Get to Know One of Our Pocatello Moms: Lyndsey Matthews

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Salutations! I am Lyndsey. 

To begin, I like to consider myself a “mama wolf.” Wolves became one of my favorite creatures many years ago when I did a research project on them. Wolves are wonderful mothers who practice committed presence, devoted patience, and bold protection, even long before the birth of their pups. Until last year, I had only ever heard the term “mama bear”, which I appreciated but didn’t connect with. I much prefer the title of “mama wolf” and even have a necklace stamped with the title. 

I have been married to my husband, Ryan, for ten years, but we have been together since December of 2005- which was the year of his graduation and my junior year of high school. Long before Ryan knew me, I had noticed him. He is two years older than me and at that time was one of our high school’s celebrated football players. I would see Ryan clustered in the hallways of Highland High School, surrounded by other seniors. He always seemed to be laughing or making other people laugh. And, even though I was never physically affectionate, I was convinced that he gave the best hugs. Luckily, around September of 2005, Ryan’s little brother began to date my best friend- In fact, they are also married now too!- and I was able to organically meet and get to know Ryan. 

Ryan and I fit into the couple category of “opposites attract.” Ryan is outgoing, sociable, and generally well-liked. He is approximately one full foot taller than me, enjoys athletics and video games, and is generally easygoing and unbothered; he is the rock of our family (our emotional support Ryan or dad, if you will) and is capable of making anyone laugh and lighten up at any time. 

I, on the other hand, am socially awkward, a total book nerd, and a general homebody. Sports are not my thing: I watched the Super Bowl this year simply to see Amanda Gorman’s poem recitation. I am a total literary fanatic, and I do my best to read and write each and every day. I have had a handful of poems published in small literary publications. Professionally, I teach English in the Pocatello/Chubbuck School District at Century High School. This year, I also started teaching a Creative Writing course, which has been my absolute favorite teaching responsibility in the past ten years. 

I have three children with Ryan: two boys and a girl. I followed in the steps of my mother and grandmothers by having children young. I was just twenty years old when I first became pregnant with our oldest son, Daxton. Throughout my early twenties, when most of my friends were busy partying and dating, experiencing their own lives and new freedoms, Dax was my best friend. Despite going to school full-time and working part-time at a local daycare, I spent many hours with Dax building Thomas the Train tracks, dancing to Yo-Gabba-Gabba, and walking around the cracked sidewalks of Idaho State University’s historic neighborhood. Thinking of those walks now, ten years removed, still brings a smile to my face. 

Now, Daxton is eleven years old! He is a Minecraft enthusiast, ukulele player, deeply doting big brother, and wonderfully empathetic preteen. He enjoys reading his monthly Game Informer, as well as the Harry Potter and Wings of Fire series. At this point, Dax is nearly as tall as I am and is on the verge of graduating elementary school. He’s also started to develop crushes on a couple of cute little girls. For me, this has generated an oversupply of sentimentality and tears. Thankfully, I can still get his little brother and sister to snuggle up with me.

Dax’s little brother, Rory, is three years younger and our middle child. The first thing I noticed about Rory was his dark eyebrows, which are black (a stark contrast to Dax’s pale blonde) and remain quite expressive today. Rory is the protector of his siblings; he exercises a fierce loyalty and defense against anyone or anything that upsets them. Rory is also my most ardent animal lover. Like me, his favorite animal is the wolf- followed closely by dolphins and tigers. Each year, we ‘adopt’ an animal through Yellowstone National Park’s Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center.  Rory loves to snuggle up with stuffed animal versions of his favorites; he is also the biggest blanket hog in our whole family and can usually be found wrapped up in a fleece blanket. 

While Dax participates in ukulele lessons, Rory attends singing and voice lessons. These are new activities this year and seem to be their genuine passions. Ryan and I love when our house is filled with their music. Lately, Dax has been learning to play songs by The Beatles, and Rory recently performed “A Million Dreams” from The Greatest Showman in his spring concert. When we practice as a family, the boys will let their little sister, Stella, take a turn singing or playing their songs too. It is one of our favorite activities as a family. 

Stella is the little sister of the family. She is four years younger than Rory and seven years younger than Dax. She is all spice and feist, especially in comparison to her tender big brothers. Stella is equal parts pretty princess and rough-and-tumble tomboy. She insists upon wearing princess dresses daily but is always eager to play and watch Spider-Man, wrestle around with the boys, or play outside in the dirt. Stella is a dog lover through and through: She’s never met a dog that didn’t immediately become her best friend. Stella often demands snuggles, is a total mama’s girl, and enjoys tormenting Ryan and her brothers. 

 

I am excited to be joining East Idaho Moms as a writing contributor. I live for my children and consider being a mother as one of my proudest achievements. I look forward to the many opportunities being a contributor will give me in this role.