Your Donation Will Be Matched by Jessie Ball du Pont Foundation from Nov. 1 – Dec. 31, 2023. post arr Donate Now

Charitable Cause: Parent Encouragement Program of Maryland

What is your favorite memory as a mother?

My favorite memory is not a single event, but one that repeated itself EVERY day – bedtime. It was such a special time of closeness and peaceful energy, when our twins were young. We set the mood, softly playing CDs from the likes of Josh Groban, Norah Jones, and India Arie. The boys would settle in to their baths and they looked forward to curling up to read with Mom and Dad. We read a devotional message first, and then one book that each boy chose. We continued this routine well after they could read for themselves, and on vacations.

What is the best or worst “mom purchase” you’ve ever made and why?

The best purchase was our trampoline! It provided years of enjoyment for our sons. And, it was fascinating how it seemed to fulfill a different need for each boy. Jumping on it provided an outlet for one son’s high energy and helped him get settled before sitting down to complete his homework. It was more of a calming escape for our other son who would jump awhile and then lay down on it and daydream. It was also very popular with their friends and cousins at birthday parties and family events, and helped us keep them all entertained (and contained!).

If you could know the absolute and total truth to one question, what would you ask?

I would ask God, “How close is my life to the one you planned for me?” There are times when I feel I am on track and truly walking in my purpose. There are other times when I imagine God slapping his forehead, exclaiming, “Oh, no! We’ve got a runner!” I believe we all have a unique purpose, with a divine contribution to make. When we don’t step up, the world is missing something special. I am not perfect, but I fervently hope that I have made good deposits such that the world is better because I am here.

What is the craziest thing one of your kids has done?

One day after school, I went in to speak with a teacher. My sons (about 8 years old) were to wait outside on the playground. Instead, they climbed onto the roof of my car (a huge Toyota Sequoia SUV), even dragging their backpacks and track meet trophies with them. When I came out, they were SO proud of their crazy feat. Sadly, and unbeknownst to me, when they came down, one had left his backpack, AND trophies up there. We drove off and they were lost. That was a painful lesson in keeping up with one’s belongings, particularly treasured items.

What was your biggest misconception about being a mom?

I thought I would have waaaayy more control. I clearly didn’t grasp the forethought and foundation my mother applied to my upbringing as she kept our lives on track. I naively believed parenting was pretty easy. I was an uber-planner: highly rational and organized. I assumed I could leverage these gifts as I cared for my newborn twins, and they would fall ‘right in line’. Somehow, I hadn’t anticipated their unique needs and temperaments. Thankfully, my boys ‘schooled’ me. I have not always passed with flying colors, but I would not trade this illuminating journey for anything.