This marks week two of Divine In The Daily’s 5-week guest post series titled Special Mamas! Every Wednesday in May, we’re honoring real-life mamas who have big hearts and stand bold and courageous in their unique mothering roles.
This week, the series continues with a post honoring a very special MAMA OF SEVEN, Tamara! I met Tamara and her lovely family three or four years ago. From the second I met Tamara, I recognized she was a treasure. It’s a rare occasion when a woman enters my life and I know without a doubt she could become a great friend if the circumstances were ripe – Tamara is that woman for me. Although circumstances haven’t been as ripe as I’d like, I’m not letting Tamara out of my sight. Tamara is a delight. She’s sweet, kind, gracious, loving, authentic, beautiful, relaxed, and so relatable.
Tamara is one busy mama with seven children in her care, so a standard guest post was NOT in order for this special mama! I teamed with my favorite photographer Jessica (previously featured in this post) who generously offered the family a complimentary family photo session, and asked Tamara’s husband to guide their older children in a writing exercise on “Why My Mom is Special.” So today, we present Tamara with this special Mother’s Day gift!
I love my mom because she is thoughtful, caring, helpful and understanding. She is basically everything that is synonymous with the word “loving.” Sure she cooks our meals, helps us with our 123s, our ABCs and tucks us into bed at night, but it’s something else about her that makes her stand our from the rest; her complete selflessness. I cannot remember a time when my mom has done anything, said anything or worried about anything that had to do remotely with herself. Some days we ask her, “are you even going to eat?” because she typically forgets to make herself a plate of food in the hustle and bustle of preparing for all 8 of us. She also usually prepares so much food for us that her forgetting to take a plate is even more amplified because there is plenty left over to prevent us from saying things like, “I’m still hungry” any time soon. Another example of her selflessness is that she will clean up our pet’s excrement even though (myself included) we all vowed that if she would allow us to have a pet we would clean up after it. Yes, my mom is truly special and for that I am truly thankful, though some days I don’t appropriately show it.
Joshua, age 11
I love mama because she would take us to the apple orchard during the daytime to play on the hay bales and even when the corn maze was not open she would work to make it fun for us. She would always make us feel better when we didn’t make the baseball team. She would say “don’t worry, it will be fine; besides you will be able to better hone your skills on the not-as-good team.” On Christmas Day, she hid presents for me and surprised me with a bow-and-arrow set that I wanted, but didn’t think we had the money to get. She tells me the story of when I was born and had jaundice real bad and how she sat up with me all night while I wore the “light-blanket” until my kidneys began functioning normally. She lets me run outside in the woods and pretend that I’m hunting big animals and let’s me chase the wild turkey even though she knows I can’t catch them. She has always made sure I didn’t feel bad when my older brother got to go to a birthday party and I didn’t. She would say, “someday you’ll have just a good of friends your own age” and she was right.
Jeremiah, age 9
I like mama because she gives me a good book to read. I also like mama because when I say, “I’m bored” she gives me stuff to do. I also like that she gave a big effort to help me learn to read. When I started to learn cursive she bought me a cursive alphabet book that helped me get my letters facing the right way.
Isabella, age 8
I like mama because she let me help her bake a cake. I like mama because she let Micah, Savannah, Joshua, Jeremiah, Elijah and Daddy have a fire outside last Mother’s Day and last night. I like mama because she reads to me especially before bedtime. I like mama because she helped me not to be afraid of the dark when the train used to whistle by at night. I like mama because when it was my birthday she gave me a robe. I like mama because she gave me a calendar.
Dominica “Mina,” age 6
I like mama because she understands when I get in a bad mood. She helps me think about something else and do something else to “break out of my mood.” I also like that mama tells me to play whatever sport I want; even baseball with my brothers. She says that I can put my strong mind to whatever I want and I can do it.
Micah, age 4
I like mama because when I was in the hospital after having 4 seizures in one day she stayed with and never left me for 3 days and nights. She also allowed me to watch a lot of cartoon videos while I was in the hospital bed so I wouldn’t feel sad. She reads me bedtime stories before I go to bed even when it’s already later than my bedtime.
Savannah, age 2
I love mama because she lets me sleep in the same bed with her when daddy is working late at night or when I wake up and can’t sleep. Even though I kick her all night she still lets me sleep next to her. She never gets too mad when I scream even though my voice is louder than all of my brothers and sisters put together.
Maurice, age 51
Now almost 18 years ago, I saw this woman walk into our church and knew “she was the one,” and she has continued to be the one ever since. We are now almost 17 years down the road and I am still captivated and aggravated by her as ever (maybe that’s what it takes to make 17 years fly by like 4 or 5). Maybe it’s also the 7 live births we have had that make up our biggest blessing: our 7 children. It’s quite possible that they’ve had much to do with making this journey seem like it’s only getting started. I would “stalk” Tamara in the same way I did when we first met and hopefully she would still say “yes.” I want to be clear I am probably one of the more subtly difficult people to live with as the complexities of being married to me only surface once the “stage lights” dim. However, although I may still be a question mark in some minds, Tamara has still seemed to find a reason to allow me to remain and enjoy the best deal God ever offered me. I have seen her walk through highs and dramatic lows and yet she has worked to maintain both her faith and composure in a way that her closest friends marvel. I’m sure she could have done better than a guy like me, but it’s clear that I couldn’t have done better than a girl like her.
All photography in this post compliments of Jessica. If you are interested in hiring Jessica to photograph your family, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will share Jessica’s contact information with you! Thank you Jessica for sharing your time and talents to photograph this beautiful family. I am so grateful.