Friday, May 6, 2016

A Thank You Letter to My Mom

I've had a lot of names given to me in my almost 30 years. But nearly three years ago, God chose my life to bring our sweet baby boy, Bennett, into the world and blessed me with the name(s): Mom, Mama, Momma, Mommy, Mahey, Mooooooooooom. And this past year, I was blessed for the second time and was given my little girl, Lainey, who will soon call me those same names. They are names I had been blessed to call my own mom for nearly 30 years. But, it wasn't until I had kids of my own, I TRUTHFULLY grasped what that name meant. I had thanked my mom countless times over the years for all of the "things". And I had wished her Happy Mother's Day with handmade cards and pretty flowers. And two years ago I got to experience my very first Mother's Day and got my first handmade gift that meant more than any store bought item ever could. 

But as the waters rise, and I become more than knee deep into this beautiful thing we call motherhood ... I learn it's time to say thank you for the less noticeable “mom” stuff, the stuff I don’t remember or couldn’t understand until I experienced it firsthand. And now, for a few years, I have. I have a lot learn. I have a lot more to realize. I have a lot more to add to this list in the years to come. But for now, I can relate to these items. And mom, I want to say thanks.
Thank you, Mom, for carrying me for nine long months. Pregnancy is one of the greatest joys and the ending brings the utmost happiness. But it is a long and sometimes lonely span of anxiety ridden uncomfortable months. And the labor (and c-sections as we're more versed in) are something you truly can't explain until you've walked in those shoes. The months of sleepless nights while your body needed to heal; you chose to put me first instead of yourself to keep me happy and safe. The fear you endured in your own mind of something happening to me, your baby, and carrying the weight of that on your own chest because you loved me so much. Thank you mom for caring for me, before you even knew me. And continuing to care for me, when you needed to care for yourself.
Thank you for all the times you stopped doing everything you 'needed' to do to instead make funny faces and play silly games like 'what's your favorite color' to make me giggle. Thank you for dressing me up in adorable outfits even though we wouldn't leave the house that day, because you wanted to marvel at God's work and the blessing he had given you. Thank you for drinking an extra cup of coffee when all you really wanted was a nap, because you knew I needed extra snuggles and you wanted to soothe me. Thank you for putting me first.

Thank you for constantly being in your own head and at times struggling to answer, “Am I doing this right? Am I completely failing her? Is this OK? Should I do something different? Was that the right way to handle that situation? Should I do what that mom did instead? Would that be better for her?”, about a thousand times as you drive in silence to the grocery store that you are calling a vacation.
Thank you for staying calm and continuing to show me love when all you wanted to do was scream. Thank you for realizing I was just tired and taking time to help me calm down when you too were tired. Thanks for changing my diaper, the second time, when you had just gotten everything buttoned up and were ready to head out the door. Thank you for making airplane noises and funny sounds to make sure I would eat all of my food. And THANK YOU for rocking spit up like a champ, because I made sure to ruin every outfit you had been wearing for a total of five minutes.

Thank you for attending the party in my crib at 2 am vs. the party you probably would have rather been attending. And settling for cold leftovers rather than dinner at the new restaurant you'd been wanting to try. Also for attending the concert I was putting on while I was learning to find my voice vs seeing your favorite band in concert that had finally come to town.
Thank you for being the keeper of the never ending checklist of items you had to have in your bag before you left the house to ensure I was happy anywhere. Thank you for making sure I had the extra pair of pants for when I waited too long to tell you I had to go potty. And while on the potty note, thank you. We don't need to get into details here, but just thank you.

Thank you for watching my favorite episode of animation for the 100th time when you really wanted to watch reality TV. Thank you for giggling at the silly cartoon that wasn't even remotely close to funny, but you loved to see me laugh. Thank you for watching me be silly and do the same thing 400 times and giving me just as much attention on time 299 as you did the first time. Thank you for climbing the slide at the playground because I insisted you ride down with me, even though it was hard on you and you were carrying my baby brother. Thank you for being fun, even when you didn't want to be.
Thank you for visiting all of the schools in the area to ensure I was in the best place possible. Thank you for choosing an education that allowed me to learn about God, for praying with me and for me. Thank you for going to church with me, and knowing the words to all of the songs we would sing at Sunday school.

Thanks for knowing the perfect compromise of vegetable bites to dessert ratio. And for having the perfect response to my debate for why I should be allowed to go outside in the rain. Thank you for sometimes letting me go anyways, because you knew I was only going to be little for so long.
Thanks for knowing what I needed when I didn't know how to say the words. You could look at me and know if I was tired, hungry or simply needed a Popsicle. Thank you for taking me to the doctor to ensure I was growing the way I should be, and wanting more than anything to take my pain and put it on yourself. Thank you for not settling for anything but what you truly believed was best for me.

Thank you for taking the time to plan a fun day for me even though it meant I wouldn't appreciate the amount of time and planning you put forth. Thank you for giving in sometimes and buying me the cookie even though you knew it meant I wouldn't eat lunch that day.
And finally, Thank you for being proud of me. I didn't know by you encouraging me I was learning to be proud of myself, and how far that would take me. But you planted that seed with every high-five, every time you took the extra minute to explain 'why' instead of getting upset with me, every time you encouraged me to try again, every time you hugged me with so much pride as I was growing and learning, yet you wept because your heart hurt as these days were so fleeting. You are my biggest cheerleader. You watered that seed to help me grow. And I am forever thankful.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom. I love you.

2 comments:

  1. Katie, you are so beautiful. Your mother is a very special friend and not everyone gets to have one as special as her. Joan

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  2. This letter to your mother is so, so sweet, it brought tears to my eyes. I'm sure her heart was just bursting with joy, pride and love! As you now know, us mothers just want to be appreciated...that's all. You've just given her the ultimate gift, your words of appreciation and love. Bless you sweet Katie

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