The Happy Traveler
I bet I know what some of you blog readers are thinking. You’re thinking, “Oh my goodness! Linda’s momnesia is even worse than we realized—now she’s even forgotten that she’s a blogger. There have been no new entries in her blog for ages!”
You’re right. It’s been a while! But no, I haven’t forgotten about my blog. I’ve just been traveling—almost nonstop—for most of April. And I’ve been having so much fun I just couldn’t find time to write. I want to share with you some of that fun. But first I want to thank those of you who’ve written in with some of your own “momnesia” stories. I loved the backwards pants and the Barbie phone. About that almost-missed anniversary . . . though I’m not sure how funny that was. But hey, hats off to him for remembering. And I’m sure he really did understand—especially since it was an almost-miss. (smile)
And now, a few words about why my recent travel has been so much fun. Two reasons. First, I got to see both of my grandsons. And since I live in Wisconsin and they live in New Hampshire (Soren) and North Carolina (Bengt), seeing them both in one month is a really big event! And second, I’ve gotten to meet with moms all over the place—Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Wisconsin. I’ve spoken to all kinds of Mom To Mom groups—some meeting in church fellowship halls, one meeting in a smaller room in a church, and one gathered in a warm, welcoming family room in a home. Besides having a blast, I always learn a lot from times like these.
Just a few random observations from my recent travels:
- “April” means different things in different parts of the country. In New Hampshire we were still battling a few snowpiles here and there. In Tennessee and North Carolina it was spring! Moms and kids there are already wearing shorts and sandals. They’re playing outside in green yards with blooming trees and plants and shrubs in them! Back home in Wisconsin today, the wind is whistling around my house, and I just returned from a bitter-cold walk in a winter jacket. Oh well—Northern girlfriends, spring will come our way soon, I’m sure. And in the meantime, I wear my sandals now and then just to pretend—and practice!
- No matter what the weather, moms are hardy souls. In New Hampshire I heard a charming story of a grandma who shoveled her way (yes, shoveled!) through her backyard to have a “picnic” with two of her grandkids in a shed that sounds more like a playhouse than a storage place. (Doesn’t that sound like fun? Makes me wish to be one of her grandchildren!) In North Carolina I met brave and noble Marine wives (including—and especially—my own daughter-in-law) who courageously and creatively support their deployed husbands and single-parent their children with a quiet perseverance and grace that sometimes takes my breath away.I met adoptive moms who opened their hearts and home to special-needs kids, sometimes even after raising several biological children who are just about to make them “empty-nesters.” All kinds of moms. All kinds of kids. All in need of God’s grace and drawing on His strength day by day, hour by hour.
- There are some pretty cool dads out there, too. I heard of one husband who translates the Mom To Mom lesson every week for his wife so that she can better understand the DVD in a language she is still mastering. Another father showed up at one Mom To Mom to take notes for his wife who had given birth a few hours before but didn’t want to miss the lesson that week. How cool is that?! Another dad, one of my son’s fellow-Marines, became a sort of surrogate dad for an afternoon for my grandson Bengt, jumping and rough-housing all over a backyard trampoline with him and even taking Bengt fishing!
- Finally (for now), I heard a lot of neat stories of how different Mom To Mom groups are concluding their year. I got to be at one Mom To Mom that had each of the groups review a section of the year’s curriculum. They did it in such creative ways—skits, Family Feud or Deal or No Deal game shows, even a song! Some are having end-of-year brunches or Tex-Mex dinners. One group had a “Dad’s Night at Mom To Mom” last Saturday night at which Woody and I spoke. It was great seeing the husbands nodding to some of the same truths we talk about at Mom To Mom—and especially getting introduced to their wives’ friends and connecting with each other. It also gave opportunity to invite friends and neighbors and introduce them to Mom To Mom.