First of all, happy Mother’s Day! As a poor university student, I’m sorry I couldn’t get you a real gift. Instead, this sappy, cheesy blog post is going to have to do this year. I’ll get you flowers or something next year, I promise.
Second of all, I want to briefly thank you. If I thanked you for every single thing you did, that would take a year’s worth of blog posts. But there’s one thing I really want to thank you for. Thank you for always being there for me and for supporting me. This picture above was taken 16 years ago, and I still remember that day clearly. My class went on their annual skating trip at the local community centre. You came with us.
You were always there with me on field trips. You were always rooting for me at my soccer games. Thank you for working part-time so that you could spend afternoons home with me having tea parties or making crafts after school. Thank you for teaching me that family was more important than a big house and a new car. Thank you for being there. Thank you for being my role model.
Speaking of role models, you’ve taught me so much, Mom. More than I could have ever imagined. Here are just a few of the things I’ve learned from you over the years…
1) Quality time together is so important – Thank you for teaching me the importance of quality time. I know we could have moved out of our first, tiny three-bedroom house if you had worked full-time all those years I was in elementary school. Thank you for teaching me that money is not everything. Thank you for showing me that time spent together as a family is worth so much more.
2) How to be careful with money – I suck with finances. You know that. Thank you for showing me that even though having tons of money was never a top priority, it was still so important to save and be careful with what you have. I know I’m still learning (and I have so much left to learn…) but I truly value your monetary wisdom and as I move forward in life gaining more and more responsibilities, I’m actually excited to budget with your help and expertise!
3) How to trust God – Probably one of the more important things I’ve learned from you on this list. Thank you for consistently showing me how to trust and rely on God. Thank you for being the most intense “prayer warrior” I know. Thank you for always giving me spiritual advice mixed in with all your practical solutions. Thank you for always modelling a spiritually rich lifestyle that I would one day come to adopt myself – and thank you for never pushing me too hard when I went through periods of doubt.
4) How to have fun – I’m a homebody, I’m a scardy-cat, and I’m sometimes a classic “stick-in-the-mud.” I must get those traits from Dad. (Just kidding!)
You’ve always shown me that it’s not only okay to have fun, but that I should be having fun! As the most anxious kid in the entire universe, a lot of my childhood was spent in between panic attacks. Thank you for pushing me just enough so that I wouldn’t miss out on my friend’s birthday parties or after-school playdates. Thank you for pushing me just enough so that I wouldn’t miss out on family vacations and fun field trips and summer break day trips. Thank you for modelling a (relatively) easy-going attitude and teaching me that staying at home, sitting in front of the T.V. all summer long is not a valid option.
5) How to be balanced – Thank you for showing me how to live a balanced life – in almost every way possible. Thank you for letting me eat one extra cookie as kid, but preparing healthy, home-made meals every single night for the entire family. Thank you for letting me play my gameboy whenever I wanted, but also reminding me to ride my bike or play ball hockey with my friends across the street. Thank you for teaching me the importance of not quitting even when I wanted to (i.e. soccer, tennis, piano, etc.) but eventually allowing me to make my own decisions after the year was up. Thank you for showing me that it’s possible to live a balanced lifestyle.
6) The importance of God in your life – Related to #3, thank you for showing me how important your faith was – not only to you, but to Dad. I can’t even think of a time when you and Dad were not involved in church, in one way or another. Thank you for forcing family devotions on us when we were kids, and playing endless amounts of worship music on long car rides. Thank you for deeply embedding Christianity into our lives, in a way that never felt forceful (…aside from those family devotions!) but felt natural. And as we grew up, thank you for allowing us to take our faith into our own hands and decide what we wanted to believe for ourselves. You taught me that I cannot piggyback off you and Dad forever, and that eventually, I needed to make my faith my own.
7) How to be an amazing mother – Okay, sorry. This is definitely the cheesiest of all. But it is mother’s day so I figure I’ll be able to get away with it today. I know this sounds cliché, but it’s true. You have taught me how to be an amazing mother, and God willing, as I have kids of my own in the future, I truly believe I will feel more prepared for it because of you.
As a kid, you were not my friend. You were my mother. You did not treat me like your friend, and I couldn’t appreciate that more. Thank you for being loving, but firm. Thank you for having so much fun with me, but never being afraid to discipline me.
Thank you for teaching me that I should always pursue my dreams, but that I should remain realistic while doing so. Thank you for showing me and teaching me true unconditional love. I never once thought that you did not love me, even when we fought, even when I got grounded for weeks at a time, even when I told you that I hated you. Thank you for loving me through those times, and never doing anything that would make me question your love.
Mom, even though you were definitely not my friend when we (me and my brother) were kids, thank you for being my friend now. Thank you for all the shopping sprees and coffee dates and long phone calls at night. Thank you for basically being my wedding planner last year, and for all times I needed to stay over at your place this year when things got too stressful.
Thank you for being you.