Letters to all the amazing moms in my life...
To GeekDad's mom:
You are an amazing example of why families come in so many different shapes and sizes, and how they can raise wonderful kids. You raised GeekDad on your own two feet, with the help and love of your fabulous family. You have taught him to embrace responsibility, to have a sense of humor, to love passionately and to share all of himself. I cannot thank you enough for raising him, so that he and I together can raise our little girl. And I also need to thank you for being in my life, for being so supportive and caring and loving. I know exactly how lucky I am to have you for a mother-in-law, lady!
To my Grandma:
You amaze me all the time, Grandma. You have given everything to your children, and then to those of us lucky enough to be your grandchildren. You continue to greet your great-grandchildren with the same brilliant smile and absolute joy that we were blessed with. You have lived through difficult times, and yet you pull it all of with such a sense of poise and grace. Even now, in your twilight years, you simply look forward to whatever milestone is ahead, and enjoy each day as it comes. We, your children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren, can never thank you enough for lessons in humility and patience and love which you have taught us. Thank you.
To my little Seester:
I don't know if you know this, but you set a fantastic example of motherhood for me. I see you with your Munchkins, facing each new challenge, braving every obstacle. You take it all in stride, looking for solutions to the problems, rewards for the milestones achieved. You cuddle and play and wrestle and discipline and cherish and love them, and the love that flows back and forth between you and your children is a joy to behold. I am so lucky to be following in your footsteps for once, and to be benefiting from the lessons you have learned and so generously share with me.
To my Mama:
You are the one who taught me what motherhood meant, long before I joined you here. Even as a child, I knew that being a mom, my mom, meant you would do whatever was in your power to... To what? Not just to make things easier, although you did that when you could. Not just to make me a better person, although your example and you unconditional love makes me strive for that. You have taught me to embrace life, both the easy times and the difficult ones. You also taught me that it is OK to make mistakes, so long as you can own up to your mistakes (even to, or maybe especially to, your kids), apologize if necessary, and learn from them. You taught me that respect must be earned, even between parents and children.
I don't know if you remember, but a few weeks after I had BabyA, I asked you if it ever gets easier, this business of loving your child. Because for the first time, I understood just how much heartbreak and worry and fear are a part of this love. Joy is a greater part, certainly, but also the worry that I need to get this right, the fear that something will happen which I cannot control or account for, and that things will go awry. But the lesson you have taught me, which I pray I can pass on to my little girl, is how to take the awry and accept it and allow it to shape her into a stronger, happier, more loving person. If I can be half the mother to her that you have been to me, we will both be fine. Better than fine, really. Excellent, in fact.
And if, like you and I, my daughter and I are one day more than just mother and daughter, but also friends, I will truly have learned the lessons you taught. It's a lot to live up to, but then, I've got a great example to follow.
To all the mothers in my life, thank you for the love and the lessons and the joy. Thanks for welcoming me into your club. BabyA has given me the basic requirements for membership, but I hope I can become gold star members like all of you.