Meeting Michelle – Mothering the Cliff Jumpers


My husband’s boss and his wife hosted a barbecue a couple of weeks ago, and I had the pleasure of meeting Michelle, one of my husband’s business associates who was in town from the home office in Fort Wayne. A charming Indiana gal, she even came bearing gifts. She makes beautiful beaded jewelry and the lovely blue set she gave me was just what my outfit needed that night! But that’s not all: Michelle won a full scholarship to a culinary school in Rhode Island, so she was also the ideal conversationalist for Domestic Goddess Daughter. When they started talking about béchamel sauces, I knew the conversation was over my head. Michelle truly won my heart when a couple of days later she asked my husband if I was the mother of ALL our children. (He assures me this is a compliment!)

While Michelle was actually brave enough to voice the question, I’ve occasionally suspected that others have wondered the same thing, especially since our two oldest sons decided to stay in Oregon when we moved to Arizona. To my own surprise, this circumstance brought on an identity crisis of sorts. For nearly 20 years, everyone who knew me also knew me as “Josh and Zach’s mom” (besides being the mother of my younger children.) Now being their mom isn’t as obvious anymore. It’s taken some getting used to, and I’m still figuring out what it means to be a mom to children who live 1900 miles away. They’re never far from my thoughts, and occasionally they send me photos so I can see with my own eyes that they’re alive and doing things like…

The Beast @ Rock N Rogers
eating well…

seeing the lights of the city…

exploring more of the beauty of the Pacific Northwest…

Seifert Wedding
cleaning up nicely for a friend’s wedding…

and just being there for each other.

I try not to think about them doing things like jumping off rocky cliffs. (See above photo.) In some ways I feel like I’m jumping off a cliff with my mothering. By God’s grace, my boys and my mothering will land safely.


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