I feel like this is the first Mother's Day that I have really appreciated my mom, in the sense of understanding exactly how much she gave up to mother me. She breastfed me in an era when bottle-feeding was the norm, going so far as to pump two bottles manually during her lunch break at work every day. She gave up her career (20 years as an art teacher) to stay home with me, and in so doing, gave up the extra income, the personal fulfillment, and the recognition that comes with being excellent at what you do (which she is, by the way). She has, to my knowledge, never looked back or regretted that decision. She has never held it over my head; rather, she always seems to feel privileged that she was able to be home with me.
She wiped my runny nose (and other *ahem* areas), cleaned up my messes, and endured my tantrums. She held my hand, prayed with me, and counseled me well into the night. I don't ever remember her complaining or asking for a day off (two things that I do all the time). She did the best she possibly could, every day that I was with her. She poured her life out into me, giving me chances and opportunities she never had, shaping, molding, teaching, training. She worked hard to make me into the person I am. Then she let me go.
Since then, she has become a fantastic grandmother to my little boy. He loves to sit on her lap and play any game she wants, and she loves him fiercely. I love seeing the two of them together, enjoying each other's company and learning together. And I know she'll be as good to him as she was to me.
Thanks, mom, for all your sacrifice and love. I love you.
Happy Mother's Day.