She is quiet.
She is steady.
She is always there.
And I have learned many important things from her.
She has taught me...
1. How to be a servant.
My mom has the heart of a servant. She has a magic house. If, in conversation, I say, "Peanut butter no-bakes sound really good" they will magically appear by the end of the day. She is always thinking of others. She hears. She serves. She makes people feel like they matter.
2. How to make others feel welcome.
When I first took Mike home to meet my family she welcomed him and then showed him around the kitchen and told him to help himself to drinks and snacks anytime. This may seem small but I find it to be an important piece of making someone feel at home in a house that isn't theirs.
3. The importance of standing by your morals and beliefs.
Mom and dad had their standards. Most kids were allowed to watch shows and listen to music that was not allowed in our home. We often had to miss out on movies with friends because they were going to one that my parents didn't want us to go to. I'm sure I didn't make that easy for them. In fact, I'm sure I fought mom on that a time or two... or maybe every time. (And pretty sure I lied and went one time anyways.) But now I get it. Now I am thankful that she had her morals and beliefs. I'm glad that she didn't just give in because everyone else was doing it. Today... I apply those same standards in my home. (And for the record... I felt really guilty about going to a movie that my parents said I couldn't go to.)
4. The importance of letting your children leave.
Mom has six kids. Over the years we have all flown from the nest. First with college and after that to new towns to start our adult lives. We grew up in Pennsylvania but are spreading out. My two sisters were in Florida for a while. One is now in Maryland and the other in Wisconsin. I have a brother in Texas. My other two brothers found jobs that keep them closer to home. I'm 2 hours from my hometown. We are moving out and moving away. And my mom never once made us feel bad about it. We have always had her support. I know it is hard for her... the tears as we say goodbye after all being together for a few days are evidence of that... but she knows the importance of letting go.
5. The magic of letting go.
It is in the letting go that I have learned how children can grow up and become friends with their parents. It is the letting go that allows that relationship to evolve to a new place.
I know we are complete opposites and because of that we sometimes have a hard time understanding each other. I see our differences. I see your strengths and they are so different from mine. And I admire you because of them! It is because we are different that I have been able to learn so much from you.
I know I gave you some hard times through the years. I know that I will always be labeled your strong-willed child. I'm not sorry for being the strong-willed child because it is that same strong will that allows me to stand up today and fight for what I believe is right. But I do want to say thank you for putting up with me and loving me even in the times when my strong will was just too much.
Thanks for being you!
Your Favorite Daughter :)