Friday, April 01, 2011

we heart grammie

I cried the whole way home after dropping my mom off at the airport last week.  My heart was laden with a heavy sweet and sour mixture of gratitude and grief (and maybe a few hormones).

Gratitude for all that she did for us.  For making it to the birth (and praying her heart out that the baby would wait for her to be there), for her experienced presence and ever sustaining and bolstering love throughout the whole process of those last days of impatient pregnancy, that intense birth and all the glory-less, glamorous-less guts of the first week post partum. For the shopping and gourmet meals and running kids around and cleaning and laundry.  For loving me and Jeff so well: getting Jeff breakfast before work, sitting by the fire with me at night and rubbing my aching back, helping me strategize (with her years and years of experience with newborns) about how to understand this little babe and the changes in my body, bringing me meals in bed, holding my wriggling baby off a little longer in the middle of the night so that I could get some uninterrupted sleep, not letting me lift a single thing.  For not complaining a single iota about all the work we were piling on her (all the while I’m sure she had some aches and pains and fatigue that she never reveled).  And maybe most grateful for the love she showered on my kids….not just the angelic little newborn (he’s easy to love and she did love him to pieces)….but for the not-so-easy-to-love-while-going-through-this-big-transition-big kids.  She took them each on little Grammie dates, dressed and bathed and fed them, got into the details of their lives, put them to bed and did all kinds of extra little things to make them feel loved and secure during this big change.  

And then, all tangled up with that immense gratitude was the grief.  Grief that those ten days of pampering and love and one on one time with my mom had passed and were now just going to get filed up in my brain as memories.  Memories that will fade and get foggy with time.  Memories that won’t get relived until I’m on the other end,  struggling to do the same things for Hazel and Emmeline.  

I have to say, the four times my mom has come out to help after a baby have been some of the sweetest days in my life.  I lay in my bed, listing to her kindly negotiate the kids through the morning routine, I look at the little new life cuddled up beside me sleeping and realize that all the feelings I feel for this baby she once felt for me.  All the sleepless nights and engorgement and pain and beauty of bringing a child into the world my mother once lived through for me.  And now she’s here serving me all over again, in a different way, as I begin the cycle of motherly love again with this new little. 

All of it left me and Jeff stunned.  Stunned by her ability to know all our needs and work so tirelessly to fill them.  And to convince us that she enjoyed every single minute of it. 

Somehow I thought that when I had children I’d miraculously turn into my mother.  I thought that there was something about motherhood that automatically triggered all these selfless, hard working, loving qualities that define my mom.  Sadly, I quickly discovered that it’s just who my mom is.  She is cut from different cloth.  I’m on my fourth child and still have miles and miles and miles to go…….

I was hoping that her example would sink into us all and once she was gone we’d have a little more of her in us.  Maybe we do,  it’s possible that she snuck a little of it into the food she fed us, or massaged it into my shoulders, or put it in with the laundry soap.  But it’s a little hard to decipher that with the craziness that has come with this transition, thick layer of fatigue and post partum hormones. 


Thank you mom for giving us so much of yourself.  We’ll etch what you gave us into our hearts and pray it comes out often to bless us the way you blessed us all during your stay. 

We can’t say thank you enough… I’ll leave it at that. 



  1. Oh Saydi! Now I'm crying! What perfectly precious pictures which I will copy and hold dear forever (entirely ignoring those wrinkles)! What pure joy it was for me to be with you and Jeff and those adorable children. You and Jeff are simply magnificent parents!

    You are the one who amazed ME! I wish I had your amazing ability to give birth with such calm joy and grace! To me that was the best part of the miracle.

  2. Saydi! I had a few moments this afternoon and took some time to browse through your blog after hearing about Geoff's visit to your home (Oh was I ever jealous!) What a nice tribute to your mom, what beautiful and joyful-looking children, what an admirable birthing experience, and what an honest and beautiful mother you are! Little Peter is scrumptious. Can't we be neighbors?

    Good luck these upcoming months. Darcie

  3. Thank heavens for moms! Where would we be without them? You're making me relive those moments with my own mom- they are so special! And those pictures are just amazing.

  4. Saydi,
    Thank you for blessing my morning..tears gushed over my morning coffee as my five princesses slept upstairs, and your beautiful "memmoire" brought a rush of moments which I treasure with my own mother (how blessed we are)...and by the way...FABULOUS photos :)
    God bless,
    Elizabeth in Maryland

  5. Saydi-- your mom is amazing and wonderful, but I can tell from reading your blog you are like her. You've always been gracious, kind, fun, inventive, open and beautiful. What a wonderful example you and your mom and all your sisters (and your dad) are. Congrats and we love your writings. Love, Alissa (formerly Redd) Owen

  6. Saydi...I just love you so much! I love this post. It is exactly how I feel about my own mother. Aren't we so incredibly blessed to have such amazing examples in our mothers? Man, I wish we lived closer. Any way you'll make it in May to the reunion? I promise I'd hold your baby the whole time and even get up with him in the night!!!! :) Miss you!


  7. What a precious momma you have!!

  8. Mom is the best. And YOU are quite a writer AND photographer. Love those gorgeous pictures. I can't wait to meet little Peter so soon!

  9. This is beautiful Saydi. I remember my mom leaving me after she came up to help me with my first. I bawled my head off, and thought she was crazy to leave me all alone with this human being...I felt like I was just a little girl, and she was my MOM...I could never keep him alive and happy without her, how could she expect me too? There is always that shock isn't there?

  10. This was such a great post, and so exactly how I felt when my mom was here a few weeks ago. I cried when she left, too. Moms are truly the best. xo

  11. oh saydi, this made me blubber. I was admiring your mom all the way through it and couldn't help but think about how completely and incredibly amazing you are too!

  12. Anonymous1:29 PM

    Thank you for those beautiful words that remind me of my wonderful mother... I'm going to try to put into words that will never be as eloquent as yours my gratitude for my mom.

  13. Absolutely beautiful. This is the kind of grandma I want to be one day. What a treasure your mama is.

  14. This is so beautiful. I love, LOVE that mothering apparently becomes even better when your own children start families. What a gracious circle you depicted here with your mother. It's my greatest hope that I can do the same for my four little girls someday. Although I've been incredibly blessed with other support at/after birth, I've never had a mother to take care of me. It sounds heavenly.
    p.s. I love natural birth, it's incredible.
    (Found you from Shawni's blog, also know Darcie Davis! Small world.)

  15. Beautiful photos! Your mom shared a little bit about your beautiful experience at a fireside for singles in Salt Lake. I am a nurse case manager in Salt Lake and it's great to see successful, natural childbirth. Thanks for the bright moment you brought to me.



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