|Mom and I|
I know this is late. But I wouldn't be my father's daughter if I actually wrote and posted this on time (don't you agree Mom)? Illustration number one of why my mom is the best. She handles the incessant tardiness of my father and I with grace.
My mom was born to be a mother. She is the calm glue that has always stuck my family together. She rarely ever raised her voice (and the few times she did, you knew she meant business); in my 30 years of being her daughter, I've never heard her utter a swear word; she's an amazing cook and baker; Friday nights were the only nights of the week we were allowed to eat in front of the TV - the rest of the week we always ate dinner at the table as a family. She enrolled my brother and I in various sports and activities and ferried us to wherever we needed to be. Some of these activities set me up for a lifetime of enjoyment (running cross-country), others didn't stick quite as well (accordion lessons). She knew when to back off and let me make my own decisions, but she also knew better than I did when I needed to stick with something, and there were some activities she wouldn't let me quit, even when I pitched a fit. And in the end, like mothers always are, she was right and I was glad I didn't give up.
My mom was never one of those "helicopter parents." She always gave me the space to work out my issues with friends or boyfriends. She left it up to me on how I would juggle high school, a part-time job, a social life, and sports. One of the best things she ever did for me was allow me to make mistakes and accept the consequences of my bad decisions. In college, I said I was going to adopt a kitten from a local farm. She advised me that it was a bad idea (I was living on campus and if things didn't work out with the kitten, my parents would likely get saddled with it). I ignored her advice, adopted a kitten that afternoon, and at 10pm that night my parents got a panicked phone call from me - "The cat has fleassssssss" I wailed into the phone, "What am I going to dooooooooo???" Unbeknownst to me, as I went on and on, my parents covered the mouthpiece of the phone and broke down in giggles. All of me wanted them to say, "It will be fine, we will drive up to Vermont tomorrow morning to take that kitten off your hands and we will flea bomb your campus apartment while we're at it." Of course they didn't say that. Instead, they tried to hide their laughter and said "tough cookies - you figure it out." And so I did. I also never adopted another animal until I was in a stable living situation that actually allowed pets.
So Mom - I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for everything I've mentioned above. Thank you for always making me breakfast or lunch whenever I am home visiting - it's nice to still feel taken care of. Thank you for always sending me back home with a few boxes of Maypo because you know I can't find my favorite breakfast food here in Virginia. Thank you for the afternoon chats we would have over guacamole and chips whenever I would come home from college on breaks. Thank you for never playing favorites between Morgan and I and always loving us both unconditionally regardless of what messes we got ourselves into. Thank you for always supporting my decisions and never voicing any doubts about my ability to succeed (because, let's be honest, when I ran off to France for a summer in college with a few hundred dollars and no job or lodging lined up, it wouldn't have been surprising if I showed up back home within a few weeks time, defeated. But I didn't because you never gave me any reason to doubt myself). Thank you for always being an example of what it means to be one half of a whole healthy marriage; you and Dad always made your marriage a priority and never pitted one against the other when disciplining and raising my brother and I. Every day I try to be like you (though I don't succeed very often), you are one of the most selfless people I know and I am so lucky to have you as a mom. I love you.