I remember reading an article/essay/story in my African-American Literature class in college about "other mothers." You know the phrase, "it takes a village to raise a child"? Well, it really is true. That's basically what the article was about, but I've thought back on it often.
Approaching Mother's Day makes me think of my Other Mothers. Let's reminisce together...
First there was Grandma Donna. She is such a fixture in my childhood memories and even now makes such an impact in my life. Then, basically all of the moms in the neighborhood and all of my mom's close friends were Other Mothers to me growing up. There was Sharon Allen, Donna Harper, and DeAnne Brady that stick out most sharply in my mind. There was also my sister, Sarah, three years my senior, she did her fair share of helping to raise me. My aunts all played their parts, each influencing me in some small or larger way.
Next there were some really great Young Women's leaders at church. Then at 19, I married Brandon and acquired the best mother-in-law a girl could ever ask for. Then there were a few college professors that really helped me discover who I am and several friends who helped me grow up. Then Linda, my second mother-in-law (my FIL's wife) came into my life to enrich me further.
And now I see my kids being mothered by others and I am grateful for their help.
Brandon and I acquired a step-grandmother while we lived in Oklahoma and my kids got their GG Viv. Vivian is Brandon's stepdad's mom and we love her! And not just because she is such a good babysitter. We sure miss having her around though.
Raquel, my good friend here in Heber, watches Jonah and Elora a couple hours every week while I run errands or whatever (and I reciprocate). It is clear that my kids love her. Angela, my other good friend here, also sees her fair share of my kids and they know and love her. Then there are the Nursery leaders at church who don't see Jonah that often (as he is usually asleep at home while I'm at church) but he is obviously happy to see them when he goes. Linda, Andy, Kathy, and Katie also get to see the kids regularly and are so good with them.
Lisa, one of my oldest and best friends, is estranged from her only sibling and his kids, so she has taken on my kids as her own nephew and niece. My closest friends, Lacey, Victoria, Alisha, Elaine, and Jen, all show special interest in my kids I'm grateful to have them in my life. Brandon's two out-of-state sisters and my four sisters each show their love in unique and special ways to my kids and even though my kids don't see some of them very often, Jonah will look at a picture of any one of them and tell you who they are. They are good aunts.
So this Mother's Day weekend I say thank you to all the special women in my life. I love you all.