When I was a little girl I had lopsided pigtails, haphazard bangs, gappy teeth, bruised knees, a slip that never hid beneath the dresses I had to wear and a mother who only saw beauty and who loved me fully and entirely.
She was the mother who woke up before her six children. She would pray for us in the early hours of the morning, make our lunches, lay out our clothing and rub our backs awake. She was the kind of mom who hand made gifts for our school friends birthdays, the one who baked bread and sweets and the one who was always home. She was a staple at our bustling house.
To me, home meant Mom and mom meant home.
She was the one who brushed out hair tangles, orchestrated bath times, the one who volunteered at school, the one who sewed new clothing, the one who listened to bed time worries and dreams and the one that got the brunt of the teenage years.
I clearly recall my mother waiting on our front porch for me to come home when I tried my feeble hand at being a rebellious teenager. She was the one that checked to make sure empty beds were filled before retiring to sleep, the one that eavesdropped for the betterment of her children and the one who rarely had to speak her disappointment or her disapproval. All she had to do was give me a look of dismay and I knew. I KNEW, in that one look that if I had disappointed her, the one that loved unconditionally and wholly, then I would soon disappoint myself.
On the other hand, she was always the first to cheer her children on, the one who sang the biggest praises and the one who could make a little girl with a bad haircut and a love for dirt under her fingernails feel like a million bucks.
Ultimately, the Mom I had growing up, is the kind of Mother I want to be for my future teenagers and my own children, now.
The one with the heart and the arms wide open.
I also want to be the one that makes every birthday cake – no matter what the request, the one who decorates on birthday mornings with streamers and balloons, the one who sneaks love notes into crammed lunch boxes, who kisses goodbye, who laughs with abandon, who slaves over stoves, who encourages continually and who offers a wink or a hug which makes the world suddenly a better place.
My mother is one of the greatest people I have ever known and is by far the most patient and loving human I have ever been given the opportunity of loving. She is sugary sweet, unwaveringly kind, deeply creative, a Jill of all trades and the woman I most admire. And I am reminded daily that knowing her has enriched my life in countless, unmeasurable ways.
Today I hoped to mention her just a little bit – here. Today I hoped sharing a few lines about her would encourage all of the tired Mamas out there. Today, on Mothers Day, we celebrate mothers everywhere; the ones who have been, the ones that hope to be and the ones that raised us with sweat, tears and beautiful stamina. Today is for her and for YOU.
Today I will squeeze my mother and I will tell her that I love her and yet I will never be able to adequately explain how much her love and life have changed me. I only hope that as my face changes and mirrors her own that my actions and love for others will slowly transform and emulate her constant selfless love as well.