Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Decade #3--Mother

Fifty-nine days shy of my twentieth birthday, I became a Denton.

Seventeen and a half months later, I was a mother.  Heidi entered my world on the wings of angels, her live birth a miracle of modern technology.
Heidi--three months

Tucker Christian--six weeks
Seventeen and a half months later, Tucker came to our family, healthy and round and bald and sweet.

I was three months shy of my twenty-third birthday.

I wasn't one of those girls that dreamed about having a houseful of beautiful children, fresh bread baking in the oven. For as long as I could remember, I was going to be a lawyer--a UC Berkeley-educated lawyer. I was going to make a difference in this world by arguing before the best minds in America and swaying them to my opinion. I had plans.
Benjamin Andrew--seven months

Life never follows our plan. Life follows God's plan.

Shortly after Tucker was born, we packed our 1988 Toyota Camry and a moving van, and our little family headed off for a grand adventure--three years living in Hyde Park while Brad attended the University of Chicago Law School--Brad, but not me.

Funny how the Lord works. Instead of being bitter and jealous of Brad's opportunities, I fell in love with my new self--my mother self. I grew up during those three years, a time when I was completely out from under the wing of my mother or Brad's mother or my grandmother. I morphed from child to adult. I became a mother.

The mom.

I broke the pacifier habit and potty trained.

I read stories and sang lullabies.

I learned to budget and make do.

I explained honesty and the facts of life.

I graduated from full-time student with deadlines and exams to full-time mom with responsibility for nap time and chore charts.
Micah Thatcher--two months
Most of all, I fell in love with these little people God had entrusted to me. Somehow, through their complete dependence on me, I realized why my life was important and what I should be doing with my time. I found fulfillment in mothering that a career in the law could never have brought me.
Hyrum Kimball--seven weeks
Now, here I am, twenty-one years from the time I first became a mother, and I'm still breaking a pacifier habit and reading bedtime stories and teaching the facts of life. My time in the trenches of motherhood will be longer than most--with nineteen years separating my oldest and youngest daughters, I know forty years of hands-on mothering might look long on a calendar, but I'm already mourning the end I see just around the corner--the end of poopy diapers and naptime and snuggles and kisses before bed. The end of spelling lists and piano recitals and rugby matches.  No more planning prom dinners or carpools.
Eve Diana--six months
No courtroom in the world could fill my soul with the rewards that have come to me in my life.

I am making a difference in this world--living my life as Mom.
 Denton kids--November 2009

Their mom.


  1. What a wonderful life! Thank you for sharing.

    Maybe you should write a book about your experience as a 'hands-on mother', when you feel that you have the time to do that. What you've written on your blog shows that you could do it. You can write.

    Best wishes,

    I have a new blog address:

  2. Perfect. SO enjoyed reading this, Jen. We share the same kind of mother heart.

  3. Oh, how I remember each of those babies!!

  4. Funny, I wanted to go to UC Berkeley too! Love this portion of your story, it's the happy ending to the last painful chapter (even though the story continues).

    I forgot to say last time how MUCH all your kids look like you! That picture of you with the books shows how strong your genes are :)

    Can't wait for the next installment...

  5. I love this. I'm a mom of five, from the age of 19 to sixteen months and we do plan on one or two more...but the idea of the END just makes me feel sad. I think about it a lot, because now that the older ones are careening towards adulthood, it makes me so much more aware that the little ones are too!

  6. A mum.
    The maker of the biggest decisions.
    A stay-at-home mum - someone who is not afraid to live on the edge and take a huge chance.
    A mum.
    There's no CEO with a more challenging or rewarding job, with more responsibility. There's no lawyer with more case arguments, case prep or the need for the absolutely right word/phrase at the right time.
    As you can see, I believe that good mothers are the linchpins of a good society. It's not fashionable right now to support or acclaim the mum at home but I know that I made a difference and I know that you are too.

  7. awww jen what a beautiful post!!! (and looking at you in that photo screams ur mini me...lily) i never thought i'd be a mom to 6 ages 16-newbie...but i wouldn't trade my life for anything...thanks for showing the sweet side!

  8. Wow. Do you get anything else done during the day? You have written wonderful, thoughtful posts.

    I do count being a mother as the greatest job ever. Aren't we lucky?

  9. I with you on every single last word.

  10. awesome. I love the reminder and the purpose. mwah

  11. Beautiful post. I wish I could have done what you have done but that wasn't in my plan.

  12. Like you, I could not have loved any career more than I have loved being a mom. I could not have used my mind and heart in a more rewarding way than making a home for my family and raising my children. I had free reign to create the most nurturing environment I could imagine, with nobody to answer to except my loved ones and God.

    No wonder I thrived on it!


  13. yay for decade #3!! loving loving loving this series :)

  14. This just makes me more excited to be a mom someday! And out of all my friends' moms, you are definitely my favorite. :) Also, one of the great things about having grandkids so close in age to their aunts and uncles is that all the snuggles and kisses and diaper changing and homework help and carpools and bedtime songs never really end. At least, they never did for my grandma. Hope you all had fun in Idaho!

  15. I loved this post, Jen! My days of being at home with my kids were simply the best. I loved it all, and wouldn't have traded a minute of it for something else.

  16. You are mourning the end of poopie diapers? Really? The rest, I totally agree with. But not poopie diapers.

    This post is wonderful! Motherhood really is the best career anyone could choose. Too bad that so many women don't.