For Jenni

Ten years ago my daughter became a mother. Today she has three sons ages 10, 7, and 4. They each have their own special personality, and they are all active little boys! Some nights their granddaddy and I watch them for Jenni, and love them as much as we do, by the end of most of those evenings, we are exhausted. However, this article is not about me; it’s about my daughter, the mother of three little boys.

When Jenni brought Nate home from the hospital ten years ago, she was only 19 years old. I can remember walking into her room each night as she cared for him. He slept with her, and I’d stand in the door and watch her arrange his little blankets and get him cozy before she’d make herself comfortable. I felt great pleasure watching the way she protected and cared for him.

Over the years since her first child was born, we’ve had occasional differences of opinion about parenting. Times and trends have changed, and actions I took with my children aren’t necessarily the norm today. Many times as we discussed styles of parenting, Jenni took my advice—sometimes she did it her way. Ultimately, when all is said and done, I have to say I’m very proud of the way she mothers her children.

I was reminded of her abilities just recently when my youngest grandson had his tonsils removed. I picked Jenni and A.J. up at 5:45 am and off to the hospital we went. When the nurses called A.J.’s name, Jenni took his little hand and led him back to pre-op. He looked so tiny, and he was so sweet as he clutched her hand and walked along beside her. After they were situated and I went back to see them, Jenni was lying on the bed with A.J., and they were playing and laughing. She managed to keep him fairly calm before he was taken to surgery; and although she was very nervous, she managed to maintain her calm in his presence.

After surgery, we waited in A.J.’s hospital room for the nurses to bring him to us. As soon as he was carried into the room and saw his mommy, he began crying. Immediately Jenni was beside him, comforting him, whispering in his ear to calm him down. She lay beside him on the bed, and in no time he was sleeping again. She didn’t leave his side as she watched over him with her mother love.

Jenni, this is for you. While we don’t always agree on the day-to-day of motherhood, and while our styles of mothering may have some differences, I freely admit that I am proud of the mother you are. Life is not easy much of the time, but you still manage to make sure your sons know how much they are loved. They clearly adore you.

Little A.J. recently whispered in your ear, “You’re a good mommy.” I couldn’t agree more.

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