I think I was nine or ten when you took me on. You decided to get married to my dad and, with that, take the responsibility for his two children, children who had been through a lot and were very unsure.
You hadn’t ever had children, so to march right in to the lives of two elementary school kids with confidence and caring was quite something. Being a parent now I can see that.
You tried. You worked so hard. Even when we said we didn’t like the food you cooked because it wasn’t like our other mom’s, you kept on cooking. Even when we wouldn’t ride in the same canoe with you, both of us preferring to stay in our dad’s on a family trip because we just didn’t feel right with you yet, you kept on paddling. Even when it took a long time for us to get used to the idea of calling you mom, you kept on caring.
I’m sure it was frustrating and sometimes hurtful, yet you didn’t let that stop you. You continued to show us you loved us and you wanted us to be healthy and happy. You kept trying to prove that you were there for the long haul and that we could count on you, and oh how we needed someone to be able to count on.
You waited us out. You were patient and you never quit. You leaned in and held on tight and it worked. Thank you. Thank you for coming into our lives when you didn’t have to and being willing to love us as your own and for working so damn hard to convince us that we were, in fact, your own.
I am your own.
I love you. Happy Mother’s Day.
We’re celebrating Mother’s Day by celebrating leaning in to motherhood, and by recognizing the extraordinary women that are our own mothers. We hope that it will inspire you to thank your own mother, or the mother who most inspires you. Find more letters and stories about leaning in to motherhood here. (Sheryl Sandberg’s letter is here.) And, of course, find your own Lean In inspiration at LeanIn.org.