Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Lenore Wood Bennion
Today is that day that we honor those women who raised us, who gave us of their time and love. I know that I gave my mother fits growing up.

She didn't deserve it.

One of my daughters gave my a little pin that she made when expecting her first child.It was like a little book that folded out and said,

"A woman can only understand her mother once she has become one."
The older I get the more I realize what my mother did for me. I don't believe that you have to actually give birth and raise children to be a loving woman who mothers others. I have known so many women who have never had the opportunity to be mothers who have had such an influence on me and my children. But now that I am facing the dreaded empty nest I look back on my life and am so very grateful to my mother for all that she has taught me.

I just want to thank her.
Because she took the time to teach me to sew when I was 12 years old, (And boy did that take patience!) I was able to sew wedding dresses and prom dresses for my daughters. Mother would make me sew PJ's for my little brothers. She said it didn't matter what they looked like but I needed the practice. She taught me to sew French seams and flat-feld seams. When I was only in Ninth grade she bought me the fabric to make my own coat and helped me make bound button holes. There wasn’t anything I wasn’t confident enough to sew. Because of this I was able to sew anything for my children. At one point I was making every thing they worn except their shoes and socks. …Thanks Mom!
I don't remember how old I was when Mother taught me to cook. I do know that I was baking cookies by the time I was 10 because I cut my finger on a Crisco can lid. I remember Mom teaching me about tsp. tbl. and c., and how to measure Crisco in the liquid measuring cup using water displacement. When I was about 13 Mom handed me the recipe for whole wheat bread and asked me to make it. There was a list of ingredients and no instructions. It is a good thing I had watched Mom enough to know how to knead the bread. It turned out well and I have been baking bread ever since. In fact when my brother Joe the Potter was teaching me to make pots and was showing me how to knead the clay he was quite impressed how quickly I picked up his new technique. It wasn’t until the next time I was making bread that I realized that I had mastered that technique when I was 13.

Thanks Mom for taking the time to teach me to cook. I have fed my family for years now.

My mother raised a large family. There are 12 of us living children. Here we are before the last 2 were born. I just love this picture of us. That is me with wiggly Sam on my lap on the front row. Happy Days.

Here we all are right after my Father's funeral. What a crown of jewels.

Mother went back to school when I was in Jr. High. It took her several years of summer school and night classes but she graduated from collage in August of 1974. I was so proud of my mother for that. She became a kindergarten teacher after me parents moved to rural Missouri. She taught in the public schools until she was 72.

She was well loved but her teaching influence started way before that. I remember Mom reading to us every night when I was growing up. We didn't have a TV in the home for most of my life and this was a great way to keep us quiet for a while. But because of this we are all avid readers. We have had many family discussions on books we have read all the way from Harry Potter to Lord of the Rings. The interesting thing is that Mom rarely read a novel for herself. She said that she felt that her time was too precious so she needed to use it wisely. Mom always read the news paper, Church magazines, Educational journals and all of the National Geographic(not just the pictures).
Thanks Mom for reading to me.

Because my Mother made parenting look so easy and installed in her children the importance of family she now has close to 1oo descendants. Every year she makes a handmade Christmas ornament for her grand children and great grand children.

Octophrost from Christmas 2007
99 Opctopi. You can read about it here and here.

I now am contunuing the tradition with my own grand children.Here is a wonderful 4 generation picture with me, Mom, Madi, and Rachel.

Thanks again Mom for being such a good example to me.


Marylois said...

Very nice tribute, Jeanne. And all I can say is yes, yes and yes!

Lucy said...

I got the bread recipe at age 13 too. She did it when her visiting teacher came one day. She sent me downstairs with "the list" and told me not to bother her till it was done because she whs too busy to mess with it.
I finally got up the nerve to bring her a blog of the dough because I wasn't sure if I had kneeded it long enough. Her visitng teachers died laughing. The bread also turned out just fine and I never had to ask again and she didn't have to make bread for a long time after that.

Jackie said...

What a wonderful family story Jeanne. How I envy you with all your children and brothers and sisters. I just had 2 chldren whom I love dearly , I was a late starter and stopped at 2.

Yarni Gras! said...

that is a touchy tribute and so telling of your family. I wish I had that type of memory. My father aught me to sew and to cook. I did get my love of reading from my mother though!