a swiss pastry chef which boasts two-dozen varieties of chocolate chunks on little bowls. You take your pick from 50% cocoa, 90%cocoa, swiss, german, bittersweet, lindt, white chocolate (the list goes on) and the chocolatier hand crafts a hot-chocolate for you accented by a dollop of whipped cream or swirl of hazelnut if you choose. I was clearly born in the wrong era, because I could totally go for high-tea on a daily basis!!
Mother accompanied us to a weekend volleyball tournament cheering on Abi in her debut season! She also joined my Women’s group and was able to share from her years and wisdom with some dear young moms in my life. I was amazed again at this woman’s capacity – always the last one to bed (often posting a blog post of her own or touching base with a friend of family member state-side) and then up to braid hair and see the kids off to school early in the morning. And its a good thing she’s so fit and energetic with the 89 steps (I kid you not – we counted) she had to climb to her bed every night (our new place is a townhouse that literally is stairs straight up!!)….. this woman runs laps around me!! We did manage to squeeze in a foot-massage one evening to pamper our tired feet. These steps are killers!
If I didnt love her so much, I could never have agreed to the outlandish request of hers to bequeath Tristan to her to take back to the states for the summer!! Made the parting a bit less sorrowful to know that he was going to surprise my dad for Father’s Day. So grateful for the visit of this woman who made me a mom and taught me well to love the sacred privilege of mothering these precious gifts from the Lord!