Once upon a time there was a little house on the prairie. No, no, not Laura Ingalls Wilder's famous little house, but still a simple square plain little box of a place surrounded by fields of grain in the summer and buffeted by the four winds all year round.
Because it was just a little house, the dad and mom, two girls and a little boy quite filled it. Even when the mom and dad built on for their growing family, the noise, commotion, and generally high energy level made it seem as if the house were bulging at the seams. Only after the last phone conversation had ended, the last bath taken, the news shut off, the coffee prepared for the 'morrow, did the mom walk through the house in silence.
The mom and dad worked side by side and the kids grew up working right along with them. There were few idle hours because there were always jobs for those who proclaimed 'I'm bored!' With lots of open space, the kids had the run of the place, whether out in the yard or down the road to the bridge over the creek and the giant rock nearby in the field. The girls danced and sang without embarrassment; the little boy built elaborate constructs of blocks and Brio trains.
The kids went to school. The mom's favorite time of the day became the hour after they arrived home when, without fail, one or the other would seek her out and report on the day's happenings. As the children grew, these get togethers would increasingly occur around bed time, at the quiet kitchen counter, or over the phone in the dark. Gnarly decisions, heartbreaks, religion, philosophy; any and all comers were absorbed into the scarred floors, walls and ceilings of the little house on the prairie.
The kids aren't kids anymore. Before you know it, it will be their turn to counsel their children. But the mom is still the mom and is privileged to be close enough to continue in her role as occasional sounding board for her children even though they are perfectly capable of handling the thorniest decisions themselves. What a blessing to be a mother to these three and the wonderful people they married! While we sing the praises of moms in general and our own in particular, I just want to tell my kids how thankful I am for them.