The Youngest Mother Award

Every year I dreaded the Mothers Day service. Would it happen this year? Would I be singled out once again? Would I have to smile and graciously receive a potted geranium for being the youngest mother in church? Yes, I was a child bride. Yes, I birthed our eldest just two months shy of my twentieth birthday, but did they have to emphasize it over and over again? One year we stayed home. But, Mothers Day is too significant to ignore so I hunkered down in the pew, hoping against hope that another young mother would materialize. Maybe we’d have visitors from out-of-state. Year after year, I endured and then one glorious Mothers Day another young mom received the geranium award. Hallelujah! God answers prayer!

Several uneventful years passed and I’d almost forgotten the geranium conundrum until it happened again. I was incredulous. Again? Why now? My youngest was eight for crying out loud! Tears of frustration spilled out, appearing like tears of joy. I don’t believe that geranium lived to tell about it, if you catch my meaning.

Finally, I called the pastor’s wife and cried on her sympathetic shoulder. The next year, nothing remotely resembling a geranium could be seen anywhere near our church.

That was fifteen years ago. Our eldest is expecting our first grandchild. The church we now attend awards each mother chocolate, which is agreeable with just about everyone. However, if the geranium award took place in our church awarding the youngest grandmother, I would gladly stand up and take a bow. Tears of joy would spill out unhindered. I might even throw in a curtsy for good measure. Then I would call our pastor’s wife and praise the geranium program. I’m amazed at the way my thoughts have changed since we’ve been expecting and the baby’s not even born yet!

Pictured above: Jan-29, T- 8, B-9, Greg 33

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14 thoughts on “The Youngest Mother Award

  1. Jan,I used to attend a church that celebrated mothers in this way. As a young mother myself (18) I was always frustrated with those attempts to “honor” motherhood, in large part because the youngest mother and the mother with the most seemed to be looked upon with sympathy and/or an expectation of failure. I know it wasn’t intentional, but those lovely christian people somehow took part of the joy of mothers day away. I am very thankful to attend a church that celebrates mothers in a very different way. And, aren’t you taking to “grandmothering” like a duck to water. I loved your comment “since we’ve been expecting”Happy Mothers DayL

  2. I love your heart about being a Grandmother. My Mom was a very young Grandmother at 42. She did not take to it so joyfully and had a hard time being called Grandma. She loves her Grandchildren, mind you, she just does not like the label.

  3. My sister had the same experience…(she was 17 when her firstborn came into the world). He passed away at the age of 17, and now she wants her “geranium” back! Time heals all wounds, but sometimes they open back up at unexpected times, like Mother’s Day.Great post!

  4. This is an amazing post. We’re all so excited for you–and what a grandmother you will be.Mother’s Day at churches has its issues. I have friends who’ve stayed away because it just hurt too much for a variety of reasons . . . and I have my own stories. Seems like we’re trying to honor people, but missing the point somehow.

  5. Great post, Jan. I too love hearing about how excited you are to be a grandmother. How blessed your family is to have you. 🙂 IMHO!I really loved the part about the geranium. LOL!

  6. Jan, Love your young hair, but love your hair these days even more! It is human nature to change perspectives with age, isn’t it? What a wonderful Grandma you are going to make!

  7. That is so funny! It’s all in perspective isn’t it! Love the picture! I remember wanting some kind of award like that when I had my kids, I thought there should be an award for a mother of all boys shouldn’t there be??? LOL! Have a super mother’s day!:0) Sharon

  8. L – I hated the, “But your such a baby!” remarks. I was young, but capable. Jesus was born to a very young mother too. Mel – I will only be 44 when the baby comes but I am loving it. She will call me Gramma Jan.Loretta – feels like I’m moving in to a very new and exciting era.Connie – what a tragedy. Mothers day can be hard. Maybe you can buy her a geranium. 🙂 Paula – you are so right. I pray that God will heal the broken this mothers day.Megan – transitions can be tough, like “letting the kids go.” But being a grandparents seems like it’s all fabulous to me.Ton – the poor geranium. Just for the record, I like them, just not in the manner it was presented. Being an expectant grandmother is sooo exciting.Robbie – I wore my hair like that for at least ten years. Ugh. It was so hot. I was constantly getting overheated. Sharon – I think you deserve a medal for all boys, with all that testosterone floating around, it’s a wonder you weren’t in the ER every weekend. 🙂

  9. Geraniums stink…literally. 🙂 I have to laugh because I felt like the worlds oldest mother. I was 27 when I birthed my oldest. Oh I know there are lots of women who birth into their 40’s and 50’s now, but I felt like the only woman on the planet who couldn’t get pregnant. I hated Mother’s Day Sunday services for that reason. It was like a slap in the face all of those years I wasn’t part of the “Mommy club.” Connie was right – sometimes wounds open back up at unexpected times. Mother’s Day this year is a reminder that my most recent mother wounds aren’t even close to being healed yet. BUT, I am so grateful for all of the women who over the years have taught me how to be a mother. 🙂 I will call my mom, step-mom, and mother-in-law tomorrow and thank them for pouring what they have into me. And I will hold my three little kiddos a little more tightly and be thankful that I am so incredibly blessed by them. You will be a fantastic Gramma Jan!

  10. Jan, I love your story about motherhood. I had my one and only child the month after I turned 16. My mom became a grandma at 36. I wouldn’t change a thing. I love my daughter. She was born at 24 weeks. She weighed 2 lbs. 14 oz. Which was amazing 35 years ago. She has absolutely nothing wrong with her. She hasn’t had any health issues since leaving the hospital at 2 months old. Except like the rest of my family. We have allergies. So, I loved your posting about abortion. We have a awesome god!! Hugs, Terrie

The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time. - Psalm 34:19

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