•Thank you for bringing me into existence– yeah…that’s a gimme.
•Thank you for making me feel safe
As an adult, I realize that not every child is certain of the basic hierarchy of needs the way I was.
I would have willingly boxed up every “gross, disgusting” pea in the surrounding counties to send to the starving children in Africa – unaware there may have been some hungry children in our own neighborhood.
I didn’t know how to then, but I have learned to appreciate my blessings.
•Thank you for showing me the difference between skipping down the sidewalk and chasing a ball into traffic
There’s a fine line between living on the edge of adventure; and walking full on into danger. I learned there’s an even finer line between “running full throttle” after what’s important and “chasing” what’s better off rolling into the gutter.
•Thank you for teaching me how to clean a bathroom, wash dishes, mow the lawn, and make my favorite food from scratch
I learned the necessity of basic life skills. I need to care for myself and others responsibly, but more importantly, I should treat myself sometimes! I learned that I should never wait for someone else to provide what makes me happy. If that means I need to make my own spaghetti sauce and savor every bite, damn it, I can do it!
•Thank you for setting rules – and allowing a few to be broken
I appreciate that I have learned self-discipline when I need it. But I also love the spontaneity of pushing a few limits every once in a while. Some rules are hard core. Don’t even ask. But sometimes, a break from routine lifts our spirits in ways that are easy and innocent. I learned to give myself permission to color outside the lines. And for that I will forever be grateful.
•Thank you for not squashing my style
Even when you were 100% sure I would be horrified to see myself in pictures one day. I’ve learned that styles change, but images caught on film DO NOT! I only wish leg warmers, perms and eye glasses the size of small turkey platters were considered “inappropriate” at the time. But…I have learned to laugh at myself.
•Thank you for biting your tongue when my choices were questionable
If it didn’t involve physical danger, you let me learn by trial and error. I learned humility along the way.
•Thank you for always believing in me
Mother’s build us up and state what’s obvious (to them anyway). You told me I was awesome. That I am perfectly and wonderfully made; that I was blessed with countless amazing qualities and talents, and that I could do anything I set my mind to. The world was – and still is – full of opportunities to make me think otherwise, but I learned to believe in myself and like myself… because you did.
And that couldn’t have been easy at times, considering how I undoubtedly, but unknowingly, tore you down. Which leads me to say…
•Thank you for never taking my words or behavior personally during my teenage years and thank you for never holding them against me
I know deep down, you would have done anything to take my hurt away as I maneuvered through puberty, heartbreaks, self- discovery and life lessons – both good and bad. Teens are selfish, cruel creatures by nature – we all know it’s just a right of passage.
I’m fairly certain every mother has to remind herself that she is a good person. That she truly is kind despite the thoughts driving through her mind as her “baby” slams the door in her face. That she really is a beautiful soul when her child is humiliated as she dances… or sings… or laughs…or breathes. That she is competent, even when her teen rolls his/her eyes implying quite the opposite.
Being a mother to a teenager can wreak havoc on a woman’s self -esteem.
Perhaps that’s one of the most overlooked lessons our mothers model for us during those years. In hindsight, we learned from your grace that we shall not be defined by how others perceive us. When someone views us negatively, it’s likely their perception is clouded in ways we don’t fully understand. Damn those hormones!
•Thank you for being consistent in who you were as a parent and as a person
I heard you say a bad word ONCE. The word – and I quote you – “the most vulgar curse word ever”, – spilled from your mouth when I came home an hour after curfew one weekend. I was mad (that you were still awake!) shocked at your choice of vocabulary, impressed that you were hip enough to let that F bomb fly – and trying so hard not to snicker all at the same time.
For all I know, you might have cursed like a sailor when I wasn’t around; but I doubt it. I was never frustrated or resentful thinking others knew a much different person than I did.
Because, hey, just as I thought my teacher lived at school, I thought you lived only to buy the groceries, fold the clothes, keep toilet paper on the roll, sing lullaby’s and wipe my runny nose.
Until I matured and learned that you are not only a mother, you are a woman. It’s been a joy discovering over the years what makes you tick.
Before moms become moms, we are girls. Girls who still giggle and want to feel pretty and want to belong. Girls who still cry out of anger and confusion. Girls who might still occasionally like to stare at the stars and howl at the moon.
In other moments we are women. Women who shed tears of gratitude and joy. Women with a wicked sense of humor and the strength that builds the next generation. Women who sometimes drive too fast, laugh too loud and love too much.
Some of us go on to become mothers. Most of us always need our mothers. But let’s all thank our mothers- and thank their mothers and their mothers’ mother – just for being so mother f#@*in’ awesome.
Happy Mother’s Day Momma!