Yesterday I was dragging. I’m not sure if it was the rainy weather or allergies keeping me down, but I could have easily curled up in bed all day reading Steve Jobs biography. (Yes, I’ve been interested in reading it for so long that I’ve delayed reading 50 Shades of Grey in favor of learning more about the Apple icon. Don’t laugh.)
Anyways, of course I didn’t have the option to stay curled up in bed because duty called (or actually coo’d) in the form of a smiling, wiggly baby girl. No bumming for me.
I can’t remember the last time I’ve slept past 7:00am, weekend or weekday. I don’t remember what it feels like to truly have a whole day to myself to fill with whatever I choose. Heck, I don’t remember what it feels like to be able to pick out what to wear without thinking about Hailey’s access to “lunch” if we’re out and about.
Sunday is Mother’s Day, and much like my birthday, this holiday has taken on a whole new meaning to me this year. I’ve always called and sent a card and tried to make it a point to thank my mom for all the things she did for me growing up.
I know there were nights she’d sit outside my door, checking on me every few minutes until I went to sleep because I was scared. I remember her patiently wiping my face with a cool rag when I got sick. I remember the trip to Europe my parents went on and how she left me an entire Little House on the Prairie book she read aloud on tape so she could still read me a bedtime story before bed, even from an ocean away. I remember her becoming a vegetarian with me for 5 years and making sure we always had healthy food to eat. I remember her tirelessly rolling my super thick hair into curlers before dance and cheerleading competitions. I remember how much my mom loved me through these everyday actions.
But what about all those things I don’t remember?
Now that I’m a mom, I realize how much my mom put into me before I even knew it. Long before I was keeping her up all night out gallivanting in my teenage years, I was keeping her up all night with kicks in utero and then as a crying baby. She went through the sleepless nights, the dirty diapers, the missed social gatherings and all. How do I ever go about thanking her for that?
I realize I probably can’t, no matter how many times I say thank you.
Only now can I appreciate all the things she did for me that I never even recognized, but now I can see why she never demanded recognition or praise. Being a mom is a gift in itself. Is it hard work and trying at times? Absolutely, but it’s the most gratifying, satisfying job I could ever have and I’m so grateful to be a mom. Plus, now that I’m a mom, I see the thank yous everyday from Hailey.
I feed her and she grins back at me with that gummy smile. That’s her thank you.
I read her a book and play peek-a-boo and she giggles. That’s her thank you.
She bumps her head and I pick her up, rock her and she quiets down and grabs onto my shirt. That’s her thank you.
And many times I want to say thank you right back to her. Thank you for filling my life with more love and joy than I ever imagined.
So happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there. To my amazing mom-in-law, thank you for all you did to raise such an honest, loving and strong man that I get to call my husband. To my Nannie and Grandma Betty, you two obviously worked hard and raised some fabulous kids, and I’m so grateful you put in all the time and love you did.
And to my mom, thank you a million times (…plus one I’m sorry for that awful year when I was 14 ). Thank you for all the love, sweat and tears you put into raising Kris and me. I hope I brought you even half as much joy as Hailey has brought me.