When I moved 300 miles away from my parents fourteen years ago I wasn’t sure when or if I would return. I was itching for autonomy. Having completed the life phase where I decided my parents knew nothing and freshly entering into the phase of knowing I could rely on them for advice again, I felt drawn to distancing myself physically to ensure I would grow into myself as a person. I am so grateful I realized by age 18 that my parents actually were very smart and kind, by 19 that I could always count on them and by 20 that I could exist simultaneously as their daughter and as my own independent being.
Tomorrow my Mom celebrates her birthday. My children will be at her house for a sleepover, enjoying freedom from their own mother by embracing time with their grandma. They worked on her gifts and cards this week, preparing to dazzle Grandma into seeing just how much love they can squeeze out through paints and Elmer’s glue.
My Mom purchased play tickets for Dave and I for our birthdays, paired them with overnight babysitting, to be payable on her own birthday. The love of a Mother is indefatigable—she always puts her girls first. It takes around 27 seconds for me to find 10 selfless choices my parents made when we were kids. Choice doesn’t even feel like the right word, that implies that they considered options other than making their children’s needs and wants the priorities of their lives. The lives of everyone in my family, my children and myself, are shaped by this in countless ways.
Happy birthday Mom—I am the woman, wife and mother I am because of the person you are and the choices you made in our childhood. Thank you.