As Mother's Day quickly approaches I want to take a moment to acknowledge three women that have had a significant impact on my life, and in recent months have been a major source of strength.
Susan - Being that she brought me into this world it only seems fitting to tell you about my mother Sue. To say that I was a mama's boy growing up would be an understatement. My mom was a close friend. And even up to my senior year of highschool I usually spent one night of the weekend experiencing the world via Globe Trekker and watching people find out that Grandpa's watch could cover their kid's tuition on Antique's Roadshow.
Because of my mom, I have the innate ability to pick up almost anything. As an example, from 4th grade to senior year I was in wood shop annoying my teachers attempting to make an instrument and not a clock. Spoiler Alert! I ended up making a clock worthy of real clockworks. While my brother likes to think he inspired my love for cooking it really was my mom. When at home sick I only had PBS to entertain so I was often watching the Frugal Gourmet and Yan Can Cook. And when inspired by a hotdog documentary she let me do a hotdog night for dinner with fries and everything. Sidenote: Yes, I was a nerd.
I have always been good with kids, and that is largely because at an early age I was helping my mom watch the kids in nursery at church. Because of that time spent every Sunday with my mom I grew a knack for entertaining and engaging with kids. I think that time spent is helping me in fatherhood. While I know of many amazing fathers that I look up to, I feel like I am handling my own and helping my wife raise two amazing kids.
In the past months my mom has been a reliable source of encouragement. Often making the trip up from Illinois with my father to visit with us or watch the kids while Kim and I explore the world. She has been an integral part of my support system as I have toiled with Cancer, and for that I am forever thankful.
Gina - And then there is my mother-in-law, the woman who brought my wife into this world and helped shape Kim into the woman she is today. Gina is an awesome mother to watch, she is fierce when it comes to her kids, you mess with them you mess with her. She loves her kids dearly and when the shit hits the fan she is often first in line to help.
One thing that I admire about Gina is her willingness to take others in as family. There has been many people in Kim and I's life that didn't have somewhere to go for Thanksgiving or Easter and Gina would just add them to the list of those she was cooking for. I have friends right now that if they are in town for a holiday they are in Gina and Kevin's kitchen helping prep dinner.
Since my diagnosis she has gone into Ultra-Mom Mode. I have started to buy her random thank you gifts for all the times that she has watched the kids at our house, or picked up the kids to give Kim and I time off.
Lastly, she has put up with me which, I must say, is no easy task. I am a snarky, hard-headed, pain in the ass son-in-law who can be very hard to deal with. And even though that is the case she loves me and my family well. For that I am wildly thankful.
Kim - From the moment I saw Kim at our church I was smitten, but at that time she was seeing someone else and I had to play it slow. I played it slow, and when the time came to initiate I took my brother's advice and I called her every other time I wanted to. I later found out from Kim that even then it was a bit too much. But despite all my flaws and failures Kim saw a man she wanted to spend her life with. And on a sunny day in July, in the middle of an apple orchard, we said "I Do."
Since then we have had our adventures from getting sick in Cambodia to laying on the beaches of Costa Rica to experiencing many of the delights that Minneapolis has to offer. We made our home in Northeast Minneapolis and about 5 years into our marriage decided it was time to start a family together.
Now that road was not the easiest, it rarely ever is, but with Edmund's Club Feet and a tough pregnancy with Alma it made getting to the end of the road much sweeter. And because of what Kim was willing to endure we have two beautiful kids that are full of life and make our lives all the better.
I think the best way to describe Kim as a mother is that she is "in it." She is in the dirt with the kids, letting them do things I probably would never even consider. She causes trouble with them and just brings the best out of them. It is fun to see how being a mother has brought so much more to her life. I don't think that even she thought that she would be this good at the full time job that is motherhood. It is not false modesty to claim that she is a much better parent than I am. I am not suggesting that I am a bad parent, but I am saying she is just that much better.
Since late last November Kim has just been a rockstar taking care of our kids while processing my diagnosis, and at many times taking care of me as well. I have been so impressed by how well she is dealing with this news and the gravity that comes with it. While there are obviously tough moments that we need to cry together I find there are more times were we can just be together as a couple and as a family. I am proud to get to call Kim Heidkamp my wife, and I am glad that she is the mother to my children.
Thank you Kim for choosing me.
An Assignment: So as this Mother's Day approaches think about the mothers around you and in your life and give them a hug and some encouragement cause they work their asses off raising us kids.