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April Jeppson: It’s better to do life with family by your side

Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

With everything that’s been going on this past year, my mom hasn’t been to my house since Christmastime 2019. My parents go South each winter, and by the time they got back last spring, everything was in lockdown. They just pulled their RV into a parking lot for two days, and we got to see them from a safe masked distance. So when my mom came and stayed with us last week, it was beyond awesome.

April Jeppson

I’m a busy gal. I have a day job that keeps me on my toes, and I work a few nights a week coaching gymnastics. Having the completion last weekend meant I was extra busy. For the six days she was here, I probably got to see her for about six hours. We had discussed how absent I would be during this time, but agreed that she still should come down.

For one, my children love their grandparents. Any chance we can get to see them is a plus. For two, I love my mom and I miss her. The older I get, the more I understand why my mother did and said the things she did. My family feels like home to me, and to have her around during a chaotic time brings me peace. Three, I had a ton of children’s clothes to wash and sort and frankly, I wasn’t getting to it any time soon. I knew I wasn’t going to see her a lot, but between my kids getting to spend time with her, her helping me get the kids ready in the morning and the extra set of hands in my home, I was practically begging for her to come visit.

I believe she donated four bags of clothes. I know she tossed a few in the trash, too. My girls can finally locate an outfit that fits (and isn’t covered in stains or holes). I’m sure there’s a few of you out there who feel joy at the thought of that last sentence. It’s something I didn’t think was causing underlying stress, until it was taken care of, and I feel tangibly lighter now.

Before you start writing me hate mail because of the way I worked my mother this past week, let me tell you all the fun she had. She got to snuggle at night and in the morning with her grandkids. She took my soon to be 10-year-old on a girls date where they shopped and had lunch. I showered her with free hair color/products (the upside of me being a recovering hairdresser). I also showered her with all the Scentsy that she wanted (the upside of her organizing my office). And possibly the best part, she got to see my youngest perform in her first gymnastics competition.

I’m already planning her return,  and I’m going to take a day off this time. I want to work on my back deck and possibly tackle some landscaping. If you knew what her yard looked like, you’d hire my mom to help you, too. Her yard looks like something from the Secret Garden -— stone pathways that lead to sitting areas and cute sheds, flowers that pour into other flowers and, oh look, there’s a fountain! This is obviously something I’ll need to expound on in a different article. Anyway I really want to hang out with her, redo my backyard, and at some point, laugh till we cry. Because family just gets you, and it’s easy to have fun and get through difficult times when you’re surrounded by those who love you.

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams. Her column appears every Saturday.