For the first time in a few years (with the exception of the
birth of my son 3 years ago), I did not have to cook on Mother's
Day. It was nice and we thoroughly enjoyed our Mother's Day meal
dining out hanging with my mom and grandma.
From the funny card I bought my mom this year, to my sister's
comments on how she never understands why I parent the way I do,
but she is seeing the fruits of the seeds I am planting (she has no
kids…yet!), the day was great. The highlight of our day was
watching my 79-year-old grandmother open her iPad so she can
FaceTime her sister in California and look at my kiddos pictures.
We all pitched in to buy it for her and her face was priceless. She
said proudly "I feel with the times now." That comment in itself is
pretty darn cute.
We have four generations going right now, my grandmother down to
my daughter, and I can't help but think how long that will last. I
don't look at my grandmother as being old, but it really hit me
this past Christmas when she was in the hospital and seeing her in
so much pain took a toll on me during the season. She's been a
fighter, she has always taken her health seriously and swears by
her daily intake of Vitamin E for the last 47 years. Her sacrifices
for our family have been underappreciated and yet she does not
complain. From all I know, she has never let anyone be without a
home. She has welcomed her home to her nephews, my mom as a
newlywed and again all of us when my parents divorced. The ultimate
sacrifice of my grandparent's retirement years was taking us three
girls in so we could have a loving home and a roof over our heads.
But what I love most about her is her hospitality and making sure
everyone that comes to her home feels loved. It is how she
expresses her love by making sure her guests are well-fed and feels
at home. Her one line has always been, "If you leave hungry it's
your own fault."
Being able to live with her, I can see how she has rubbed off on
me. Any big party she threw, she cooked everything from scratch. I
look at myself and have taken on these very attributes. I cook
everything from scratch when I throw big parties and I will cook it
all whenever I host a dinner party and at least make sure there are
snacks around when friends come over for a bit. My kitchen pantry
is just like her's. I have a place for everything and I get
frustrated when it doesn't go back to where it belongs. Something
we joked about with my grandma, but now I get it.
I learned cooking from scratch has come from a long line of
generations as I listened to my grandmother talk about the
sacrifices her grandmother made for her family back in the
Depression. Her grandmother would wait for everyone to eat and she
would eat whatever was left and at times, it just may have been a
piece of bread or sucking on the bone marrow for nourishment. My
grandma said she learned from her, as now so have I.
That long line of cooking was something my mother took on as
well and made most of her meals from scratch. Every Sunday was a
big meal to last a few days, then a homemade casserole during the
week and yes, whenever she threw our birthday parties, it was all
made with her loving hands. In face, my mom is such a wonderful
cook, so many have encouraged her to start her own bakery or
catering business, but she just finds enjoyment baking and cooking
for family and friends and a few will pay her for her talent to
make her homemade goodies.
Being a single mom comes with no price tag and it was tough
after my father left. My mom often left instructions for me to
begin cooking a meal, often she made it the night before. I can't
tell you how many phone cords I burnt trying to make a pot of rice.
Work ethics was instilled too as I watched my mom work, then two
jobs after we moved in with my grandparents, I began babysitting to
earn some money. I became a live-in nanny one summer, at the age of
12 for a single mom of three kids. She said I would be a good mom
someday. I cooked meals, cleaned her home and kissed their
boo-boo's. I earned $125/week back then. That money bought me
clothes and allowed me to go out with friends, but I always watched
what I purchased and I saved.
It is strange what happens when we become mothers. You may freak
when you realize you are your mother by the words you say while
some don't want to reflect back because of the hurt, and others
look back with fond memories. Whatever childhood you had, take time
to reflect on how you are becoming into your own mother. All of
those generations past have shaped the mother you are today and the
mother your daughter will be in the future or the wife your son
will marry someday. Don't lose sight of that. Our actions shape us
and mold those little beings.
If you did not have a positive upbringing, what can you do
differently to be a better mother today? Don't be afraid to ask for
help, there are some excellent parenting classes out there today
that our parents didn't have access too. That is the wonderful
thing about "today's times."
As you reflect upon the past generations of the women in your
family, think about the wisdom you can continue to pass down. That
is wisdom beyond their little years that they too will look back on
Jasmine blogs to inspire you to make positive, healthy changes.
See more of Jasmine's stories here.
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