Thanks, Mom, for loving me even though I was a blue-and-hairy-rhesus-monkey-looking-baby. I'm sorry for the grief I caused for being three months premature. It wasn't entirely my fault, though. My twin sis is partly to blame.
Thanks, Mom, for being so proud during my first and completely unintentional solo in 1st grade (Tommy was supposed to sing with me but got stage fright and stood there with his mouth hanging open and no sound coming out). I can remember you being proud of me and making me believe that I could do anything.
Thanks, Mom, for being enthusiastic when I wanted to make Stone Soup, start a St. Lucia tradition in our family, learn the art of dancing with poi balls, and all the other fun things I brought home from Miss Morgan's 2nd grade class. You encouraged my enthusiasm every time I learned something new.
Thanks, Mom, for helping out with election posters when I ran for class officer in 8th grade. You had great ideas and I felt like I had the best posters.
Thanks, Mom, for getting after me about bad grades and bad boyfriends. You were right. Enough said about that.
Thanks, Mom, for attending every single performance of my senior musical, all of my choir concerts, and my senior plays. While I'm at it, thanks for the help on the very best hats and costumes. Thanks for making sure I didn't get sick before performances.
Thanks, Mom, for giving me a should to cry on through frustrations, disappointments, confusion and the toughest time of my life. I know you didn't understand. That is okay, I didn't understand either. But I made it through.
Thanks, Mom, for making my wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses, helping to pick out cake and refreshments, stringing who-knows-how-many white Christmas lights on trees, and making my wedding wonderful. I hope you can forget any attitude I gave.
Thanks, Mom, for being there when I needed help doing laundry, scrubbing floors, and catching up on the dishes. Thanks for not judging me when you saw that my bedroom was full of laundry waiting to be folded, the kitchen floor hadn't been mopped in weeks, and that my kitchen table had oatmeal cemented on it from who-knows-when. You did not say one word of "I taught you better than that."
Thanks, Mom for helping me to figure out how to mother a of a baby/toddler/child/preteen. You were very wise. Of course you were, you practiced with 7 kids.
Thanks, Mom, for being there when I had to go through an emergency C-section. I know that Heavenly Father sent you to my hospital room the next morning to be there when the pediatrician announced that The Love Magnet had Down syndrome. Thank you for asking the questions I didn't know to ask. I'm so very grateful that you were there and that I didn't have to face that information alone.
Thanks, Mom, for being willing to serve a mission in a place you never expected to serve. I lived vicariously through you as you experienced Africa. I have since learned a new a deep gratitude for the simple things: clean water, a warm home, public schools, decent medical care, honest police, and a steady income.
Thanks, Mom for always being there for me. I hope I do just as well with my own children.