Tag Archive | Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day – Celebrating the Little Things

blogToday, I received a letter from a friend in Alberta. On the envelope was a  butterfly sticker with the words: “Delight in the little things.” I was reminded of something my mother  once said: “Life has its mountain top moments but most of it is day-to-day living.” Of course, she was right. Not every morning brings a mountain top view. However, every day can bring a sense of joy and appreciation of the little things.

My mother taught us this principle by the way she lived. It was a great deal of fun to surprise her with cards and small gifts, because she was delighted with the simplest of offerings that my sister, Brenda, and I gave her. I remember walking home in the late afternoon, from the downtown section of my hometown of Owen Sound,Ont., clutching a 35 cent card in my hands. Although I can’t remember the exact occasion – perhaps it was Mother’s  Day – the feeling of happy anticipation has stayed with me all these years.

My family was not wealthy but Mom knew how important small things were in our lives as well. When Brenda was in Grade 6, she had an afternoon birthday party to attend. Mom went out at noon and bought  Brenda her  first pair of pantyhose. She was thrilled not to have to wear leotards anymore! On one of my weekend visits home from university, Mom surprised me with a lovely, orange and green afghan she had made for me. It is worn and needs repairs now, but I still have it on my bed.

Sometimes, life throws us curve balls. Mom died, way too young, in 1997. I especially regret that my youngest daughter, Susanna, was not old enough to remember her. However, my mother  has passed on her heritage, her love and her lessons. When we are in a valley, and can’t see  our way up the mountain, focusing with gratitude on our daily blessings helps us gain perspective and the strength to keep climbing.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the awesome and caring women who make such a difference in the lives of others, in big ways and in small ones!


5 X Mama, Happy Mother’s Day!

Head Shot   I looked at my young daughter, her stomach artistically decorated with bright markers. There was no doubt in my mind as to what had inspired her. The night before, we had read Purple, Green and Yellow by Robert Munsch, a children’s story  in which the heroine, Brigid, “…colored her belly-button blue. And that was so pretty, she colored herself all sorts of colors almost entirely all over.” The artwork faded from my daughter’s skin, but  her passion for books continued.  Now, as an adult in her twenties, Andrea  devours books, even if she refrains from plastering her belly-button with markers!

As a 5 X Mama, with four daughters and one son, I am convinced that one of the most important things you can do for your children is to read to them. Books have always played a huge role in my own life. My mother said, that as a child, I carried a book with me on outings, instead of a doll. Libraries were like treasures mines, complete with enticing covers, intriguing titles and dramatic tales. By the time I was eleven, I managed to talk the children’s librarian of our local library into hiring me as a page, to put books away and do other small duties. Finally, I entered the classroom as an   English teacher, sharing novels, poems and drama with teenagers, before embarking on another exciting career, as a 5 X Mama. Naturally, books were right, left and centre in our home.

My husband shared  my passion. When our babies were born, he read and re-read The Lord of the Rings trilogy, while he rocked fussy infants to sleep, and generously gave me some rest. Then when they were older – but not much older – he read the trilogy to them. When our youngest daughter turned 18 last November, her older sister, who once coloured her tummy-button, did much of the work planning a surprise Lord of the Rings theme party for her, complete with costumes, decorations and special food such as “orc pudding.”  My husband, dressed up as Gandalph, read to his now adult children, from one of Tolkien’s books.

All of our lives we tell ourselves stories, and we share those stories with others. Words have the unique ability to create, to empower, and ultimately to determine the course of our days. When children hear a wide variety of stories, the possibilities for creative and imaginative excursions are endless. Through stories, children learn how to respond intelligently and sensitively to the many influences and circumstances of their lives. They learn to look beyond themselves to the needs of others and to relate compassionately to people different from themselves.

In  5 X Mama, one of my goals is to share some of the wonderful stories I enjoyed with my own children, as well as to explore newer books. The possibilities are endless and in this age of digital distractions, it is perhaps more important than ever, that books make an immediate and emphatic presence in children’s lives. Besides all of this, reading books with children is just plain fun and gives parents, grandparents and educators opportunities to connect and converse, that would perhaps otherwise be lost.

the mothers day mice

An enchanting Mother’s Day book to share with your little ones is The Mother’s Day Mice by Eve Bunting. Three mice, Biggest, Middle and Little, go on a private adventure to find just the right gift for their mother. In spite of courting near disaster with a cat, each finds something special. Little discovers the best gift within himself  and in a spirit of generosity says that his present is from them all! Jan Brett’s detailed and colourful illustrations perfectly complement the text.

Do you have books you treasured as a child or enjoy reading to your children? I would love to hear about them! Have a memorable and blessed Mother’s Day!

Disclaimer: Copies of books discussed are my own or from the library, unlessotherwise stated.