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A Mother’s Heart: One Wonderful Weekend

 

ST. LOUIS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

It was almost midnight when they arrived.  It was a quiet night at the airport, but all was not quiet inside this mother’s heart.  When your kids are all grown up, leading busy lives, in different cities it is a rare moment when they are all together.  A rare and wonderful moment for this mom.

 

AND SO IT BEGAN…

They arrived with smiling faces.  Tim was being Tim..  larger than life in so many ways.

Jenna was Jenna.. sweet, confident, optimistic.

I think they both  knew how much this weekend meant to me.

 

COMING TOGETHER

They came to celebrate Sophie… Tim had never met Brynn let alone, Sophie.  Jenna was here to meet her new niece and have more Brynn time.

But it was more than that.  Just because they are grown it doesn’t mean that they don’t squabble like little kids from time to time.  There had been a long, silent break in relationships that needed mending.  Sometimes all you have to do is step into that silence and speak to allow things to change. At least, that was this mother’s hope.

LET’S HAVE A PARTY!

We decided to start the weekend with a party to welcome Jenna and Tim and to introduce family and friends to the new loft.   With expert chefs, Jenna and Tim to help, we planned a Bruschetta Bar.  It was delicious.

But it’s the moments that matter to me..  the moments when I can just sit back and watch (thru the lens) and see my kids interact with each other and with the new life in the family.. Sophie and Brynn

BUSY, NOISY, THE USUAL PARTY STUFF

Yes, we all had a good time.  Of course, the little girls couldn’t stay too late and the party was a little noisy for sweet Sophie.  But while they were there we all enjoyed them so much.

AND AT THE END OF THE NIGHT…

The cousins got to go out and have a little fun out on Washington Avenue.  I was feeling more like ‘granny’ than young and fun, and Michael was downright sick by this point, so we stayed home while the ‘youngsters’ hit the street.

(David is MIA because he had to work very early the next morning…. we missed him)

PARTY ON, DUDE!

On Saturday we moved the party to Mike and Gina’s home in O’Fallon.  Michael was still too sick to come out and play but the rest of us had a wonderful afternoon together.  To me it felt like old times.  Family favorite bean dip to snack on along with the remains of the party food.  Twist.. Tim and Jenna made the dip and I just got to eat!  Of course, we planned BBQ Tri-Tip for dinner, another family staple.

But, aside from good food (this family loves good food)  it’s the time to just hang out together that is so very precious.

BRACELETS

Tim bought Brynn a loom to make bracelets on.  What a way to build a relationship with a determined little girl like Brynn. She was absolutely captivated by the bracelet making process.  Her concentration and determination are always a marvel.  And Uncle Tim’s patience and kindness was so sweet.

THE MOMENTS THAT MATTER

A warm summer afternoon, no agenda.. just time to get together.  These are the moments that matter.

UNDER MY ROOF

How can I explain it to someone who is not a mom?  There is something so magical about having your grown-up kids in your house, drinking orange juice in the kitchen, sprawled out on the couch watching TV, sleeping under your roof.  I loved having Tim and Jenna stay with us in the downtown loft.

Of course.. I wouldn’t be me if there wasn’t a camera involved in some way.  I took some photos I will treasure for a long time.. photos already framed and hanging on my wall where I see them when I wake up each morning.  They never fail to make me smile.

JAZZ BRUNCH AND FAMILY PHOTO

We have a St. Louis tradition to have brunch at Jimmy’s on the Park when we’er in town.  We missed Michael, who was still sick, but the rest of us had another great time with good music and delicious food.

Another part of the tradition is photos in the park.  I’m so sad that Michael is not in these EPIC photos.

OUR TIME WAS ALMOST OVER

The weekend went by so quickly as times like these always do.  Michael finally rallied and got to spend a few hours with the clan on Sunday afternoon, and I got to shoot a few last photos.

I wanted to hang on and tell them that they could not go home.  That they all had to stay together and close to me.  But of course, one of a mom’s most challenging jobs is to smile and let them go.

IT TRULY WAS ONE WONDERFUL WEEKEND

Now, weeks later, I cannot think about that weekend without the biggest smile spreading across my face.  These kids… all of them from 40 year old Michael to 3 month old Sophie.. are so precious to me.  Thank you all for making our weekend together so sweet.

I pray that God’s agape love will define our relationships with each other. I pray that God’s grace will cover us all until we can be together again.

In the meantime, I will treasure the memories and the photos that memorialize them for me.

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