Our older sons - Luke, Greg, Nick - were here for the weekend, last weekend. For our parish Dinner Dance.
We had fun doing silly dances together on the dance floor ( Abba? The Sylvers - Don't Blame it on the Boogie?).
And I have reflected a little on my career as a mother.
In many respects, I suck at mothering. It doesn't come naturally, I make many, many mistakes. I do things other mothers would not.
Like yesterday. Anthony was texting his brothers on his mobile phone while doing a page of maths. I told him I'd have to put his phone on the breakfast bar for awhile, simply because he was constantly distracting someone with the phone and messages. Jonathon said - "See, the other homeschool mums ( my friends) are right~! He is too young to have a phone! :-)"
I replied that I didn't mind him texting while doing schoolwork, it was just distracting others.
And then Jonathon laughed - what mother says she doesn't mind kids texting instead of doing Maths??
What I have learned about mothering, however, can be summed up in a few words. My internet friend, Willa , reminded me of the importance of these three words.
Not, they are not "I love you", although saying that is important.
The key words for me, as a mother, have been "Staying in the moment."
Willa is very wise.
Staying in the moment.
And keep on working on relationship - relationship with parents, siblings, others, God.
I have found this to be most important, as my kids have grown older...I have three young adult sons, one eighteen year old and three younger sons. I thought I'd be a bad mother of young adults - I didn't know how, I knew the little ones best. Well, I am not a great mother, but I am learning!
Staying in the moment has helped - I am not parenting any generic young adults, just my own.
Seeing each one as an individual, praying, working on myself and with Gerry and with the kids, has been key.
Right now, I am at a spot where I think parenting and giving the kids a good childhood , passing on the Faith, are just as important as a good education.
They can catch up on the education later, if they need to (but, hey, I see them learning all the time, anyway!).
It is harder , however, to work through problems in parenting and relationship so I'm aiming for joy and trusting that the rest will follow.
It has, so far.