So it was the best Mother's Day ever.  Also the worst.  We were working like fiends -- even the fix-it man we hired was pressed into service on Sunday! -- trying to get the house ready to be on the market Monday.

But . . . 
the day had some other truly redeeming qualities!

Daughters bearing flowers and handmade cards, and dinner at one daughter's house.  It's always so reassuring to be in your child's beautiful home being served delicious food that they made themselves.  In fact, her applesauce cake was so good, I just about climbed into the pan in an attempt to get as much as I possibly could. 

Makes one think perhaps one's motherhood ain't been in vain for nothin'.  

But I wanted to share with you some paragraphs from a letter Hannah wrote me, not because of anything it says about me, but because of what it says about her

She actually listened!  She actually learned!  (It was a simply beautiful letter, and I admit that the handy-man did catch me crying openly as I read it...but since it was Mother's Day, I wasn't too embarrassed.)  She said this:

"Thank you for teaching me about beauty:  about how to find it, recognize it, and appreciate it, but most of all how to create it.  When I tell people how magical it was growing up on the floor of your studio, watching your hands weave from disparate nothings pieces of art, I am not exaggerating.  You create magic, and always have.  Thank you for teaching me how to see things not only for what they are, but for the potential they have to become a part of something new and interesting.  My ability to see past current conditions and to de-contextualize is all thanks to the imagination you trained me so well to possess and prize.  As a child, I knew that my mother's hands were different, and more important than most other mothers.  You keep your hands unadorned and useful.  They are your tool, and have helped teach me how to see and judge the world.  I learned from your hands to value the abilities, passions, strengths, doings, and disciplines of others.

"Grandpa may joke about the confusion of growing up in a house where Santa Claus may be a woman, but I am grateful every day for your didactic womanhood.  You are 'phenomenally phenomenal'.  I am happy and thankful often that I grew up in an environment where it never occurred to me that I couldn't be and do exactly what I wanted.  There is comfort in the individuality you fostered and I am grateful to have been raised in the understanding that women are strong, important, resourceful, and gentle, and that I should be proud of this inheritance.  You may have spent many of your adult years at home raising us (thank you again), but your existence has not been small.  The saddest thing to me is a woman who lives a small life, and I thank you for teaching me the tragedy of women who make themselves small."

I guess maybe I should stop questioning my career (or lack of) choices.
It seems I did perhaps accomplish something after all.

Thanks, girls.

YOU truly are 
phenomenal women.


Leenie said...

Not only did she listen and learn, she remembered the source. You've brought up brilliant and articulate children who really know how to use their words. Well done!

And very, very best wishes with that piece of real estate.

Leenie said...

btw...the daughter on the far right looks a lot like a student I've seen a at BYUI. Just a coincidence?

susan m hinckley said...

Thanks, Leenie! Yup, purely coincidental. She's a Minnesota grad.

Allie said...

What an amazing letter....I'd frame that one, Susan...you've done very well in the raising of your children!!!!

Judy said...

What a beautiful, poetic letter. If that were mine, I would paint it in large letters on the living room wall so I could read it every day!

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

I agree with all the above comments and add--Validation rocks !~!

VO said...

*sniff, sniff* aren't daughters the greatest?

VO said...

*sniff, sniff* aren't daughters the greatest?

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