To my dear mother

mom

I want to take a moment, since it’s Mother’s Day and all, to tell you a few things you might not know. Things that I have neglected to really tell you. It’s about time. So here goes:

* You are in every memory of my childhood. When I close my eyes and try to picture something from when I was little, it’s always you. Making my dresses. Cooking my meals. Girls Scouts. 4-H. Throwing me enormous slumber parties, even if we did Jane Fonda at 2 a.m. and drove you nuts. Turning the garage into a roller rink. Always saying yes to parties. Seeing you dance onstage as a California Raisin with your white legs. Taking me to the barn so I could ride my horse, even if you were tired. Feeding me soup when I was sick. Helping my best friend take a pregnancy test in high school. Watching “Annie,” “Willie Wonka,” “Goonies” and “Labyrinth” over and over because they are my favorites. Singing “Old Dan Tucker” as loud as we could in the car. Making me laugh. Always being available. Always. I never yearned for you, because I didn’t have to.

*  I can never fully appreciate the sacrifices you made for me. I know you gave up so much to care for us. You neglected your needs and went without so we could feel loved and have the things we desired. You were unhappy in your marriage, yet you stuck it out. For us. It must have been terribly lonely.

* Allowing me to find my own path as a mother. It has not been easy. I do things so different from you, and it must seem like a criticism. It’s not. I just have to find my own path. Do things my own way. I make mistakes all the time, and you are ALWAYS there. Never saying “I told you so” or “if you’d only listened to me.” Just being there.

* You continue to love me so fiercely. To be there for me, even when I’m selfish and self-centered. You just love me, accept me, allow me to be myself. There is nobody else that does that. Nobody.

* You love my children just as fiercely. You give them the space to be silly, crazy and insane when I just can’t take it anymore. They love being in your arms, snuggling, playing with your dogs and just being around you. Your Super Grandma, after all.

* Answering your phone when I call crying and can’t even tell you why. Just knowing I can hear your voice makes things seem somehow OK. Like I can make it.

* Always showing me how to be a better person. Taking in “stray teens” and loving them even though you know it will probably end badly. Loving your friends with every fiber of your being. You give so much and ask nothing in return.

But I also have a wish for you this Mother’s Day. I want you to start being selfish. Yes, you heard that right. Start being SELFISH! Stop worrying so much about me. Start living for you. It’s time mom.

You need to start demanding things in return. You are MORE than worth it. I know you think you’re too old to “live it up.” But you are not. You deserve to be happy. Wildly happy. You deserve so much more than I can ever give you.

I know you won’t listen. You say that we are your happiness. And that just makes me love you even more.  But accept this gift from me — let go of feeling you have to drop everything when I call. Feel free to tell me your busy. Shove off woman! I got shit to do!

I will never stop needing you, but you have done well. I’m good mom. You have done it. Now reap the benefits and start making me do stuff for you!

Happy Mothers Day from your adoring, loving and always in awe of you daughter.

I love you.

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