Thank you for teaching me that it's OK to fail. For being patient every time I said the wrong thing, or made a big mess, or yelled and stomped my feet when I didn't get my way.
Thank you for teaching me to try new foods. For being silly with me when I hid my green beans in a napkin, or didn't swallow the peas until I had milk in my mouth with them.
Thank you for teaching me how to play. To explore with my imagination. For encouraging me to take up the whole house with my Barbie villages and stuffed animals, and not getting mad if I didn't pick them up before bedtime.
Thank you for showing me how to love. You showed me that love is more than just that spark or funny feeling you get with butterflies-- it's commitment. It's work. It's only successful if everyone is willing to put forth the effort, put aside anger, and push through. Every kind of love is hard, but it's more than worth it.
Thank you for making me stick with things. With those dance lessons I wanted to quit, or the piano lessons I thought I wouldn't see through, or the silly poems and stories I started writing when I was five. I would never have risen to the occasion with all of those amazing gifts and hobbies in my life if you hadn't made me stick to them.
Thank you for always being there. It didn't matter if I disappointed you, or made you proud, or if you had a million things to do-- you were there. You always put me (and my sisters) first. You sacrificed so much to be mom, and to chauffeur us, and teach us, and tutor us, and help us, and encourage us-- and we definitely didn't do the same for you.
Thank you for teaching me to use cold water to get difficult stains out. For showing me how to separate the endless loads of laundry, and how to fold properly, and make the bed, and straighten the kitchen, and make house.
My days are now full of endless housekeeping with messy hands and three changes of clothes and crumbs and messes and two baths and places to go and people to call-- and I would never be able to handle any of it if you hadn't shown me how.
You showed me grace.
You showed me love.
And above all else, you showed me faith.
So all I can ever say, and I don't say it enough, is thank you.
Happy Mother's Day.