We have always known our mom did a lot for us. We’ve always appreciated her for those things… well, after getting over being teenagers we did. But, the magnitude of what a mother really does didn’t completely hit home until we became mamas ourselves. So, in a shout out to the mom of all moms on her birthday, we want to say thank you for a few things.
1. Thank you for protecting us. If you were scared, we didn’t know. If you were unsure, we didn’t know. If you were hurting, we didn’t know. If you were mad… OK we knew. But, you get the point.
2. Thank you mom, for the sleepless nights that not only occurred when we were all babies, but continued to when I was a worrisome child, and then when we were rebellious and wild teenagers and young adults in college. We now see these sleepless nights will never end, so thank you for taking them on and never saying a word about them.
3. Thank you for your sacrifice. Nine months of carrying your children is only the beginning. If we counted the sacrifices you have made for us, we’d be counting for a long time.
4. Thank you for making the small things the big things. My most favorite memories are just driving in the van, windows down, enjoying “speed air” on summer nights. I hope my son remembers things like that too.
5. Thank you for sparking adventure. From carefully planned Disney trips to our historical 13 colonies trips, you made us excited to see the world whether far away or right in our own backyard.
6. Thank you for always being a listening ear. There never has been a judgmental word in response to our confiding in you, just complete support and confidence. I aspire to be as selfless a listener as you.
7. Thank you for instilling a love of reading and words. If I close my eyes, I can still picture the four of us huddled up on our little brother’s bed, enamored by a group of monkeys that escaped a train wreck, or following Big Dan and Little Anne through red ferns. The adventures we read through together on that bed are ones I’ll always hold on to.
8. Thank you for instilling a love of learning. There is a reason we keep collecting degrees like trading cards. From the National Geographic subscription we waited by the mailbox all month for to homework at the kitchen table, you made learning fun and accessible for three wildly different learners.
9. Thank you for crafting empathy and sincerity in us. We may have a lot of emotions and feel others’ pain a little more vividly, but the love for others you emulate is the first thing people see and the lasting impression we wish we all had.
10. Thank you for teaching us that giving time is far greater than giving things. We didn’t always have a lot, but we never lacked in time spent together as a family.
11. Thank you for never telling us our dreams were too out there to be accomplished. When Gabi wanted to be a crime scene investigator, you imagined with her what that would take to accomplish. When I said I wanted to be an author, you signed yourself up as my sounding board and cheerleader. When Josh said he wanted to travel the world, you pitched him creative ways of doing it.
12. Thank you for being our quiet shoulder to lean on when we failed. It happens in life, right? Sometimes we fail. You never let us feel the intensity of a failure alone and you never let us sit in a failure for more than a second before bringing us back to the drawing board with enthusiasm.
13. Thank you for pushing us when we needed it. I would have never gone to that first cross country practice my Sophomore year of high school without you almost literally pushing me to the soccer fields. If you hadn’t have made it mandatory that I try that first week, I would never have run half marathons, a 30k and a marathon. I would have never enthusiastically signed myself up for 200-mile relays or met an amazing team that got me through the rest of my high school years.
14. Thank you for the tough love. You called us on our sh*t. You never let us be disrespectful. If we told you a classmate or teacher “wronged” us, your first question was “well what did you do?”. Not because you didn’t believe us, but because you knew what some parents forget… that your children are not perfect, not even close, and it’s possible we also need to be held accountable for our actions.
15. Thank you for instilling a strong work ethic. If we wanted something, we earned it. We paid for it. No questions asked. And I’ve got to say, the video camera we bought with our earned money was so much more respected and loved than if we had just been given it. Watching “The Cutting Edge” as a family on our first DVD player we saved for, will always make that one of my favorite movies. Thank you for teaching us that not only does hard work pay off, but it makes the payoff that much sweeter.
16. Thank you for knowing when to be my mom and when to be a friend. When we called you late at night after getting into trouble or making stupid mistakes, you were our mom. You listened and scolded but, you were also a friend. You worried about us, made sure we were OK, you always reminded us that mistakes were simply mistakes, they were not who we were.
17. Thank you for teaching us humility. You taught us that we should always take pride in something we worked hard for, but to never let being pride supersede being humble.
18. Thank you for painting the picture of what a “mama bear” looks like. You have always loved us with a fierce love. We can feel it just the same when you’re sitting next to us as we can when you’re a thousand miles away.
19. Thank you for helping us become mothers too. Knowing I was responsible for another life wasn’t as shockingly terrifying knowing you were there to help if I had questions. When I dropped you off at the airport with tears in my eyes, you told me I knew what I was doing, I knew best what my baby needed, and I’d be OK. You were right.
20. Thank you for being our own personal Google. How do I get this stain out of my shirt? What’s the best way to clean my oven? How long do I boil eggs? What do I need to make spaghetti sauce? Should I go to the doctor if….? Is it normal for my back to hurt when I do this?
21. This one was specifically from our brother and we love it SO much. Thank you for being so YOU that it rubbed off on me. Now I don’t know how to be anything else but me and that’s a wonderful gift.
22. Thank you for doing. it. all. The support, the lessons, the late nights, the early mornings, the homework help, the real-life help, the listening ear, the new advice, and the personal life coach.
23. Thank you for being our mom. To the fullest extent of the word. Putting your children first always (well, until you had grandchildren that is) and never thinking twice about it.
24. Okay, we had every intention of getting to a numbered list that matched your age, but that was just sooooo many numbers… ;) <3
Happy birthday mama, we love you.
Now it’s possible you’re thinking this public love letter to our mom was too… public. But we are willing to bet that maybe, just maybe, you read through the list picturing your own built-in best friend, confidant and cheerleader. So to all the moms and the mothers of moms out there, here’s a big thank you to you as well. Your love and sacrifice is sometimes overlooked, sometimes unappreciated, but never monumentally important to your children.