“How did you do it, Mom? How did you know how to be such a good mom?”
“I didn’t,” you replied. “I just loved you with all my heart.”
I look at my three-week old daughter and I am reminded of when you told me this years ago. Every time she coos, cries, and coughs…every time she sleeps, stretches, and smiles, I remind myself of this.
And I tell her, “I don’t know how to be a perfect mom, my angel, but I promise to love you with all my heart.”
I think to myself, “I hope that is enough.” And then I think about how I feel towards you, Mom, and I know that it will be more than enough.
All daughters hear it many times: “You’ll understand when you are a mom one day.” I always believed that to be true, but I didn’t expect to understand so quickly and so clearly.
As much as I want to hug and squeeze my daughter, I find myself wanting to do the same to you, Mom. I constantly catch my heart whispering, “Thank you, Mom,” “I am so sorry, Mom,” and, now-more-than-ever, “I love you, Mom.”
Thank you, Mom. Thank you for holding me near you so often that I still crave your scent. It brings happy tears to my eyes when I pick up my baby after you’ve left our home and she smells the same way I remember you smelling when I was a little girl.
Thank you for teaching me the importance of family and friendship. I’ve watched you be the rock that holds our family together with love, honesty, respect, and laughter, no matter where in the world each of us is living.
Thank you for encouraging me to leave home and see the world, even though I know it must have been so hard for you to watch me go. I’ve watched you fight back tears as you’ve waved good-bye so many times, knowing you were allowing me to gain independence, experience, and new perspectives on life that ultimately led me to appreciate where I come from even more.
Thank you for showing me how to be a wife and a mother and still go after my own dreams. I’ve watched you set goals and experience the rising and falling journey that transpires while trying to achieve them. I’ve seen you be a strong, independent woman who recognizes her own needs and works hard to make sure they are met, even if people on the outside don’t understand. Because of you, I know that doing so isn’t selfish; it is necessary for my health and happiness. And when I am healthy and happy, my family is, too.
Thank you for loving me so much that it hurt you so many times.
And for that, I am sorry, Mom. I am sorry for the times I hurt your feelings and for the times I didn’t listen to you and you had to watch me get hurt.
I wish I could take away all of the tears you cried because of me, but I know I can’t, and I know this is only the beginning of a lifetime of me “understanding” you.
I want you to know how much I love you, Mom, and that I wouldn’t change a single thing, not a single choice you made when raising me. Because, when I look back on my life, what I really remember now is how much you loved me. I always felt your love, no matter where I was or what I was doing. It was your love that led me to where I am today, and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
And so, because of you Mom, I know how to do it. I know how to be a “such a good mom,” just like you are.
And I thank the heavens above that my little girl has you as a grandmother.