A mother is more than just a female parent or guardian. A mother is the first person that we have contact with as a child, and, for most of us, is caretaker, comforter, and food source for the first few months. A mother, even more than just physical, undergoes an amazing metamorphosis starting with the pregnancy and culminating with the rest of her life.
I think about what my mother was and is to me. While growing up, she was usually the first line of contact concerning anything to do with anything at all. She fixed my boo-boos, she soothed my feelings, she made my food, washed my clothes, read my report cards (and promptly forwarded them to Dad when a good ass-beating was in order), and resolved conflicts between my brother and I. She was the queen of the castle, the handmaiden of the house, the referee of the field, the chef of the dining hall, and the magistrate of discipline.
Of course, her role in my life changed as I grew older and more independent but most of the above things never changed. They only morphed into a new responsibility set for her and presented new challenges for her to face while doing so. She had the benefit of my older brother to forge some experience, but my brother and I are two different people so I was still very much like learning a new job with new rules.
When I became an adult, my mother was still very much a part of my life but more as a friend and confidant and less as an authority figure. Of course, she still had some kick-ass in her arsenal if needed, but she didn’t use it much as she was gracious and patient enough to have found other ways to handle me. I was quite a hot mess as a young adult and I am sure I was no walk in the park to handle, but handle me she did.
As a parent now myself, I think about what things must have been like for her. Times were very different as were moral/societal standards and levels of interference from outside sources. My girlfriend is a new mother (and handling the job admirably) and I see what she deals with concerning our 3 month old son. It’s an all-consuming job; there are no reprieves.
Mom, I don’t know how much to say to say “Thank you” for being my mom, but what ever it might be, it will never be enough to express the gratitude I have and the pride I feel for having had the express and unique privilege of being your youngest son. I love you more than words could ever say and wish you an outstanding Mother’s Day and hope that you know that you will always be with me, even when we can’t be together for the day.