My mom is a class act. I truly lucked out with her. Forever giving of herself, forever loving. We have never seen eye to eye on everything and I think we're learning that that's just fine. We often drive each other absolutely crazy, but we can now laugh about it together. When my husband recommended that we head back south and move to the same town as my parents three years ago, I thought he was nuts. But it's been the best thing for my relationship with my mom. I can only hope that one day Magnolia and I will be as close.
I wanted to sit down with her in honor of Mother's Day to hear what she said about mothering, what she learned from her mom, and any advice she might have for me. Here's what she had to say.
Now that you are a grandmother, what are the joys of this type of mothering?
Being a grandmother is an incredible blessing. I'm especially fortunate to have all five of our grandkids living within three miles of us, so I have lots of opportunity to spend time with them, but without all of the stresses and pressures of parenthood. My job is to simply love on my grands. Of course, another delight is being able to witness my own children parent their children!
What are some of the things that feel like you learned most from your mom, our Mamaw?
One of my very earliest memories is when my mom would occasionally decide one morning to have a "come as you are" coffee at our house. She would call several of her neighborhood girlfriends and invite them to come right over for coffee and a few treats, but they were told to just come as they were (apron, curlers, house slippers and all!). What fun those mornings were!
My mother was not a master seamstress by any means, but she made nearly all of my clothes when I was young and she made many of my brother's shirts. My own first sewing "lesson" was when I joined Mama and several of the other ladies from church for a day of sewing together. These ladies, however, were not working on clothes for someone in their own family, but rather they were all coming together to sew for the children at a nearby orphanage. I remember my mama giving me scraps of fabric and a needle and thread for my "sewing". That day my mom spent valuable time with me not only showing me what magic can be done with woven products, but what true service to others looks like.
One of the things I have always admired about you, is your love of hosting. What has inspired you to have so many people in your home all these years? And what simple advice do you have for anyone who is wanting to throw more dinner parties?
The first part of your question is easy to answer: my parents were regularly inviting people into our home so it's always been a very natural thing to do. Special bonds form when you share food together, especially in the intimacy of a home. I guess I would have to say that my freezer is my best friend when it comes to entertaining. Some dishes freeze so well and can be prepared ahead, kept in freezer, thawed and then popped in the oven before your guests arrive. Lots of cakes are just as good or better after freezing! Of course, it involves effort on the part of the host/hostess, but for me that is always overshadowed by the joy and pleasure of sharing your home with others. My advice for those who would like to entertain more in their home is advice that I myself need to heed: keep it simple and don't stress!
What are your favorite ways to be celebrated and honored?
Anyway that you choose to give extra attention to show that you care for a person is a gift! As busy as life is today for all of us, I think that spending time with someone is one of the most special ways you show your love. There have been several times over the past few years that you have arranged for just the two of us to have some special mother/daughter time together, and those are certainly some of my most cherished moments.
What advice do you have for new mothers, such as myself?
My advice to you young moms is to try to enjoy your little ones. Live in the moment as your play with them, read to them, laugh with them, and love on them. When you and your brother were small, we were living out of the country and were really strapped for money. There were things we would have loved to have done with y'all but looking back, you and your brother were just happy to go to the park or a trip to the library. Finally, try not to stress the little stuff, as most of it will pass all too quickly.