I have always loved and appreciated my mother. It’s easy. She is an amazing woman. She is smarter than a whip. Funnier than anyone I know. And, rivals Martha Stewart in the categories of Style, Creativity, Organization, and Resourcefulness. And, she can pack a box or gift or car trunk better than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s a real talent. Don’t hate.
I have known my mom for over 33 years. We go way back. And we have been through a lot together. However, I have never appreciated my mother more than when I had my first child three months ago. Don’t get me wrong. She has always been there for me; through thick and thin, through ups and downs, and even through my 70’s fashion craze during high school. Even though she tirelessly organized (with the help of my father) countless details of my wedding, I don’t think I fully realized the extent and capacity of her love and devotion as a mother, until I became pregnant with her first grandchild. And through that, I was lucky to experience the purest exhibition of motherly love.
Well before Amelia arrived, my mother stepped up to the plate of motherhood/grand motherhood with such zeal and passion, it shocked even me. And believe me, this woman does not take life events lightly. She makes every occasion special; be it a birthday, a holiday, or even Super Bowl Sunday (she served tomato and feta tarts) an event to remember. But being a grandmother elevated her to a whole new echelon of awesomeness.
Now that I have been through it, I understand a woman’s need to nest prior to having a baby. I get it! I loved it! But I guess the 30-year hiatus from nesting was a bit too long for my mom, because feathering our baby’s nest was her calling. Upon announcing our pregnancy to her, I swear to God she heard the crack of a starter’s gun in her head and took off running to the nearest baby store.
It wasn’t her material contribution, though, that made me weep in her arms with gratitude recently. It was her loving tenderness, empathetic support, and sheer excitement for our baby girl that made me realize a mother’s love is boundless. My mom works hard; at work and at home, and gives equal amounts of love and energy to my father and her four (awesome) kids. But she still found the time and energy to help me prepare for our baby in every way, by shopping, assembling, reading, and organizing. She would drive 2.5 hours at the drop of a hat to help me with whatever I needed, even to this day.
After Amelia was born, my mom stayed with us for a few days, cooking us meals, doing load after load of laundry, cleaning the house, and just being there for us. Dan and I were exhausted and emotionally drained after Amelia’s dramatic birth, and she was there to take care of all three of us, and has continued to be nearly every week since her arrival. She hasn’t skipped a beat, and because of that, we have been able to slowly regain our footing into our new role as parents; very, very tired parents.
My mom is everything I need her to be and more. She is my sounding board when I need advice. She is the comedienne I need to make me laugh. She is my personal cooking consultant on speed dial. She is my therapist, my friend, my rock….even with her outlandish laugh and her baffling taste for Cheez Waffies and NCIS. Seriously, Mom. What’s with the NCIS?!?
It has been three months since we entered into this thing called parenthood, and I realize more and more each day how lucky I am to have a mom – my mom. I don’t know what I would do without my mother. I need her. I count on her to fill the holes of the shaky path I’m tiptoeing on, because her wisdom and grace exceeds every bit of wisdom or grace I could ever possess at this stage in my life. She effortlessly guides me into the right direction, helping me to grow more gracefully, more confidently, perhaps so I can become even a fraction of what she is today.
If I could only be so lucky.
Thank you, Mom. You are one of the great loves of my life and I am deeply grateful for you.