Monday, April 19, 2010

On Being Her Mom

Today there is cause to celebrate! Today Jim and I have been parents for 38 years. There are few things in life that alter and change things like having a child. After a testimony of Christ, and marriage I can not think of anything that does more. Jennifer's birth started something phenomenal and we learned that you never run out of the capacity to love your children and grandchildren or your family in general. These relationships are eternal just as our Heavenly Father so lovingly and generously planned. Is there anything that brings more joy to our souls than that? If so..I am not aware.

I have always said, half in jest and half for reals..."that the parents should get the presents on the birthday of their children." For in nothing else do our parents excel in their abilities to give unceasingly, love more, or sacrifice more than for the love of their children. This past week Jennifer gave both Jim and me a couple of incredible gifts. But I'll save those to the end, right now I want to talk about her.

Not long ago a friend told me that she thought it was incredibly challenging to raise her son because of his brilliance. I feel that way about Jen. She is just so smart and has always been an excellent student of life. She is also a very strong woman and has never been afraid to strike out and try new things and master them. She is musical, creative, artistic, often times hilarious and full of courage.

She is kind and generous and a good big sister. She is an amazingly hard worker and would have been at the head of the wagon train in pioneer days. Jen is a giver...she is always thinking of others and doing for them.

She is beyond incredible as a mother, tirelessly serving her family day in and day out and always putting them first. She is a true and loyal friend to many. And she is a best friend to her parents~we are truly blessed everyday because of her.

My grandmother use to say that the success of a man or woman is measured by if their children turn out better than they are. No contest there! We look up to her and learn from her all the time. So Happy Birthday, Miss Jen! We love you with all of our hearts! There is no way to say how much you have contributed to our lives and happiness from the minute you were born so VERY LONG AGO...what the heck? You are making old people out of your parents! But you, you are in the bloom of your youth...sorta!

So let me share my gift from Jen and then Jim's. I was thinking the other day that I wished I had named Jen, Jennifer Jo instead of Jennifer (Another Middle Name) after an old friend whom I have had no contact with for over 35 years now. I wasn't smart enough to know then that there is more to a name than how pretty is sounds with your last name.

I never really liked the name Jo until a few years ago. It was my mom's name, short for Josephine. I really never liked that. And I really hated having Jo for a middle name when I was younger. I got teased whenever someone could get the name out of me, because of Petticoat old TV show for you youngsters in the crowd. They had a bunch of airhead, hill billy girls named Billy Jo, Bobbie Jo, etc. But since my mom has passed away I have had a change of heart.

She was such a wonderful person, full of love and so giving to her family. I feel it an honor to carry her name now. So I called Jen the other day and asked her if a mother had the prerogative to change a child's middle name any time in their life for a good reason. She said YES! She was delighted to unofficially (the heck with the legality!)change her middle name to Jo and that made me so happy. What a gift. Now we have four generations of girls with the name Jo because she also named Hazel, Hazel Jo after my mom and me. Jim thought it was meant to be since we have called her JJ practically since she was born anyway! And my mom's nickname was Jo-Jo Bean and we always call Jen, Beanie.

Here is the gift she gave Jim (I am having part of it too) for her birthday...

This just tickled her Dad so much and I think he watched it about a dozen times last night before going to bed. So from day one we have always gotten the birthday present on her birthday! Her!

Thanks, Jen, we love you! We wish we could be together today. I hope somebody makes you a cake for a change! In the meantime enjoy the virtual cupcakes above. XOXO plus 36 more and one to grow on! Enjoy your birthday, Honey!

Love you forever...

Mom and Dad


Sister Susie said...

What a wonderful post! Congratulations on 38 years of being a mom! Mom's are so important whether it's yourself to your children or our mom's to us! Isn't it fantastic this love will go on forever! Just think we, our parents, and grandparents (as well as many others) will be in our youthful bodies in the Glory of our Almighty God! I'm glad His Joy sustains us in the blessings He gives us through our families.

Oh, by the way; the Air Force picture was my brother, not Scott. The pictures are from when I was a "kid." lol!
Blessings to you and yours,

V and Co. said...

ah! how adorable!!! happy birthday to jen and a very happy day for little hazie!!!!
oh she's getting so big!
thanks bonnie for that! i'll hop over to her blog and wish her a happy day! -V

Sally said...

Nice tribute to Jen! She is amazing!