We all love our moms, but it took becoming a mom for me to realize just how many sacrifices my mother made for us and how hard she worked. Now following in her footsteps with three kids of my own, I’m looking back and thanking her for the ways she showed me love and the things she taught me about motherhood.
Mom, I tip my hat to you. You dragged three kids out of the house for countless adventures, and you did it before double strollers even existed. You taught me as a mother that parks and picnics and trips to the museum are worth every bit of effort. When I'm hauling sand toys and balancing two kids on my hip at the beach, I think about all the times you did it before me. Thank you for paving the road. My kids thank you too.
Our home had fingerprints, laundry piles, and dishes in the sink, but that's not what I remember growing up. I remember having fun and playing and feeling the freedom to pull out toys and dress-up clothes without worrying that I'd get in trouble. Thank you for not making a clean house your number one priority, Mom. You've given me permission to do the same and, from experience, I know my kids will still feel security and love.
Thank you for living a creative life, Mom. Thank you teaching us how to appreciate classical music, how to play the piano, how to listen to a symphony with our heart and not just our ears. Art and music have brought me so much happiness in life, and you've shown me how to pass this on to my children so that they too can enjoy the world of opportunities that art brings.
That sweet voice you get when you're talking to my babies? I love it. Thank you for speaking baby talk, for calling us "Punkinface" and "Cheeniepie" and keeping those nicknames through our thirties. Thank you for always reminding me how good it feels to be someone's daughter and to have cheeks pinched once in a while. I want to raise my kids the same way.
That one time you locked us out of the house in Tawas and told us we had to play outside for an hour before we came back in? Yeah. I might have been mad then, but thank you for that. You taught us how important it is to move and play and use our surroundings to be entertained. You taught me how to pass that on to my kids, and I'm grateful for that.
The sewing, the crocheting, the choir practice, the porcelain doll-making classes—thank you. You taught me early on that a woman is a great many things, and that it's important for moms to take time for their own interests. Thank you for showing us that while you loved us most, we weren't the only thing that made up your world.
How many poop piles and dog hair clumps did you clean up over the years? Probably hundreds. Thank you for letting us have a dog, Mom. Watching my kids snuggle up with the dog or push her around in the wagon, I remember more vividly now how sweet it was to grow up with a furry best friend.
You taught us the gift of touch—that you can never kiss your baby, smoosh their cheeks, hug them tightly, stroke their hair, pick them up or snuggle them too much. You nurtured us so much through touch and in doing so gave me such a wonderful foundation to start my motherhood journey. Thank you for being such a kissy huggy mama.
Those rice crispy treat Easter baskets with the green coconut grass and the jelly bean eggs? Yes, I remember them. I remember all of the treats you made growing up and the way our kitchen smelled like apple pie. I know how hard it is to find the time to bake with little ones, so thank you. Thank you for teaching us from the time we could barely walk that kitchens are homey, happy places.
I finally get it, Mom. All that holiday magic, all those details? They didn't just appear. You worked so hard for them. Thank you for all the nights you stayed up late, the gifts you made, the stories you told, all to make it special for us. And I'm especially sorry for crying because the fake Cabbage Patch doll you sewed wasn't a real one.