The most important thing she'd learned over the years was that there was no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a great one.
I interviewed my mom just before Mother's Day in hopes of sharing a bit about her, and about me, too. I love my mom. She's an amazing woman. I have learned so much from her and have so much still yet to learn from her. Every time I'm with her I am reminded of how great a mother she is. She isn't perfect, for sure. But she most certainly is great.
I was blessed to spend Mother's Day afternoon with my mom and then spend the night and have her all to myself after the company had gone home and the littlest Littles were asleep in the bedroom on the other side of the house. We talked until the wee hours of the morning. I could gain so much even if I was just sitting in her presence. Do you know people like that? And wonderfully it was even more than just sitting there - I got advice and honesty and love.
I love our kitchen table and I now know why. I can remember from the time I was a little girl until now, sitting at the table talking to my mom, learning from her, asking her questions, crying with her, and feeling loved, safe, important. I hope I have many more "kitchen table moments" with my mom.
How has motherhood changed you?
"Motherhood has made me a better person. My children have taught me how to be less selfish and more loving. They have improved my patience and perserverance. Motherhood has inspired me to stop personal bad habits like smoking, but most of all God has used my children to bring me back into relationship with Him. Knowing I was responsible for two precious little lives turned my heart to Him. God has changed my life completely- priorities, goals, thought processes - everything."
What ages were your favorites?
"Every age has its joys and its challenges. Overall I would say my favorite times were infants up to preschool. They are so innocent, loveable and loving. Life is brand new and I love the sparkle of excitement in their eyes. I also love teenagers. Yes, that time can be challenging but it is so wonderful to see a child maturing. I love to talk with them, listening to their struggles and questions about life."
Do you miss having kids in the house?
"Yes and No. I miss the energy and joy of children in the home, but I am older now and don't think I could handle it everyday. As my mother always said "God knew what he was doing when he gave children to young people!" Thank God for grandchildren!"
What was the most difficult part of being a mom for you?
"The most difficult part of being a mom was being a single mom. Aside from the obvious practical difficulties and emotional struggles it broke my heart that my girls would not grow up in a two parent home."
What was the most rewarding part?
"Grandchildren! :] No, not really! The most rewarding part of being a mom at this time in my life is having two gorgeous girls who are fantastic people! I am so proud of them! They are wonderful mothers themselves, give so much back to the world, and are a joy to be around."
Tell me the story of my birth.
"You were born October 6, 1980. (Like you didn't know that) You were due on October 5th so I didn't have to wait too long for you. I awoke at 5:00 am that morning and knew that it was the day! We didn't go to the hospital until 3:00 that afternoon. I remember that the trees were just so gorgeous, because they had already started to change into their fall colors. You were born at Forsyth Hospital in Winston-Salem back in the time when there were still delivery rooms. Your father was with me the whole time, and you were born at 8:39 pm. I remember when you were born, Dr. Taylor (my ob), put you up on my stomach and you opened your little eyes and looked at me. I touched you. I had never felt anything as soft as your skin, and have never felt anything that soft since. I know that we all have memories that are branded into our brains so much so that all you have to do is recall it and it is as if you are right there again. This is one of those memories for me. I was so excited you were healthy and beautiful! I was also excited that this had all occurred during daytime hours and I wasn't going to miss a night's sleep. Wrong! I didn't sleep any that night anyway. But that was o.k. because I had you to keep me company. The next day your big sister came to see you. She looked in the nursery window (back then they didn't allow siblings to be in the same room with the new baby), and your dad said "There's your baby sister." Erin replied "Where is my baby brother?" We figured out that for the last several months we had been telling her she was going to have a baby brother OR a baby sister, but she was hearing that she was going to have a baby brother AND a baby sister! We came home from the hospital on the third day after you were born. Your Dad and Erin pulled up to the hospital in our little Datsun 510 and we went to our home on Wessex Drive in Winston-Salem."
How did you choose my name?
"Your dad and I could never exactly settle on a name before you were born. I liked Sarah so I told him that was going to be the girl name unless he came up with something better. You know, back then we didn't know the sex of the baby before he/she was born. We had a boy's name picked out (Justin Odiorne) from when Erin was born. So after you were born I called you Sarah. Then dad told me he didn't really like that name. So I told him he better come up with another (that I liked) before they came with the birth certificate or your name was going to be Sarah. I remember so well when he called me on the phone and said he had thought of a name - Dallas. I was mortified! "You can't name a baby Dallas! That's a city! No way I can agree to that. Go back and think some more." So he did and he called me back and said "What about Emily?" I immediately fell in love with the name, and it went so well with Grace, which of course was your paternal grandmother's middle name. So you became Emily Grace!"