Like, for the last 19 years. (Is he really almost 19?)
A few days ago, Janet and I had one of our nearly weekly several-hours-long telephone conversations. aside: I miss living near the Jorgensens. I miss hanging out at their house and eating Janet's always amazing cooking. I miss having them over to our house. I miss Emma and Freja disappearing to go talk about Emma and Freja things, I miss our boys (most of which have flown the coop...sniff) playing games together or laughing at something very quirky. I miss Mark rocketing between trying to join in with the older boys and doing sweet Britta's and Inge's bidding because those girls captured his heart a long time ago. I miss Adam and Eric and Janet and me. Sometimes our conversations would intersect and sometimes they'd be parallel but there was always a lot of talking.
And I'm very grateful that Janet and I still have that. In the absence of the rest, it is comforting and supremely satisfying to still be able to talk. We talk mostly about motherhood. We confess our fears and celebrate our successes. We seek advice and understanding and empathy from each other. (The irony of it is that while we are talking, I'm sort of abandoning my mothering post....)
One thing we've learned as we've journeyed along this motherhood trail, motherhood doesn't necessarily get any easier. We know people told us that all along (for example, my mother: the bigger they get, the bigger their troubles get). We sort of believed people all along, but not really.
Some things are easier as they get older. Emma can drive herself and she keeps track of her own schedule. (When I was on the phone with Janet, I had to speedily pull the plug on the conversation when I realized the time because it was past time for Emma's voice lesson. I hurried downstairs to tell her and she, of course, had already gone to her voice lesson.)
Some things aren't. There are worries and Big Decisions and troubles that can't be fixed easily.
I told Janet about a woman I serve with in Young Women. Her daughter just had a new baby and she's been worn ragged helping her daughter. She has been taking the night shift, holding and caring for the baby so her daughter can sleep. Then she goes to work every day. After several days of that she was finally getting a night off when she got a distress call from the daughter. She went back to help.
Of course she did.
Yesterday morning I was changing bed sheets around here and listening to Elder Holland's talk from the last conference, Behold Thy Mother.
I love that talk. It made me think how grateful I am to be a mother. It is an honor to be in the trenches with women I admire, side by side doing our best for our children. It made me think of my own mother. She has always been a force to be reckoned with. Her strong will and level of commitment to motherhood and now grandmotherhood is something to behold. It made me think of my friend, mothering her grown daughter in her hour (hours) of need.
No love in mortality comes closer to approximating the pure love of Jesus Christ than the selfless love a devoted mother has for her child.
Jeffrey R. Holland
I aspire to mother better.