Happy Mother’s Day! While I am sad to not be with you today, I am hoping this message will reach you out on the beautiful rivers of Missouri, or wherever your travels have taken you by now. To show my appreciation this year for all that you do, here is a list of a mere twenty things, out of the gazillion, that you have done to make my life special. Dear Mama, thank you for…
- …letting me be a bun in your oven. It is perhaps an odd way to phrase it, but as I continue to move through life, I am better able to truly appreciate what a huge head start towards living a happy and fulfilling life I had having been born your son. There are few people on this earth that are as lucky as I am.
- …making clothes for my stuffed animals when I was a pup. I will never forget the awesome baseball outfit you made for “Mama Bear,” my favorite stuffed animal.
- …tirelessly taking me to rehearsals and staying up late to help me learn my lines for plays. You often gave up your whole night after a hard day at work to help me pursue my dreams. Thanks for your sacrifice!
- …taking care of me during my ear aches and tubes surgeries. Those were some painful and scary nights for me as a little kid and your comforting presence made a huge difference.
- …being my first and most consistent cooking teacher. I have a memory from every era of my childhood of the two of us in the kitchen and you teaching me a recipe. From the beginning with making cheese grits when I was barely tall enough to reach the stove, to teaching me how to make fresh salsa and tuna salad when I was a teen, to making your famous cheese bread when I went off to college to continue your holiday tradition of baking a billion loaves around Christmas time for everyone we know, you were always willing to take the time to teach me your best recipes.
- …the pro tips on removing dirt from one’s mouth. I have seen my fair share of pictures of myself with a mouth full of dirt in my younger years. Whether it was a whack on the back of my head or a hose in the yard, you dealt with plenty of dirt in your day. I am proud to say that I have been dirt-free for at least ten years now and all the credit goes to you!
- …the relentless nagging. Without you, I may have never gotten anything done. I now have apps to nag me to keep me on track, but nothing beats the gentle, yet constant, pressure from a loving mother.
- …taking me to your office when I had poison ivy instead of making me go to school. I’m not sure that even Huck Finn had as much poison ivy as me in my heyday. You were always at the ready with some calamine lotion and an oatmeal bath.
- …all of the artwork you have made for me over the years. Everywhere you look in my apartment, you will see some beautiful work of art you have created for me. From the funky faces you’ve drawn on birthday cards over the years, to the intricate masks hanging on my wall, to the cool floor mat you made for my kitchen, your fun and vibrant view of the world permeates through my home in a multitude of ways and reminds me of the best and most colorful parts of life.
- …accepting Francesca into our family so graciously. I’m sure it was a bit bittersweet to no longer be the only girl amongst our smelly pack of males. It was tremendously special for me to hear you refer to Francesca as your daughter for the first time.
- …providing constant encouragement throughout my entire life. You always made me feel like there was nothing I couldn’t do and your unconditional love was paramount to my ability to learn, grow and fail. It is easier to be brave when you have the safety of a mother’s encouragement. I have failed a lot in my life, but you’ve always helped me pick myself up and try again.
- …all the random articles, notes, texts you send to me when you see something that reminds you of me. It makes my day every time!
- …making all of my halloween costumes. From mummies to punk rockers, I could always count on you to help me reel in the candy with a cool costume every year.
- …insisting that we always take group pictures. While I used to dread them, and still kind of do, it’s hard to deny how special it is to have something to look back on to remember the better moments of your life.
- …for being my canoe partner. We have paddled down several miles of water across a ton of rivers and I couldn’t ask for a better co-pilot. There’s no white water we can’t handle! Except for, ya know, all the scary looking stuff. We’ll leave that to Dad.
- …taking frequent bathroom breaks on road trips. I usually need to go, too, but I’m too meat-headed to speak up. Cheers to your productive bladder!
- …being a great sounding board. I often don’t know how I really feel about something until I’ve talked to you about it. You have patiently listened to every crazy impulse and whim I’ve ever dreamt up without judgement or force-feeding me advice.
- …bringing me a change of clothes when I peed my pants in school. I remember when I wet myself in first grade and the only thing I could change into immediately afterwards was this Peter Pan costume from the dress-up trunk. There is nothing quite like diverting the attention away from yourself after a nice bout of incontinence like dressing up as a friggin lost boy. “What? I didn’t pee my pants earlier, every day is Halloween to me, man. What’s your deal?” It’s hard to recall a stronger feeling of relief than when you showed up that day with some dry clothes.
- …clogging when I was kid. I guess it’s a little odd to thank you for doing something you enjoyed, but it was a lot of fun to watch you dance at the various festivals around the area and at the Biltmore Estate. We had a great time watching you have fun and let loose!
- …reading the entire Boxcar Children series to me while waiting for me to fall asleep at night. I loved those stories as a kid and it was a special time to spend with mom.
- …being a daily example of how to approach the world with an open heart. Your mindset is motivated by kindness and it shows in your every action. There is something so genuine about your heart and the love that emanates from you that is so rare and is something I treasure and hold dear.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Mom, for everything. I truly appreciate all that you do. I love you very much!
P.S. I wish I could cook a meal for you today, but I guess the next best thing is to dedicate a dish to your honor and so for this week, I’ve created a tasty Breakfast Pizza just for you!