No mom is perfect. We all know that.
From what I've heard, mothering is a tough job. There are moments of frustration, of doubt, of worry, of confusion, and just sheer stress. No mom is the mom from 1950s sitcoms or movies. No mom is the carefree mom from the commercials we see on television. Every mom has her moments.
I know for a fact there were moments my mom wanted to rip her hair out... or mine. I know for a fact there were moments when I drove my mom crazy or made her sad or made her want to get in the car and drive away.
But the thing about my mom is she never let it show. My mom took advantage of every moment of every day we had together growing up. She put me above everything else in her life--above a career, above housework, above herself. Growing up with a stay at home mom, I lived a life of adventure, even if we were just in the backyard. There were hours of tea parties and playing store and reading at the picnic table. There were picnics on the living room floor on rainy days and trips to the park. There were walks with our dog and movies and games galore. There were art projects and exercise routines and dancing.
I was an only child, but I was never, ever lonely. Growing up, my mom was my best friend. Even though I know she got mad at me sometimes and lost her patience, I don't remember many of those times. When I think back to childhood, I think of her laughter, of her funny jokes, of all of our moments playing together.
When I think back to my childhood, I picture one thing above all--her huge smile. She saw life as something to enjoy, something to be optimistic about. There was never boredom or worrying. My mom taught me to always be thankful for the day and to make the most of it. That's what I remember the most from those days.
Every mom is the best in her child's eyes. I am no exception. My mom was the greatest influence in my life. Today, my mom continues to be my best friend. She continues to spend as much time with me as she can. We've traded in the tea parties for coffee on Saturdays. We've traded the cartoons and games for shopping. We've traded the dancing around the house for Zumba at the gym.
One thing hasn't changed, though. My mom's smile. She still sees life as something worth enjoying, every single day. When I fall into a rut of complaints and stress, she reminds me to lighten up, to stop whining, and to find something to laugh over.
No mom is perfect, but my mom comes as close as she can get. She is loving and kind. She is funny and compassionate. She is energetic and giving and unstoppable. She is strong.
Today, on a day when so many are thanking their mothers for all they've taught, I want to take a moment to thank you mom, for being a role model, an inspiration, and my best friend.
Thank you for all of the lessons you've taught that, perhaps someday, I'll pass on to the next generation.
Things I learned from my mom
1. It's okay to eat ice cream for lunch sometimes.
2. Soap operas are completely valid forms of entertainment.
3. It is okay to skimp on housework in order to enjoy #2 on the list. and #1.
4. Animals deserve love.
5. Laugh every moment of every day.
6. Good hair is important.
7. Lime green is a gross color.
8. It's okay to fall in love. But it's also okay to be independent and able to support yourself.
9. School and work are important, but fun is important, too.
10. Be kind to everyone. You aren't better than anyone.
11. Money doesn't equate to happiness. Seriously.
12. You don't have to go to pre-school to love learning and to be ready for school.
13. My numbers, letters, how to read, state capitals, etc.
14. Always tell the truth.
15. Retail therapy is valid therapy.