Sunday, May 13, 2012

Any Woman Can Be A Mother....But It's Special To Be 'Mom'

It seems to me I wrote about the same thing last year at this time...I think.  Ironically, while I still have the opportunity, I hope to continue writing it every year.  It's always this day, Mother's Day, that I think about that age-old question we asked when we were younger (and have all heard through the years) - "If there's a Mother's Day and a Father's Day....why isn't there a 'Kid's Day'?"  I heard it again just the other day and can now, being a parent, grasp the full enormity of the response - "Every day is Kid's Day."  When I last heard this response, I realized that, while growing up, every day was kid's day and it was made possible by our parents.  In most cases, it was made possible by Mom.  Let's face it, in most familial settings, it is mom that does the laundry, cooks for us and (if I have to admit it) was the parent of choice when asking permission to do things we thought were, shall we say, questionable.  The decision could have gone either way and we, as short, manipulative little salespeople called 'kids', knew who would be the easiest to whom we could sell our plans.  Yep - we always went to mom first....unless, of course, the old man was lying half asleep on the couch and paying little attention.  Then we'd ask his permission knowing that, at some point, we'd eventually have to reply with, "I DID ask you and you said 'yes' when you were reading in the living room!"  We'd get away with it, but this was a tactic that could only be employed on rare occasions.

Yes, Mom was our 'Go-to' person and now that I am a parent, I totally and completely understand the relationship.  That is why I am writing this for her.  It's a letter of gratitude, appreciation, and love.  I understand that I am one of those quite fortunate to still have my mother in my life.  Many friends are not so fortunate and some, I am quite honored to say, have been able to 'share' my mom.  It's who she is and what she does.  Growing up, she was one of those that my friends called 'Mom' when they came to the house or spent time with us.  While still a teenager, I will be the first to admit there were times when I didn't want to admit I even HAD parents.  It's normal, I think, but I realized my friends were good with it. My mother was the one person that, without question, has been the constant in my life.  She was the one that made sure we were taken care of when we were sick, were fed when we were hungry, were clothed and had a home.  She worked hard to make certain we wanted for nothing.  That's not to say we got everything or were spoiled - we weren't.  We did, however, always have the basics...and then some.

There have been times in my life (more than a few) when I have needed counsel and there is no one's opinion I value more.  She is a brilliant thinker and has that innate ability to play 'devil's advocate, always countering with a good argument and allowing us to see an issue or problem from as many sides as possible.  She taught us to think for ourselves and challenged us to always do better than we thought we could.  I must admit, at this point, it was I, rather than my sister, that was the biggest challenge.  My sister is an extraordinarily good doctor who always knew what she wanted.  I was the one that was sent to help my mother grow in her wisdom and patience.  Hey, it's an 'iffy' job, but someone had to do it.  I was, without question, her biggest problem because I was...adventurous?  Daring?  A pain in get the idea.

There are so many things I am grateful for that I cannot mention them all - they'd fill a book.  I know there are many of us, ladies, that feel the same way about you as mothers.  You might be friends, sisters, aunts, cousins.....but all of you, as mothers, are more appreciated than you know.  We appreciate the way you keep the household going when we are too tired or, quite honestly, lazy (Sorry, gents - I had to throw us under the bus a little.  The women were hoping for it and I'm playing to the audience).  We appreciate the meals you put on the table, the careers you have, and your thoughtfulness.  We are grateful for the love you show us even when (dare I say it) we don't deserve it.  We did not mean to make your lives, as mothers, challenging.  It's who we are, though, and you helped us grow through it all.  To my friends that are mothers, I'd like to say, "Happy Mother's Day," and hope it has been wonderful.  So with that, this simple note, I'd also like to say to my mother alone:

Dear Mom, 

I'll never be able to say 'thank you' enough.  I appreciate the person you've helped me become and the way you taught me to see the world.  I appreciate the determination you taught me so I would always stand for what I believe in, while at the same time teaching me compassion for others.  I love the fact that I am one of millions today that can say, honestly, that I have the best mom in the entire world...and I wouldn't trade her for anything.  You deserve everything good that life can offer and I appreciate everything you've done.  I love you more than you know.

Until next time...........

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