My mom had me when she was 33. The year was 1982. I was the third child. They didn’t know it then, but there would be three more after me too.
In no particular order, here are 5 things I appreciate about my mom:
1. She gave birth to me at home. In fact, my mom had five of her six babies at home. It was uncommon then. It is uncommon now. I really appreciate that she is a bit of a renegade like that. Now that I’ve gone through two natural childbirths myself, I am so grateful for her sacrifice. Unmedicated childbirth is hard to describe. It’s painful, powerful, and…worth it.
2. She breastfed me. Despite the fact that it was not necessarily the norm in the early 80’s, my mom breastfed me. She doesn’t remember exactly how long, but she knows she breastfed all of us for 1-2+ years (that’s 6-12 years of breastfeeding altogether!). I attribute my good health in part to her decision so many years ago.
3. She taught me to love to read. My mom always had a book in her hands. Sometimes my siblings and I would actually get upset about it, “No more reading, mom!” We went to the library every single week. I looked forward to it. I had my own library card from a young age and I checked out huge stacks of books. So did she.
4. She homeschooled me. I just realized when I wrote this line that I need to write a post about all of the ways homeschooling made me who I am today. For now, I’ll simply say that being schooled at home impacted me in profound and wonderful ways. It prepared me socially, emotionally, mentally, even physically…for life.
5. She (and my dad) let me go halfway around the world for a month when I was 15. When I had my 15th birthday, I requested a bunch of brochures from youth mission organizations. I announced to my parents that I wanted to go on a month-long trip with Teen Missions. They said, “yes” (if I raised the money). I did. The organization asked me to list my top 3 country preferences. Instead of choosing safe and stable places like France or England, I chose Bangladesh and Mount Kilimanjaro. I ended up in Bangladesh and Pakistan – spending long days building a school out of bamboo and tar, walking past men with machine guns (really).
It was my mom’s birthday on Wednesday. My girls and I called to wish her a happy day. Tomorrow we are meeting her for lunch at Chipotle (Did you know they sell organic chocolate milk there?).
I’m curious: Did your mom breastfeed you (and did that affect your breastfeeding decision)? Also – Can I get a shout-out from any of my readers who were homeschooled?