I met Xavier four years ago this month. We started dating 11 months later and I think I’ve experienced all of his semester finals except the very first one. As he was studying and wrapping up this final batch of classes, I caught myself thinking about how each semester has brought changes and growth in each of us. There were some weeks during his sophomore and junior years that I thought he had fallen off the planet because he would give me an hour long phone call at night but would spend the rest of the week locked away studying for over 80 hours. At the time, it didn’t seem fair… or worth it for that matter but I took my 60 minutes a day and held out hope for finals to finish quickly.
This weekend, while I was listening to professors talk about Xavier’s academic success and praise him for his achievements, I felt so proud that I nearly burst. I probably did more to distract him through college than to help him study (so I can’t take any of the credit), but it still made me proud to be associated with someone who worked so hard and continues to hold himself to such high standards. As I was sitting in the awards ceremony, I glanced at Xavier’s mom and my heart was filled with thankfulness for her role in his life. She sacrificed more than a few hours of texting twice a year to see him get to this point. She dealt with the long nights when he was a newborn, the numerous diapers and the broken bones as he learned to climb trees and ride his bike. She watched him as he dealt with crushed spirits and frustrating moments and above all else she took care of many many years worth of dirty clothes and somehow kept him fed… I am truly indebted to her for the man she raised.
On Sunday afternoon, we decided to continue our Mother’s Day tradition of taking photos at the Botanical gardens with my family. My dad calculated this to be the 10th year (minus one or two that we somehow skipped) that we have come here to take photos of the family. It was strange to have room on the bench by the gate and weird to have just 6 heads in the frame but my mom still wanted photos to document life’s changes. I don’t even have kids and I sometimes think about how sad it would make me to watch them leave home and grow up. But my mom doesn’t try to stop time, or even slow it down. She seems to embrace each day with a heart that rests in God’s plan and a mind that is focused on using her time well with the kids who are still home. She spent more time on Sunday celebrating the fact that Xav and I had finished school than celebrating her motherhood. I love that she lives life so graciously and selflessly, it is deeply inspiring. I hope that I can someday shake my intense sentimentality and selfishness so that I can be someone like her.
I am thankful for both of these women and how God uses them in my life to show me grace. It was a blessing to get to spend Mother’s Day weekend watching them be mothers. Their examples don’t unnoticed.