As my birthday draws near I have been reflecting on my life so far. The one theme that keeps coming up in my thoughts is my family. This is not really any big surprise as they are the foundation for who I have become. The cornerstone for that foundation is my mother. I think she should be honored on my birthday because she had to do so much to get me here.
It is really hard for me to express what I feel for my mother. She has a heart as big as the ocean and her generosity is really unmatched. It is such a cliché to say that she would give you the shirt off her back, but she has done that and more for me my whole life, and I wish I could tell her how much I have appreciated it. Aside from material things, my mother has set a great example for me on how to be a strong, independent woman. She showed me that I need to give back to my community, not just with money, but with my time and talents, too.
My mom had four girls in a little less than six years. She stayed home with us until I was in the first grade. She was a teacher and got a job in the same school that I went to, so even though she was a working mom, she was still with me every step of the way. Don't get me wrong, she was not a helicopter parent, but she has always been my safe place to land.
My mother was not my friend when we were growing up. We often disagreed on just about everything, and when Laura went to college I was really scared about how I could live in our house without at least one sister as a buffer. There were rules and expectations that were non-negotiable. In fact, I can only remember one time that I was able to effectively argue a point and genuinely change her mind about a situation. Now that I have kids of my own I get that it was not her job to be my friend. Even though it would have been easier for her to give in, it was her responsibility to raise me to be a responsible adult, not an indulged one. When I got to be about 25 and was getting married she started to be my friend.
Now when I see my mom with my kids I see the best of her. She has patience on a whole different level. She has more time to do the things that she enjoys instead of what she has to do to get through the day. It gives me hope for my future when I am having some dark days. Hope that my kids will understand why I am the only mom that won’t let them do the latest thing that everyone else’s mom does. Hope that one day my kids will get to a point where I can treat them as a friend instead of a parent. Hope that my kids will finally see the best in me.
I love you, Mom!