“When you look into your mother’s eyes, you know that is the purest love you can find on this earth.” — Mitch Albom

I was going to be a perfect mom. I was never going to get angry or upset, I was never going to yell, and of course I would never be frustrated. Because I was going to be perfect at being a mom. Then I had Devin, my first child, and found out I really was a perfect mom. He rarely cried. He slept through the night at 1 month old. He took lots of naps. I taught him to read easily. He was really smart. Wow! I was so good at being a parent! I didn’t know what everyone else was talking about when their babies cried and wouldn’t sleep.

Then Devin got older. And he was too smart. He argued about everything. He was so smart he was convinced that he always knew more than I did.

Then along came his brother, Wesley. I expected — awesome parent that I am — he would be the same easy baby Devin had been. I had the baby stuff down… After waking up every hour of every night with a screaming Wesley for 12 months (he had chronic ear infections) I decided that I was a much worse parent than I used to be. And I was a caffeine addict on top of it.

As Wesley grew, I decided he could have been the inspiration for the book, “Where the Wild Things Are” with his daredevil stunts and need to keep up with Devin, who had a four-and-a-half year head start on him. It really wasn’t fair. They double teamed me… one was a cross between Einstein and Voltaire (“I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it”), and one was an Evel Knievel reincarnate who was going to cause my hair to turn gray and my death by a heart attack.

I got upset. I got frustrated. I tried not to yell and failed…

“No, you may NOT jump off the retaining wall on your skateboard!”

“Why are you digging my yard up with a shovel?! No! No BMX dirt tracks will be built in this yard!!!”

“Because I said so! That’s why! I’m the mom! I don’t need a reason!”

“Absolutely NO backflips on your snowboard! Oh it looks cool, huh?! It won’t look cool when you have another cast on your arm!” (Yes, another… he’s had them before. Sigh.)

I had no choice but to become a perfectly imperfect mother… but one whose kids know that she loves them. I always love them. In fact, when I’m really frustrated, I tell myself, “Be loving, be loving, be loving.”

Like when Devin is pushing my cart full of flowers across the parking lot with the purposefulness of a NASCAR driver, my Marigolds fly off the end, and he runs them over. “Oops. I didn’t mean to do that, Mom.”

Be loving. Be loving. Be loving.

Like when Wesley decided to see what would happen if he stuck the spinning wheel of his remote control car into his shoulder length hair and I spent an evening untangling hair from an axle. (I thought when I banned him from chewing gum I would be done getting things out of his hair.)

Be loving. Be loving. Be loving.

Like when we’re snowboarding on the back bowls of a mountain, and Devin starts screaming hysterically that he is freezing. The rest of us are confused because we’re warm as could be. I discover that — under his outerwear — Devin is wearing a t-shirt. And ankle socks. And nothing else. How does my 12 year-old Einstein not make the connection between mountains and cold and the need to wear warm layers?

Be loving. Be loving. Be loving.

Like when Wesley knew the gas fireplace was hot, but he really wanted to see just HOW hot, so he put his arm against it and watched his clothing melt. Fascinating!

Be loving. Be loving. Be loving.

In these years of being a mother, I may not have been perfect, but I’m quite sure I’ve developed the patience of a saint. Especially after number 3 and 4 were born!

Maybe I had my idea of a perfect parent all wrong. Maybe, to be a perfect parent, the most important thing we can do is to really really LOVE our kids.

Devin, Wesley, Lainey and Tristan… Mom and Dad love you, and we always will!

2 comments on ““When you look into your mother’s eyes, you know that is the purest love you can find on this earth.” — Mitch Albom
  1. I have no idea how I stumbled onto your blog, but I’m really glad I did. My daughter is 8 and took up snowboarding this past winter – something she always wanted to do since she was tiny, but due to a traumatic event, backed off of. Anyhow she strapped on in January and life has not been the same since, and for that, I am grateful.

    This kid of mine eats, sleeps, and breaths the shred life. I’m not yet back on a board (it’s been 20 years and 200+lbs) but I’ll get there, but there are not a whole lot of moms who are out there writing about the adventure that IS having a kid who shreds; even fewer are the moms of GIRLS who shred.

    Gaby adores Wesley and is pretty inspired by him. I’m just stoked to have found your blog. While I’m a writer and photographer by professional, and have been blogging for almost a decade, it’s rare that I find someone I really enjoy reading, who makes me laugh, that gets the whole snowboarding thing.

    I know that when you last posted you were in the midst of a move. Hope that all went well and that you’re settled and can update the blog soon!


  2. danelle says:

    Hi Audrey,
    So glad to meet you! Thank you for your kind words about my blog! I read about Gaby wanting to do summer snowboard camp… Wesley has been wanting to do the same. One of these years 🙂 Our move went well, I’m just kind of slow getting all the boxes unpacked. My infant and toddler probably have something to do with that 😉 I was updating about twice a week earlier this year and then life smacked me in the head and I feel like I’ve been running around like a chicken with my head cut off… but will get back to regular updates soon. We’re also in the middle of planning a wedding that’s happening in a month (my husband and I just married civilly, so now we are finally doing a church ceremony and reception with all of the kids in the wedding party… seemed like a good idea when we started making plans for it, but since I’ve never had a “wedding” wedding, I didn’t realize how much actually goes into planning one… especially when you already have four kids, LOL)

    You’re correct… life with kids who snowboard IS an adventure… have fun getting back on a board! You are going to have such a great time shredding with your daughter! I’ve never had as much fun skiing or riding by myself as I have doing it with my kids!

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