I originally posted these comments about the moms in my life two years back… they still say what I want to say…
When I think back on growing up, it seemed my mother, The Mater, rarely had a moment of peace. She had three children, two of us close in age, one of us five years younger and I can only imagine that just when my older sister and I completed one stage of life – learning to walk, potty training, you name it – mom had to be ready for my little sister to come upon the same thresholds – to, literally, walk in our footsteps. That must have happened through our childhoods and into our young adulthoods, too. High school choices. Graduations. Marriages. Grandchildren. Every event followed by another.
My mom must not have had a moment to breathe or a moment for herself.
Take one today, Mom. Think about what you’ve done and all that you’ve accomplished. We are not who we are without you. Supportive, caring, loving, ever present – you were those things for us when we were growing up and you are those things for us now. You and Dad made a great team, but all three of us know that you were the quarterback – you had the plan. Hell, Dad knew it, too: “Go ask Mommy” he would say. He was saying that up until he died.
I still do. I still go ask Mommy. I’m more stubborn than I should be when I get the answers, but I suspect I will always keep asking you the questions.
Happy Mothers Day, Mom.
Happy Mothers Day, too, to the mother of my children. They are the best thing we did together, without question.
The Step-in-Law is one of the most generous people I have ever met. She is also amazingly quick with a story – about parenting, about teaching, about her childhood – and those stories leave me and anyone within earshot in stitches. She knows more about life than I could ever hope to learn. And she’s happy to share that knowledge! Happy Mothers Day to you, Step-in-Law.
My grandmothers – gone now – also were formative for me. It was, in fact, The Mater’s Mater who convinced me to stay at the university I had selected when I wanted to come home my freshman year. Had I departed, Sous Chef and Stretch wouldn’t be around. And my father’s mother needs a blog post entirely to herself some day. Talk about larger-than-life.
Nothing I do as a parent and nothing I am as a man is possible without The Cinnamon Girl. The manner in which she raises our children, the mother she was to HJ, jr before I ever came along, the confidence she has in parenting – all of it inspires me. She is kind and funny with the kids. They never know what she is going to say. She treats them as adults, and that’s appropriate. She sets boundaries for them that allow them to reach, but also keep them safe. The Cinnamon Girl has incredible instincts. She knows when to leave the kids alone – to let them figure things out for themselves. She knows when to go to them and comfort them or engage them. She knows how to challenge them while always letting them know that they are loved and they are safe. She is an incredible role model for them – especially for Sous Chef (one of my great joys is seeing the young woman my daughter is becoming because of the influence of my wife). She has a distinct relationship with each of our kids.
She loves them.
And they love her.
She is also an incredible caretaker of me, of our kids, of her own mother.
The Cinnamon Girl is someone who never gets a moment’s rest. She deserves a moment. She deserves more than that.
I am blessed with these wonderful mothers in my life. Completely blessed.