Wednesday, June 1, 2011
That's right, this post is actually not late because I am officially calling May 2011 'Mothers' Month' and I'll tell you why: because Laurie is -- and has always been -- a quiet sort of rock star. She's the kind of rock star you don't always recognize when you're sitting next to them at the coffee shop, but you kind of feel like it must be someone important.
Mothers' Day -- now 3 weeks ago -- was great. We made our second annual trip out to Pedernales Falls State Park. It's about an hour out of town, west into the Hill country. It was one of the first real sticky days of summer (of course, barely into May). The kind when beads of sweat can't find anywhere to go and just linger on your forehead all day. We hiked down to a perfectly Texas setting; shallow water loafing along between huge Cypress roots and shaded rock outcroppings. We sat, got warm, cooled off in the water and sat some more. On the way home Lydia showed us that she could hold up "2" fingers, indicating her age. She was very proud.
Laurie is excellent at capturing the parts of Lydia's childhood that she knows Lydia will herself one day want to see and remember. She so diligently documents the obscure and seemingly unimportant moments from day to day. I make fun of her for it and I know Lydia will make fun of her for it, at first. But the opportunity to look back and see one's childhood in a way that didn't even exist when we were growing up -- in almost flip-book completeness -- will be treasured.
Laurie is great at all the stand-by motherly instinct sort of things -- like knowing that Lydia is in fact sick and needs to go to the doctor even though she's not showing any unique symptoms (ear infection -- Laurie just knew; I argued and was wrong); like never leaving the house without sunscreen, bug repellent, toys and snacks, and a camera bag (see above); like instilling in Lydia a nighttime routine of saying prayers and expressing gratitude for the people in her life (as opposed to my desire to jump on the bed and tell scary stories).
Laurie is also an excellent teacher. I have always told her this and she always believed me somewhere deep down inside. Thanks to Texas test standards, she can no longer argue with me. She has built herself an enviable resume that (and there will be a great deal more on this) has landed her a position in a highly competitive Twin Cities teaching market. She is passionate about her work, successful in her execution, and everyone around her can see it. She is equally loyal and committed to her co-workers and her students as to her best friends. This is not lost on a two-year old. Lydia's perception of emotion -- and even the intensity of those emotions -- is fantastic. Lydia will grow up knowing that her mother is not only passionate about her career, but that her desire to succeed results in tangible, positive change in people's lives; that her mother's career is an important -- even indispensable -- part of civic life. This makes me incredibly proud of her. It will make Lydia proud of her, and it makes her a wonderful and unique role model of a mother.