I must admit that I never truly understood the trials of motherhood and the strength and determination you constantly showed until NOW; now that I have a teenage daughter and a ten year old son. Yes, I have always been grateful to have you right beside me through the stages of motherhood that I have experienced so far – you know, the infant stage, the toddler stage, the terrible twos stage (this seemed a little extra terrible with my boy), the preschool stage (filled with tall tales and honest little ones), the gossiping tween stage, the my son has a busier schedule than I do stage, and most recently (which also happens to be my least favorite so far) the beginnings of the rebellious teen stage. Now that I am here I just have one question for you – HOW DID YOU SURVIVE? I mean seriously, how did you make it through to the other side? How did you come out on the other side with all of your hair? Okay, I lied, I had a few questions. Last one for now, how did you continue to be such a good mom when I know you loved us, but didn’t like us? One day you’ll have to fill me in on your secret, but for now I’ll move on to the things I have come to understand about you and motherhood.
I now understand all of the sacrifices you made. The times you put back something you really wanted because I really wanted those new shoes. I finally get all those times you carried around ten things in the store for yourself, but left with only one, which happened to be something for me. I do that now too.
I get the naps that you said were for me, but in reality they were for you because I utterly exhausted you. I’ve been known to use this trick too.
Those times you took me to the park just to get a little “you” time. I may or may not have been known to take my kids to Chick-fil-a and let them play just so I could read another chapter of my book in PEACE.
The times that you told me no when I would ask to go to the mall with my friends, I apologize for giving you a hard time. I REALLY get this now. You weren’t being mean, you were just protecting me.
When I’d ask to go to a friend’s house and you’d send me to ask Dad. I do that now too. Sometimes you just don’t want to be the bad guy again and give them another no.
That time at 13 that I wore a full face of make-up and you made me go scrub my face clean, to say I understand that is an understatement. It probably broke your heart a little to see your little girl looking so grown. I’m sorry.
All those times I stole your brush and didn’t put it back, just know that karma found me. My daughter not only steals my brush, but she steals my make-up, my clothes, my shoes, and anything else that catches her eye.
My never ending eye rolls and what-evers, yeah, I am REALLY sorry about all of those. I am getting those from both of my kids now. I did not realize just how annoying those were.
For the times that I cursed you under my breath, the times you heard and the times you didn’t, I am sincerely sorry. I know just how that feels now and it isn’t very good.
Most importantly, the biggest thing I have come to understand is just how precious being a mom is. It is the most difficult thing I have ever done, but there is nothing in this world that could ever fill my heart that way that does. My children are my world.
Momma, I guess what I am trying to say is I finally understand you and all of the things you did. Sometimes I find myself saying the things that you said to me when I was a kid and I surprise myself. I look at my kids and see that same look that I know I gave you and I know exactly what they are thinking because I had that same thought twenty some years ago. I remember thinking that I would never tell my kids no about going to the mall or that I would let them spend as much time as they wanted at their friend’s house or, you’ll love this one, that I wouldn’t put so many restrictions on their dating life. Ha! I so will! I am not looking forward to that part at all. I am also not looking forward to letting go. I know that day will come, but as sure as I am that it will come I am just as sure that when it does you’ll be right by my side ready to help guide me through. I love you, Momma, and I appreciate you and all you have done for us. Without you I wouldn’t be the mother I am today.