I don’t know if I ever thanked you. I don’t think I ever have actually uttered what it has meant to me. I don’t know if you know how much I credit you for the person I am. For the mother I get be.
I’m sure I’ve nevvvvvvvver even whispered to you THANK YOU for holding me, feeding me, waking with me, changing my diapers, for being my 24/7 along with dad… for giving me love and care. Helping me grow. And for loving me when I was truly dependent on someone else caring for my every need.
I don’t know if I ever thanked you for letting me run around the neighborhood naked as a jay bird. Because those stories you tell me about being the third under the age of the four, so many of them made me the extrovert and happy-go-lucky human I am now.
I don’t know that I ever thanked you for the mouth-washing incident. The lemon soap, I can still taste. Because it made me understand that certain privileges and choices come with age and adulthood.
I doubt I ever thanked you for the room cleaning sessions. The ones that made me understand that there are rules to the places we inhabit.
I don’t think I’ve ever said thank you for the staying home. And then for the working when we needed it. I know that every decision you and dad made helped influence my view on life. And it’s been a great view for the bulk of it.
I don’t know if I’ve ever thanked you for that time you spanked my bum. Because you did it basically never that time taught me that there were consequences for my actions.
I don’t know if I ever thanked you for allllll the Saturdays you spent at my 4-h auction sales. The ones where you made the food and helped us sell concessions all day. The ones that you gave up your time so you could teach us about being a volunteer in our community.
I don’t know if I have ever said THANK YOU for the behind-the-scenes puppeteering. The incredible logistical planner that you were to make sure we were all where we needed to be. And while I have made fun of you in my adulthood for how you schedule everything out, I have started to realize that it became habit for you as you made sure we were to and fro and here and there for all those years.
I don’t know that I ever told you what it meant that you were at my games and recitals and meetings and… and… you sat sort of silently at it all. But you were there. I know you were. And you and dad showed us what it meant to be supportive.
I don’t think I’ve said, thank you for allllll the money you spent. To make a life for me. For all of us. The money you saved for dance costumes. And camps. And toe shoes. And Runza. And for school shopping trips. Thank you. Kids are expensive, mom. Thank you.
I don’t know if I told you… thank you, mom, for telling me I didn’t have to find my husband in high school. Thank you for reminding me that my virginity was a gift. Thank you for showing me what real love looked like by dancing with and kissing and loving your husband.
I think I’ve neglected to share with you what your open affection with me has meant. While I know that as a mom, you sometimes have to have “the look” I know you also have given me hugs and kisses and laughs.
I don’t know if I said but thank you for the incredible magic of Santa. For the insanely perfect family birthday parties. You made me understand the importance of celebrations and festivities and the wonderment of it all.
Did I tell you Mom, what it meant that you told me math wasn’t your thing? Or that you understood why something was hard for me? That helped me see that even adults aren’t perfect or great at all of it.
Thank you, mom, for letting us be home alone. For making us learn independence and for helping us understand that laundry doesn’t do itself.
Mom, thank you for all the music. The church leading, the choir, the music lessons, the loving to hear my voice. All the music has meant more than I can ever express.
Thank you for the countless casseroles, the Purple Ribbon sugar cookies, the pizza wiches, the orange julius’, for the flawless cheesecakes, and all the time you put into making homemade food for our bodies and for our memories.
I don’t think I’ve told you thank you for allowing me to be best friends with your other daughter. For understanding that the “sister” relationship was different than the mom/daughter thing. And never seeming slighted by that.
I just don’t think I’ve said thank you for braces and doc martens and a car to drive and for the prom dresses. For the gas cards. The matching bows. The “things.” Thank you for giving me more than I deserved but not so much that I never learned what money was.
I don’t think I’ve said thank you, mom, for wanting me to go to college. And go away from home. For telling me that you wished that you had that experience even though you’ve loved your life. Thank you for being very adult with me. And for helping me spread my wings.
Thank you for loving the love of my life the minute I told you I loved him. Thank you for caring about my friends. And of course, for loving your grandchildren in every way you can. It means so much to me that they get to know you and love you and experience you.
Thank you for being smart. For knowing how to do your job better than anyone else. For knowing about cancer. And for standing beside me and giving me your all when I was battling in the fight of my life.
Thank you for saying “I love you” from the time I was a babe to the time I was… well… present day. Your love and the fact that you speak it so well has meant more than you have maybe ever known. In fact, knowing you believed in me has meant more than any item or belonging or memory.
Mom. I have to admit. I didn’t get it. Not all of it. Until I started growing up, I didn’t understand how hard you worked. Until I was married, I didn’t get what a glorious thing it was to be in love and supported the way you and dad forever supported one another. Until I had my own children and held them, I didn’t understand how close you have always felt to me and how much you gave and gave and gave from the day you met me and on and on. I didn’t start to acknowledge the need for discipline along with love… or the way parents have to love but stay firm… or the way that you knew you were supposed to be my mom, above all else. And until I was sick… I didn’t know, mom… what it felt like to really think of my life without you.
Thank you, mom, for all the things outstanding. For all the ways and days and the fact that you were a mother. I couldn’t have become me without you. And I love you through and through.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mamas. Thank you to those who have mothered before and those before them. I don’t know if we’ve said it enough… but we are forever grateful.