Mother's Day & Island Thoughts...

 As I thought about Mother's Day approaching, it seemed to make sense to get a Mom's perspective. Lots of Moms and their children enjoy the Island in the Summertime.

St. Louis High School English Teacher, Kim West has graciously agreed to share her perspective. We met when Kim and her family - husband David, and daughters Ellie and Lily - stayed at the Cottage. As I recall, Kim has been an Island visitor with her family for at least nine years. In this post, she uses some of her Island vacation photos to center her focus. Thanks Kim!


 I started to pull my favorites from the last nine years and think about some of the more important lessons I’ve learned along the way.  You know, it never ceases to amaze me that such a small mass of land in the middle of Lake Michigan has taught me so much about life.  So, here’s my “Everything I needed to remember about being a mom, I learned on the Island” post. Whew!

Mothers are a beautiful reflection of previous generations.  When I think of my mother, grandmothers, aunts, and friends I cannot help but be awestruck by the powerful influence they’ve had on my life.  It seems to me that mothers nurture everyone around them.  

It’s wonderful and exhausting at the same time. Often, I need to tune out the extraneous noise in my life and reconnect with my family. On our last trip to Rock Island, we spent the day sifting through sand looking for sea glass.  There was nothing extraordinary about it, except that there were no interruptions and we all had a single focus.  My secret Mother’s Day gift to myself will be more days where we unplug and spend time reconnecting.

Simple things make us happy.  Taking a walk, watching a sunset, or picking wildflowers are all activities that don’t take too long, but they ground families.  I think I’ll remember this lesson when I find myself doing something like hand painting the plastic punch cups for a themed birthday party. 

Strong moms create strong children.  It seems so simple, yet it’s not. I often forget to take much needed rest to replenish my strength.  Another gift I plan on giving myself this year: more time to refuel.

It’s so hard to take risk.  Moms have an aversion to chaos and I totally understand why. I often play it safe so as not to upset the proverbial apple cart.  I feel there’s often so much riding on the carefully orchestrated routine I set in place each week.When I looked at this photo sequence, I remembered the importance of taking risks and tossing the routine out the window now and again.  Sometimes, magical things happen even when they aren’t planned.

In addition to celebrating the day with your loved ones, Moms, remember to give yourself some Mother’s Day gifts this year. Simplify, laugh more, rest, take risks and reconnect with your family. I had almost forgotten my own secret gifts this year.  I’m feeling more than a little grateful that my Washington Island pics give me that gentle reminder. 

Motherhood is an amazing journey with so much to learn along the way.  Happy Mother’s Day to the women who inspire us. 


Have a great one!