7 Big Thank Yous to My Mama on Her 80th Birthday
Happy 80th Birthday, Mama! You made it! It seems like yesterday we were celebrating your 40th, 50th, 60th and 70th (and we were celebrating my milestones too!) – my, where does the time go? I know you’ve always told me a mother doesn’t need thank yous from their children, but I thought to properly mark this milestone occasion I would once again not listen to you and let you know how thankful I am to be your daughter.
Thank you for giving birth to me – I realize that’s a bit narcissistic as I’m basically saying, “if not for you there would be no me,” but seriously, I can’t imagine not knowing you. Can you imagine never knowing me?
Thank you for being my teacher – I’m not talking about being my schoolteacher. I’m referring to how you helped steer me in the right direction when I was so often on the wrong side of ideas – and you still do today. It was, however, a bonus that you were an actual elementary school teacher, as I probably would have never learned to read without you! And thank you for teaching me manners – apparently a lost art for so many parents today.
Thank you for putting up with my B.S. – There is really no way to describe the mother-daughter relationship except to say it’s very complicated, and I’m confident it’s not exclusive to just you and me. Teenage girls are the worst and I pulled my fair share of regrettable acts through the years that I’m not proud of – AT ALL. But no matter what I threw your way, you seemed to take it all in stride. You may not have felt that way at the time, but you never led me to believe anything less.
Thank you for not dying – During aforementioned teenage years, you had a big health scare and me, being the self-involved 16-year old I was, never gave it much thought. Again, I’m not proud. Thankfully you gave me a shock the equivalent of restarting my heart when you pulled off your wig to show me you were very sick, and really could die. That moment has never left me – and I’m glad you didn’t leave me either.
Thank you for giving me strength – No matter how dire the situation, you always seemed to keep strong for the family, even though your heart was crumbling inside. We drew upon your strength and perseverance (almost to a fault) and were able to keep going, because of you. Of course, with the good comes the bad and sometimes we (I) wanted you to let it out – and I still do to this day. I guess that’s just the curse of Jewish Mother Guilt and sitting in the dark instead of having someone change the light bulb!
Thank you for being my example of how to be a mother – We will always have some differing opinions on how to raise a child, but the fact that you try your hardest to let me figure it out on my own, with just the right amount opinion when I ask for it, has taught me more than any book, pediatrician, website or blog. Today’s world of child rearing is completely different from how it was in the “old” days (you’d probably be in jail!), but one thing is constant – a mother’s love, understanding and acceptance will always rule supreme.
Thank you for simply being my mother – While that statement sounds a little trite, it’s meaning is in no way common. There’s a fine line between parenting and friendship and the window of opportunity is very narrow, especially during – the teenage years. Today I know the reason you and I are best friends is because when I needed a parent – you were a parent, even though I thought what I really needed was a friend. Of course, the irony is not lost on me that at times I now feel like your parent, but such is the circle of life.
So today, on your 80th birthday, I say the most sincere Thank You – for all the things I listed above and so much more that words will never do justice. Here’s to many, many more celebrations, Mama – I love you!