May 9, 2011 by themommahen
For giving me life, feeding me, bathing me and doing all those things I couldn’t when I was a baby, even when all I did in return was cry, pee or poop like all babies do. Thanks for sticking with me all those sleepless nights that I don’t remember but must have happened because what baby sleeps through the night? Thanks for all the drinks of water and bathroom trips in the middle of the night and never making me feel like I was a scaredy cat when I called you in the middle of the night. Thanks for dressing me in my sleep when I couldn’t (or wouldn’t) wake myself up early enough to get dressed before school. Thanks for all the rides to school and the annual back-to-school shopping trips, especially since I now know just how expensive those trips can be. Thanks for holding my hand all those times I was scared, especially when I was going into a new situation or where I didn’t know anybody. I always felt better when you were holding my hand.
Thanks for packing up everything we needed for a great trip to the beach or wherever, especially when everyone was yelling at you to hurry up. Thanks for all those rides to school when I missed the bus. And later, thanks for all the time you spent waiting on me at practices, rehearsals and meetings. And thanks for not killing me those times I got off the bus at friends’ houses without letting you know. I had no idea at the time how scary that could be or that it might be just downright frustrating to have to stop whatever you were doing and come pick me up somewhere else. Thanks for encouraging me to try whatever I wanted – dance, drama, sports – and being there to see the results. I now know some kids aren’t so lucky to have a parent at every single game, play or recital, but I did and though I took it for granted then, now I realize how special that was. Thanks for making such a comfy home that all my friends enjoyed visiting and spending time in. Thanks for all the band-aids, kisses, peroxide, vaseline and everything else you used to put me back together again when I got hurt. Thanks for coming out on the field that time I got hit hit with my first pop-fly in the chin. But thanks for not making a big deal about it. And thanks for all the planning and meeting and discussing you did on your own behind the scenes. Now I know how much worrying goes on as a parent and I’m sure there were countless hours that went into decisions made and directions taken.
Thanks for backing me up in 8th grade. I know that had to be a tough and unpopular decision, but the teacher was wrong and you fought for me. Likewise, thanks for showing me a little tough love when I received my first and only failing grade ever the next year when I didn’t live up to the responsibility that had been spelled out to me at the beginning. Thanks for backing me (and others) up at the PTSA meeting when we were fighting for our right to speak in a public forum. Thanks for encouraging and letting me go to Italy in high school to play volleyball. Especially since it was only two weeks after a pretty tough time, during which we had to pretty much replace my entire wardrobe. Thanks too for teaching me how to multitask, so much so that I figured out how to be in two places at once that summer. Both were great experiences and I would have missed out had I not had your support to do both. Thanks for keeping things as normal as possible while you and Dad were traveling back and forth to the Mayo Clinic when Dad was sick. Thanks for helping me understand what was going on without letting me know just how serious it actually was at the same time. My memories of that time aren’t nearly as scary or traumatic as they probably should be.
Thanks for traveling all over the Northeast and NC to visit colleges. Remember when we got lost in Pennsylvania? And the tour at Syracuse? And then the time in Boston when I decided I’d go there. And thanks for letting me put two deposits down when I couldn’t completely decide between BU and UNC. I wasn’t sure I made the right decision and now I know you weren’t either but you never let me know. And thanks for letting me sit in your lap and cry when I was 18 – 18! – after that first horrific couple of days of my freshman year. And of course, thanks for staying those extra two weeks to make sure I was okay before you left. And all the countless meetings with DocR just to be sure. And for talking me out of transferring until I’d at least finished my first year. Thanks for all the care packages, even the silly ones with eccentricities like twist ties and sandwich bags and chip clips. I (almost) always used whatever you sent and had the reputation for getting the best packages. (Aunt Sybil’s homemade chocolate cake, frozen and shipped for my birthday? Genius!)
Thanks for talking me into going on Spring Break my senior year. After a tough couple of months, I didn’t want to go anywhere, but you thought I should have a Spring Break experience rather than come home like I usually did. Now we know my then future husband was waiting to meet me there and what if I hadn’t gone? I can’t imagine life without these three kids and neither can you, I know. But before the kids, there was the wedding. 800 miles away from you and you never complained or made me feel guilty about doing it too far away for you to really be involved in the day-to-day planning. So you came to me. To shop for a dress and do little things here and there. And you and Dad made it an awesome party.
Thanks for never pressuring us to have kids, even though I know you always wished for me the joy of being a mom. And then when it wasn’t happening as we’d planned, thank you for all the positive thoughts and listening. I’ll never forget making the call to you when we got the prognosis. And you encouraged us to move on in our own time and said it would “work out.” Through all the steps we took – and those we chose not to take – in our journey to become parents, you were never anything but supportive. And then came the day I called you to say it had miraculously “worked out.” I could literally feel your happiness through the phone. (And remember how Dad totally called it without knowing? What was he doing up that morning anyway?! Fate’s a funny thing.)
And then came the kids and you were right there with them. Births, baptisms, childcare choices, health scares, you never hesitated a minute to get on a plane and BE THERE for us. My friends marveled at it but the friends who had known you forever weren’t the least bit surprised. Dan was never annoyed, only grateful, because you were always such a huge help when you were with us. That’s just who you are and have always been. A fantastic caregiver. (Gramma was so lucky to have you as a daughter-in-law.) And now we’re with you. Literally with you in your house. And I know you love it, and the kids love it and the memories we are making right now are exactly the reason we moved here. As I write this, you’re changing the baby’s diaper, helping me out so I can get my stuff done. As usual. It sounds so trite and small, but THANK YOU MOM for all you have ever done and continue to do for me. I’m the parent I am because of you and Dad (Dad, if you’re reading this, I know that whatever one of you did was made better by the fact that you each stood by and behind each other. And remember Father’s Day is only a month away!), and I am in amazement of what you did now that I’m in the driver’s seat.Oh, and thanks for not being upset this is a day late. I love you!