One of the greatest compliments I’ve ever received?
“You are SO your mother’s daughter.”
I’m sure over the years I’ve told you how much I admire you, Mom. Construction paper cards as a child, handwritten notes in my teenage years, cards as an adult. But I don’t believe I have ever sat down and really dove into why. There’s no time like the present, right?
So, let me start at the beginning.
I know many people think fondly of their childhood, think highly of their parents. I am no different. You have always been a super star in my eyes. My childhood memories are incomparable to anyone because they are mine, because my childhood memories include you. I know now that being a young mom is hard. You never let me see that though. In my eyes you were always so composed. As an adult you told me it was hard for you to be such a young mother, but what I saw? Strength, determination, drive. I saw selflessness, creativity, playfulness. Now I know that we had little, but you made it feel like we had the world. I could be anything, I could do anything. You helped me to see that motherhood isn’t about providing “things” in a material sense but providing value in the everyday moments.
I remember being the house that EVERY KID in the neighborhood wanted to visit to play. Dad would be swinging us around and you would be teaching us to do tumbles, cartwheels and catch lightening bugs. You were the mom who was out there with the chalk in the cul-de-sac drawing chalk roads and chalk towns for us to ride our bikes around. Summers were filled with walks to the park, bubble blowing and popsicles on the porch. Sweaty heads and dirty feet from being outside, using my imagination and playing. Taking breaks mid-day to lay in your bed and have my favorite Junie B Jones books read to me and laughing together.
On Beach trips, you were the mom sitting in the sand building the most epic sand castles and then taking me for walks to find different types of shells and seaweed to decorate them with. You were the mom who could grab a bucket, a couple of beach towels, some snacks and sit on the beach all day long. Simple beach days were a daily occurrence and something I will always remember fondly.
That isn’t to say I remember only sunshine and rainbows. You were not that type of mom who is a pushover. You were never the “go ask your dad” type of parent. You valued your opinion, you stood by your rules. I remember time outs, I remember not talking back, and I remember not being able to say anything even resembling a swear work until I was about 21. You were tough, you had a backbone and while in my teenage years, I may have fought you because of it, I now realize it was one thing I have always admired most about you. I don’t want to be the pushover mom, the “aw, alright sweetie” (after I’ve already said no) kind of mom. I have always respected you.
As I’ve grown into being a woman and now a mother myself, I have always aspired to be like you. To have the work ethic like you, the drive like you. To take care of myself as a woman the way you do. To establish meaningful relationships with others the way you do. And obviously to age (or not age for that matter) the way you do.
Aside from those qualities I want to mother the way you do.
As a little girl, when presented with the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?” I always had the same answer- “I want to be a mommy”.
But here’s the thing, I didn’t want to be just any “mommy” I wanted to be just like mine.
I was NEVER that child who said “I hope I’m never like my mother”. Constantly these days I find myself saying “Oh my goodness, I just sounded like my mother” and can’t help but laugh. The ting is, I have always known that if I can be HALF the mother that you are and always have been, that my children will be okay in this crazy world. You raised me with work ethic, an imagination, dreams, smarts. You raised and continue to raise me to be self aware. These days, I am blessed to consider you my best friend. I can only pray that one day, I will have the same adult relationship with my children.
How amazing would it be to look back on my life and KNOW without a doubt I was as selfless and kind as you but also as strong as you?
Hearing you say you’re proud of me makes me proud of myself.
Hearing “You are SO your mother’s daughter” Is the ultimate compliment because I have worked my whole adult life thus far to follow in your footsteps.
You were there for me through my pregnancy with Ada.
And you were there for me through my pregnancy with Greyson.
And you’ve been by my side through the emotional rollercoaster of this third and last pregnancy.
You are ALWAYS there, you have ALWAYS been there.
For the truth, the tough love, the guidance.
I am who I am today because I had the most amazing role model that God could have ever given me.
I am so blessed to call you my best friend.
I hope I can always have people tell me that I remind them of you, and I hope that one day, Ada wants to grow up and be the kind of mother that I am. Because of you I know there are no limitations, I know that there is no task I can’t accomplish. As a mother, as a woman, as a friend.
You absolutely amaze me, and I hope that this can make you feel as incredible as you are through the eyes of your daughters and through the eyes of your grandchildren.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.