Sunday, May 13, 2012

To the Mothers in My Life

Mother's Day is upon us.

That momentous day when mothers everywhere are showered with love, gifts, flowers, meals, etc, etc.

And they more than deserve it.

Who else showers me with love every single day of my life?

Who has given me more gifts than I could ever ask for--from my curly hair, to my library, to my sense of humor, to my very life?

Who taught me not only to appreciate flowers (and the men who give them!), but to actually grow them in my garden and share them with the world?

Who invited me into the kitchen, even when my chicken nuggets and chocolate chip cookies left an enormous mess for her to clean up?

It's true, Mother's Day is something of a Hallmark holiday. Kids and husbands worry about finding that perfect gift to repay their moms (and irony that still amazes me!). The books we read in my class about Mother's Day were all about the children freaking out because they didn't have the money/resources/creativity to come up with the perfect present for Mother's Day.

But to me, Mother's Day is more about (should be about?) reflecting on all the things my mother has done for me, and attempting, in some small way, to demonstrate that appreciation.

Our limitations in that arena are, I suppose, the reason we resort to diamonds and fancy restaurants.

I, however, cannot handle diamonds and fancy restaurants. So here's my shot.

To my mom:
I love you. You are the single most influential person in my life. You have taught me who to be, and who not to be. You have stood by and gently hoped, never pushed or shoved, me into who I should be.  You loved me through all my ups and downs, encouraged me when I found a man I loved, and never gave up on me. You are one person I can tell pretty much anything. No matter what happens, what circumstances we stumble through, I will always love you and want you to be a part of my life. And it will always amaze me how many times a day I realize that I look/sound/think like you.

To my mother-in-law:
I love you too! You have shown me so many ways to be a gentle and loving wife; you have raised this wonderful boy into a man for me to love. You welcomed me into your home when I most needed it, and cared for me without a thought. I will always wonder at and appreciate your willingness to serve without glory or recompense. Thank you for being my mother-in-law.

There are other women out there who have served as mothers in some capacity to me (Nancy, Sue, Tricia, Ginny) and I will cherish the lessons I learned from you. Patience, communication, laughter, diplomacy, friendship. So much more.

To moms everywhere. We love you!