An Open Letter to My Mom

Hi Mom –

Today’s your birthday. But you already knew that as you are in your 60s and still of sound mind. I know you wonder if I truly believe that – the “you’re still of sound mind.” God, did I fight that theory through the years. Like most strong willed, independent girls (I’d like to think there’s a whole club of “me’s” out there), we fought hard growing up. I had it all figured out. And you knew nothing. Or very little.

I have memories of our screaming at each other. I’m notorious, among those in the old neighborhood, of shouting out the window one summer day “My mom’s a child abuser.” You were anything but.

  • You love(d) me through all my difficult-ness.
  • You spent weeks and months in the hospital with me the summer before kindergarten, and later with me in PT to ensure my arm would bend again after being told I’d broke it so well, it’d never be the same. You watched me cry, yet you pushed me through and my arm was just as it should be.
  • You made me Rice Krispy treats whenever I wanted them, and you taught me the joy of a Pepperidge Farm turnover with vanilla ice cream on a cold winter’s night.
  • You drove me to an insane number of practices, school dances and never missed my games.
  • You showed me the world as a child, and maybe I didn’t appreciate that like I should have as a young kid. You continued to take me places.
  • You wiped away my tears when I just didn’t fit in or know my place in junior high and high school.
  • You supported my decision to go far away to college, then held the door wide-open when I needed to come back home and regroup. A few years later, you waved to me in the driveway as I decided to drive cross country to Seattle to give it a shot. You again held the door wide-open when I needed to come back home and regroup.
  • You held my hand when I got married, and you held it even stronger at the birth of my first child.
  • You may not live around the corner, but you’re always quick to answer the phone or leave me a message when you know it’s time to check in on me.
  • You take too much joy in the difficult-ness that is my 8 year old daughter. (I chose to ignore, with love, the what goes around, comes around comments)
  • You put your family first, no matter the distance, and on this day, I put you first.

I love you with all my heart, Mom. Happiest of birthdays! Eat some cake and pretend I’m there.

Love, Julie