My Menu Brings Them To Tears

“Mom,” said the boy sweetly, sniffling a bit at bedtime, “I just want to tell you that dinner tonight was a little, um, low.”

Celebrity Calls

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Mysteries of the Universe

Dear Army Guys,

How is it that no matter how many times I bend down to pick you up, I continue to step on one more of you? How do you do that?

Curious in Georgia

Little Church

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Our son Augie, a Kindergartner this year, gets out half-day. I was doing my weekly kindergarten carpool recently and as the students filed out to the parking lot, one of the girls in Augie’s class spotted me.

“Hey,” she said, “it’s Augie’s mom. Hi, Augie’s mom.”

Not Mrs. Balducci, or Miss Rachel or even Hey You. I am now officially Augie’s mom.

The mom, I thought, formerly known as Herself.

It’s interesting how motherhood is so all-encompassing. It really does change you. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or a work-outside-the-home mom or a freelance-writer mom – becoming a mother signals a dramatic shift in a person’s focus, energy and ego.

This notoriety, obviously, can be for better or for worse. There are times when a mother is sought out for more than the mere joy of being related to her child. It may be you are the mother of the boy who just [insert dangerous behavior here].

Of course, while I am indeed the mother of these boys, this isn’t my only identity. And it’s not simply that I am a wife and mother and thus wear many hats (teacher, domestic engineer, VP of Home Sweet Home, Inc.). Human beings everywhere experience changes in identity, either throughout the seasons of life or simply the hours of the day.

We’re not all things to all people. But many days we’re a lot of things to a lot of people.

Before I had children, when Paul and I were dating and engaged, I didn’t realize how much I would love being a wife and mother. I knew I would love being married, and I knew I’d love my children. But I never imagined how fulfilling these roles would be.

When Paul asked me to marry him, I was finishing my college degree. At that time, I was focused on getting a job at the local newspaper (which I did, just before our wedding). Then we got married, and a year later I began working on my Master’s degree.

I started research on my thesis soon after our oldest son was born, and he was six-months-old when I walked across the stage at UGA. And that degree has come in handy; it’s opened a lot of doors for me professionally.

But while I love all these wonderful writing and publishing opportunities, they still don’t entirely stack up to the joy of building this Little Church, our home. (And I really, really love writing.)

Being a wife and a mother is a terribly rewarding experience. I daresay it’s the most rewarding thing I do. I enjoy doing a lot of things, and I am a strong believer in women having creative outlets just for them. But I love caring for my husband and caring for my boys and running a household and all that entails.

And I don’t think I’m alone in this. I’m confident that most women, when they offer care and love, find it very fulfilling. It’s not that it’s the only thing, but it’s certainly one of the most important. Nurturing other humans, raising them up in the way they should go, will last more than a lifetime. It’s building something for all eternity.

A few years ago I came across a beautiful prayer written by Pope John Paul II. The prayer asks St Joseph to “guard, protect and enlighten families.” And it asks Mary, Mother of the Church to be “Mother of ‘the Church of the home.’

“Thanks to her motherly aid,” we pray, “may each Christian family really become a ‘little Church’ in which the mystery of the Church of Christ is mirrored and given new life.”

I am indeed Augie’s mom. And it’s one of the best things I can be. 1128″>