What usually seems like just yesterday (but sometimes feels like a lifetime ago), I was a young, single mother raising two beautiful daughters. We were—by the standards we in our country judge wealth—destitute. I had a meager job and was putting myself through college at night. We lived in a little cape cod. We didn’t take vacations, let alone fabulous ones, and rarely went “out” for dinner, but we did eat a fair amount of pasta because it was inexpensive (and a lot of fish sticks and grilled cheese sandwiches, if you’d ask my girls). We didn’t buy much clothing or expensive toys.
But, you know what we did have? We had us. We had love, lots of love. We did homework together at the kitchen counter. The house was often filled with the joy of more than just the voices of my two precious girls. They hosted sleepovers for their friends (lots of sleepovers), and there were kids in the house all the time. We had “a hideout” in the backyard, where hours were spent in nature. We had Christmas Eve “concerts” and a Birthday Cake for Baby Jesus every year.
We sat out on our little deck—the one not far from our small, above-ground pool. We had my parents—who were thrilled to be grandparents— actively involved in our lives. We did projects together. We had parties in the backyard, sang silly songs, and danced. We laughed. We lived in the moment. We actively loved life.
Of course, there were challenges. Of course, as they got older, we didn’t always see eye-to-eye. Of course, we were human.
Now, much more than halfway through this life, I get to be a grandparent and have the honor of watching my grown daughters live their adult lives. Sara and Erin are both accomplished, loving, generous, intelligent women. As the saying goes, “they would make any mother proud.”
I made “The First Thirty Years of Your Life” scrapbooks for both of their thirtieth birthdays. I went through my “save box,” piecing together memories, photos, thoughts, reflections, and love. I still remember the emotion of sifting through all those years.
After sleeping, working, cooking, eating, commuting, and cleaning, how do you choose to spend your time? This temporal existence is fleeting. You can’t redo yesterday or unwind the clock’s hours. So, how will you choose to spend these priceless, fleeting moments?
I’ve learned how to spell peace. And, for many of my years, it was a small cape cod with three small bedrooms, a wooded back yard, a Mom and two daughters, and an adventure of love. How blessed is that?