Sunday, May 8, 2011

Dear Mom

In honor of Mother's Day, this post is dedicated to my wonderful mom, Terri, whose love and protection for her family is one of the top strongest forces of this world, right up there on the list with such things as gravity, peer pressure, and the spell Wingardium Leviosa. Which, if you don't pay attention closely to Harry Potter, is the one that levitates things (pretty cool). 

An editorial I read in the local newspaper this week explained what moms truly desire as a gift on this special day - confirmation that they've done their job well. It's hard to imagine, but there is no handbook for raising children, or at least not for every single obstacle that comes up in each family's journey. I forget this fact sometimes because I've been raised by such good parents. Every piece of advice I've received from either of them has been delivered with confidence and optimism, regardless of whether or not they knew it was the right thing to say. Turns out my mom is pretty wise and I can't remember an instance where I didn't trust her words, so thank you, mom. 

Thank you for raising me with a strong moral foundation. Thank you for "sheltering" me, and putting me through private school, and taking us to church even though it wasn't customary for us until I entered fourth grade. Thank you for being the best example of a compassionate, nurturing, and forgiving human being. Not all lessons are learned through speaking and listening, some are just learned by watching. Ever since I can remember, whenever I was asked who my role model was for a school project or something, I couldn't think of anybody but my mom. I wanted to look up to a famous celebrity like the other kids, but I had something way better - a person whom I interacted with daily, who loved me and was my friend and teacher and disciplinarian all at the same time.

And the best part? Everyone knows the older you get, the more you realize your parents aren't perfect. It's a misconception we have as kids, and while I still continue to hold high opinions of both of them, I can now be aware of the struggles they go through in life. Nobody is fully matured by the time they start baby-making; seeing my parents handle conflict, make decisions they don't want to, and explore new beliefs and raw emotions that come with aging (not getting old!) - this is the process I enjoy at the current point in my life that shows me, again, by example, how to deal with the tough stuff. They still might be learning how to make and maintain friendships, or realizing which ones to let go of. They are still learning which financial decisions work best, and finding new hobbies or passions to enrich their lives. Many experiences I am going through right now are even shared by my mom - we're both back to searching for jobs, after working together at the same place for the past winter! And on top of all of that, parents are just kids grown up, who are now having to deal with scary things like taking care of their OWN moms and dads when health problems start to arise. 

Through all of these things and more, I've been noticing how much nobody ever knows the right thing to do in any situation, no matter how old or experienced. I want to thank my mom (and dad) for all the correct things I've been shown how to do, but also for letting me be a witness to their continuing life experiments and lessons learned. As my brothers and I become adults, I hope we can share in your joys, trials, and tribulations, and be YOUR shoulder to lean on whenever things get tough. Mom, you and I are already great friends, so I don't see this as being very difficult in the future. Thank you for everything you've done - especially birthing me in the first place, which I know wasn't the most pleasant thing, and without which I wouldn't even be here. 

1 Corinthians 13:13 says "And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love."

When God created you, he gave you one of the biggest hearts I've seen, from which love pours forth on this family every day. I am blessed to be one of the recipients, and I can only pray with thanks that I inherited a small portion of your compassionate spirit. I love you, Mom, and hope you know how much you are appreciated on this day and everyday. 

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