Over the years, I’ve tried to teach my boys a good many things. I tried to teach them to work hard, play hard and always, always treat people with kindness. Lookin’ at Jamie and Bobby now, I think most of it must’ve sunk in. But as all mothers know, you learn from your children, too. You have to learn when to step in and when to step back. When to give up and when to give in. I doubt that there is a harder role for a woman than being a mother. You just hope and pray that you’re doing the right thing by your children. And you don’t know if you’re doin’ a good job until it’s too late—when they’re already off raising families of their own. But being a mother is one of the most rewarding experiences, too. Especially when your children grow into people you admire and respect. I find a lot of peace in that.
I’ve done a lot in my life; I’ve raised a family, started a business and made quite a name for myself. But y’all, there is just nothing better in this world than seeing your children build a family of their own. Jamie is the most incredible father. I just sit in amazement and watch him with little Jack. I don’t know where he learned his parenting skills, but he and Brooke are a wonderful team. I go to bed every night and I know that the last thing I have to do is worry about Jack because he is in such good hands. And that is truly the way to enjoy a grandchild—to know that they are safe and protected.
So I have a lot to celebrate on Mother’s Day. I look at my family, and feel real good about having a hand in creating this much love and happiness. And those feelings just keep growing along with the size of our family. Jamie and Brooke are expecting another baby boy any day now, and my beautiful step-daughter Michelle and her husband Daniel are expecting their first (also a boy) in July. Really, there is no better gift a grandmother could receive on Mother’s Day, or any other day for that matter.
Still, it wouldn’t be Mother’s Day without my boys doing everything they can to remind me that they love me every bit as much as I love them. I’d be perfectly happy with a simple, handpicked bouquet of the most beautiful flowers, but they always try and come up with some sort of special gift. One of my favorite things they have given me is a concrete pineapple. Y’all, I have toted that thing with me no matter where I moved. It’s in my yard now, sitting out there on the way to the dock house. It was such a thoughtful, considerate gift—and one that will last forever. Come to think of it, it might even make a decent headstone one day.
But I hope that’s a long ways off. Like every mother out there, I’ve got a few more lessons to share, and probably one or two things I still have to learn. ‘Cause that’s the thing with motherhood—you never retire.