On March 8th, 2019 I sat at my kitchen counter listening to my mom and stepdad talk to my grandpa on speaker phone. He was randomly talking about how he wanted a great grand child, and my parents were shutting that conversation down by gently reminding him that, “none of the girls are old enough or in serious relationships.” After they hung up the phone my mom came over to reiterate the fact that they were not encouraging any of us to have kids any time soon. Little did she know that just a few hours beforehand I had been sitting on the bathroom floor staring at a test with two little pink lines on it. I sat at the kitchen counter for what felt like an eternity and my mom kept saying, “you look like you have something you want to say,” and I just kept giving a shy giggle and replying with, “nope, I’m okay.” I finally broke down and started sobbing, and before I could even tell her why she wrapped her arms around me and just held me. I told her I was pregnant and she held me tighter and whispered that she loved me. At a time that could have been filled with so much confusion and disappointment she filled it with love. In that moment I knew who I wanted to be as a mom, I wanted to be just like her.
Up until the day I found out I was pregnant you have been the most important person in the world to me. Then on March 8th I found out what it means to feel true love, a love that you have always described but that I’ve never quite been able to fathom. I understood in that moment, but I understand deeper now. And I’ll understand even deeper the moment my son is placed in my arms. My little Sweet P has become the most important person in the world to me, but that doesn’t mean I love you any less. In fact, it has made me love you even more in ways I didn’t know possible.
My whole life you’ve been teaching me all the lessons that are most important to you. You’ve taught me that it’s okay to make mistakes but that it’s not okay to let them define you, that rejection does not equate to failure, and that you have to work hard for what you want. You’ve taught me that laughter is truly the best medicine, that dancing is always a good idea, and that there is no such thing as having too much fun. You’ve taught me not to settle for anything less than I deserve, that there’s nothing wrong with being single, and that no man will ever love me more than Jesus does. You’ve taught me that family should always come first, that family isn’t always blood, and that surrounding yourself with a good community is so important. You have taught me how to give grace where grace is to be given, how to seek happiness when happiness is actually a choice, and to love above all else. And I’m realizing now, most importantly, that you’ve taught me what it looks like to be a really, really good mom (whether single or married).
I know I wasn’t always an easy child to raise, I’m sure in many ways I’m still not. And let’s be honest, up until pretty recently I spent most of my time pushing you away instead of pulling you close. But you never pushed back. You’ve loved me through laughter and happiness, true friendships and good relationships, and the best of times. But you’ve also loved me through anxiety and depression, bad relationships and heartbreak, heart wrenching grief, drug addiction and recovery, and through an unplanned pregnancy. You’ve chosen to love me through the good and the bad; not just because you’re my mom but because that’s who you are as a person. You are the kind of person I strive daily to be like.
So thank you for being my confidant, my go-to advice giver (although sometimes unwarranted), my encourager, my source of constant laughter, my favorite lunch date, my number one cheerleader, my best friend, and above all else, my mom.
If I am even half the mom that you are I will have succeeded. And now your role is changing and I can’t wait to watch you be the best grandma in the world. I love you, mom.