I gave my daughter fish sticks with her dinner the other day, then dished myself the same dinner only substituted the fish for chicken. As I sat down at the dinner table all I could do is smile and think about you. Of course, just like you used to, I tell her it’s fish because I want her to make her own opinions on what she likes or dislikes.
It’s moment like these that make me appreciate everything you have done and everything you are even more than I already do. I have never been good at saying this kind of stuff aloud so I want to say I see you, I see everything you have done, I love you and now that I am a mother I feel like I am finally understanding the shoes you have worn. I see now all the little and big things that you have done that may have gotten under appreciated or gone unnoticed.
At 24 nothing has changed from when I was 4. You are my safe place, I still want to go running to you sometimes… Let’s be serious I still do. Just your presence- whether it’s a phone call or you being in the same room- puts me at ease. When things are spiralling you are my safe place where I can breathe. You are the one person who listens to what I say, hears what is not said and sees what I try to hide.
During some of my hardest moments of motherhood, when I feel overwhelmed and like my best effort isn’t enough, I realize this what you dealt with for me. Heck you dealt with more than this with having 3 of us girls to handle. Some days I feel like no one sees me. At times I give and give and then get called on to give some more. Most of those days it seems like it all has gone unnoticed. Laundry is built up again, there is another spill on the carpet, and the sink is full again. As you would say the house is ‘lived in.’ This is nothing new to motherhood though, for many years you gave us your all. You worked multiple jobs and sacrificed many things in life just to make sure we were taken care of. To that I say thank you from the bottom of my heart.
One of those many sacrifices was sleep, which is non existent with constant 7am wake up calls. I remember the three of us waking up early Christmas morning, waking you up and being told to open our stockings and wait for you to get up. Back then I thought nothing of it, now I completely understand. Even if it was only an extra hour of sleep it meant so much- which is why I now try to wait until 9am to call you. Let’s be serious though, despite you have an empty nest you still get woken up way too early.
Speaking of phone calls I am sorry some weeks I forget to check in atleast once or twice. Sometimes I feel like I still forget to let you know How much I love, appreciate and care about you. I call you and want to tell you every single thing going on in my life. The good, the bad and the all pointless details. You listen to every word attentively and feel excited with me like like nobody else. By the time you are done on the phone or we hang up I realize I never asked how you were doing or how your day went.
I care about your day and I do want to know what is going on with you. I apologize for sometimes forgetting, although I am sure you will say don’t be silly and that you don’t mind. You mother me even when I do not realize it. You make me feel like I can accomplish anything, you make me feel heard and I never fully appreciated it until I was someone else’s safe place.
All the little things that you have done now mean the whole world to me. During my day things happen that make me look back and smile from ear to ear. I look back and realize you did want that last piece of cake, but you wanted me to be happy more so you would tell me that ‘you don’t need it anyways.’ Or playing video games every winter with me that I am sure you were sick of playing. These are a few of the many things I will cherish for the rest of my life.
I used to think I had stopped needing you a long time ago, that I was an adult taking new independent paths and you wouldn’t understand. You let me believe that yet all this time you followed along side. Sometimes silent, sometimes vocalizing the things I needed to hear, sometimes just out of sight but when I needed you, you were there to help me get back up when I’ve fallen – just like you’ve done since I was a little girl.
Thank you does not even come close to expressing how I feel, but I just need to say it. So thank you for taking my drunk 2 am phone calls, being there through my whole pregnancy, loving me unconditionally, thank you for being the most amazing mother I could have ever imagined and always going above and beyond for everyone in your life. You truly are the most caring, kind, strong, intelligent, loving, and beautiful person I know. If I ever become even half the mother you are I will be blessed.
I see you mom. I see you in the most blissful moments while looking at my child’s smiling face and I see you in my darkest hours. I see what you have sacrificed, your constant support and how much love you have given. You are my best friend, I love you.
Happy Mother’s Day.
Your not so little girl