Last weekend, while we were in New Ulm, our youngest daughter, Jill, flew into Fargo with our youngest son-in-law, Eric, and our grandpuppy, Remy. We had been invited up to stay at Eric’s folks’ cabin but couldn’t make it.
Because of scheduling on our part (New Ulm for the weekend, therapy on Monday, Doctor’s appointment on Tuesday), I was afraid we wouldn’t see them. But Jill, bless her heart, drove DOWN the four hours on Monday to see us. She stopped at noon to see her cousin Cookie for lunch before getting here in the afternoon.
I invited Candy and Wayne over for supper so they could see her, as well. With Norm’s help I got supper started and with everyone’s help, got it on the table. Jill and Candy took over the asparagus that Norm had gotten at the store that morning – I’m not an asparagus aficionado (and Jill can PRONOUNCE that word where I stumble over it every time) – so they discussed the best way to fix it. This combination of skills had a dish that even I enjoyed!
(This is steamed asparagus with a little olive oil and lemon juice drizzled on and salt and pepper sprinkled on – I had two small servings!)
But I don’t talk much about Jill, do I? Mostly because she is working (outside the home) so doesn’t have the time that Joy does to talk to me. But because I don’t talk about Jill doesn’t mean I’m not proud of her. She is my BABY …. My delight!
We don’t see her as often as we would like because of location and work schedules. So every time I see her, I stuff in as much quality time as I can. We share many passions – music, books, dogs being some of them. We can talk about just about anything and Jill constantly amazes me with her intelligence and knowledge. I am not much on politics so I can turn to Jill to explain a lot of what is going on in the world.
Joy and I share passions for fiber but Jill has no interest in anything having to do with fiber. I gave her a sewing kit for Christmas the first year she and Eric were married. I wonder if she’s used it even once?? But just because that part of my life is not of interest to her doesn’t mean she doesn’t understand it and can still show approval for what I make.
Jill has grown into a very serious young woman with a silly side that sneaks out once in a while. Just this weekend, brother-in-law Wayne was complaining about some of his operations and surgeries so that I couldn’t take center stage. Jill mentioned, in all seriousness, that she had suffered a hangnail just the other week! Cracked Wayne up!
I take great pride in the two girls that I raised – rather haphazardly – I didn’t really know what I was doing, despite being trained as an elementary teacher and having child psychology classes stuffed down my throat in college. But I raised them with LOVE and I guess that made all the difference. And they both have forgiven (hopefully) all the mistakes I made because I did make them out of love.
A mother does not, and cannot, have favorites, but I have to admit that Jill is my favorite – my favorite baby girl. Joy is my favorite “big” girl. I could not choose between the two of them if I was forced to do. Eric once described me exactly. When Joy lived in Florida and Jill just moved to Washington, my family (and heart) was split by distance. Eric said I would find a spot in the house that made me exactly even as far as distance between them and be stuck there. “If I move east, I’ll be closer to Joy but further from Jill. If I move the other way, I will be closer to Jill and further from Joy!” He was right – I don’t do that physically, but emotionally, I do think of the distances often.
After Jill came, I asked her (without trying to whine) if she could travel with us to Sioux Falls for my doctor’s appointment. She found out that her friend who lives in Sioux Falls (who was at the cabin for the weekend) had the day off. So she and I traveled in her mother-in-law’s car (in which she had driven down) while Norm followed in our van. Jill and Gretchen met us after the doctor’s appointment and we had a lovely LONG lunch. Gretchen’s husband came to join us so that we could meet him.
Then I said goodbye to my baby and we headed home. Jill spent a little more time with Gretchen and headed back to the cabin from there. It’s a shorter distance from Sioux Falls to the cabin that from here!
It was a great time, with not enough time, but still enough so I could see her, talk to her, share stories and thoughts. Jill even showed me some tricks to teach Peanut.
Girls, I love you both. I am so proud to be your mother and so proud of all that both of you do. You couldn’t make me happier (probably even less) if you became president or queen of the world! Keep being such wonderful young women and keep making me proud!
And the rest of you – have a beautiful day and treasure the ones you love.