Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Our entire family: Mike and me, all of our six children, two daughters-in-law, one son-in-law, and two grandsons. And, yes, this will probably be the Christmas card photo.
What is it, for mothers, about having the family all together? All mothers understand the feeling. When you say, "All my children were there," another mother will respond, "Nice!" with a genuine, contented smile. They know what you mean, even if none of us can articulate it. There's something special about having the family all together. (By the way, I'm talking about the above photo when all of my children were indeed together for dinner after Mary's graduation.)

Before the oldest leaves home, it is the ordinary situation, the norm. Once they start leaving, it changes. And when all the children are adults, the occasion becomes a rarity.

Why does it matter? What difference does it make if they're all together at the same time. It matters because a mother always feels the absence of whoever is not there. When someone is missing there is a hole. It doesn't justify fussing or pleading to get everyone there. It's best for mothers of adult children to simply enjoy whatever time you can get with your offspring. They have commitments. Some have in-laws. They have independent lives and we must respect that.

But when the stars align and the rare event occurs, mothers feel an inexplicable warmth and contentment. They're all here. She will scan the room. There is each one. There are the ducklings, all grown up, but back in the row. And mom can hardly keep from smiling. Constantly. They are reunited. The family unit is as it once was and as it always will be in her heart.
Mary displaying the special graduation menu at Weber's.
Newest grandson Joey with his mom and dad.
Oldest grandson Blaise with his father, the funniest son-in-law in the world.

It seemed that everyone would be at this celebration but Liz, who was on RA duty at Western and did not have a sufficient window of free time to make the trip. But she surprised us. She borrowed a car from a friend and made a whirlwind trip to join us!

Below: Liz and John admire their newest nephew Joey. John is actually showing him his grandfather's (my father's) University of Michigan class ring which he wore for the occasion. And if that were not enough to make me all teary-eyed, Liz is wearing an outfit that belonged to my mother. I had the strange sense that this was a reminder of my parents' presence with us.

My daughters and I...

And since I love the picture so much, here it is again. All thirteen of us. God is good. All the time.

1 comment:

Patti Anne said...

I have often thought that heaven must be like having all of the kids around the table again.