I don't think it's possible to squeeze more ceremony into one day than we did this past Sunday. First, it was Mother's Day, which has taken on additional meaning in our house since last Mother's Day. With Ian's arrival and Elliott's constant development, the mama job description in our house has been completely re-written to reflect the increased responsibilities. Unfortunately, due to the tough economic times, a salary increase was not written into the description.
Sunday was also our 10 year wedding anniversary. It doesn't seem possible. Ten years ago we were living on a quiet mountain in central Tennessee. Today, it seems a hundred years have passed since we last experienced quiet. Back then, Elliott and Ian were the furthest things from our minds. And today, they rarely travel far from our sight, let alone our thoughts. But as quiet and serene and unchaotic as that mountain top was, I don't miss it. Possibly because we're too busy to think back on our days in Tennessee and North Carolina, but more likely because we both understand there were many experiences over those years, but none that brought the kind of joy we are blessed to experience each day with Elliott and Ian.
On top of the already packed day Sunday, we also participated in a parent/child dedication at church. It is a ceremony where parents essentially commit to raising their children in a way that is pleasing to God. It is also an opportunity for us to publicly seek the support and prayers of the church and our friends and family to help us in that effort. Elliott and Ian responded to the ceremony as I might have expected. Ian slept through it. It was nap time and nothing disturbs his nap time. Elliott did what you are supposed to do when you are on stage, perform. He continued to clap even though the music had long stopped, and he waved at his bumpa (I'm still not sure how he found him in the rather large audience). Mr. laid back and showtime lived up to their reputations.
I must say my burden in making such a commitment to God is greatly relieved by having a wonderful wife who happens to be an awesome mother. Her gratefulness for the blessing of our two boys is evident in every interaction she has with each of them. We can both get frustrated by the pace of our lives, but Katie is always willing to stop and provide the unconditional love and understanding that Ian and Elliott need. I am sure in time they both will understand their mama has a strength that can only come from God.
Dedicating ourselves to being parents pleasing to God on Mother's Day seemed quite appropriate. Not only do the boys have a mother that makes that a natural motive, but two grandmothers as well. I am no more thankful for anything in my life than a mother and father who raised me in a way that I am sure is pleasing to God. I will always use them as reminders that raising a child in a pleasing way doesn't always guarantee pleasing results. But I figure the best testimony of their efforts is the many principles and philosophies that will be passed on to Ian and Elliott. I am certain my mother handled me with the same look that Katie has when she holds our boys. That in itself is rewarding.
We are blessed to have Katie's mom look after Ian (with some playful assistance from bumpa), as she did Elliott. The way she looks after both of them is evidence that she passed on a motherhood gene to Katie. She has that same loving touch and nurturing approach to providing for them.
On a day when we celebrated 10 years of marriage and dedicated that marriage to raising Godly children, it seems all together appropriate to appreciate the role our mothers have in that effort, an effort they started many years ago.