Mother’s Day is this coming Sunday, and it is a holiday that I have come to appreciate more and more as I’ve gotten older.
Growing up, I didn’t really care that much about Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. Not that I didn’t love and appreciate my parents, but it was more or less just another day. As a child, each parent got the other a gift. Once I got to the age where I would buy them a gift myself, it was mildly stressful. I’m not good at buying people gifts, so I have a hard time getting something sentimental even for people I’m close to.
The first thing that gave me a better appreciation for Mother’s Day was the death of my father. I’ve mentioned it before, but it deserves to be mentioned here. Suddenly going from having both parents to only one really makes you appreciate the remaining parent. I may discuss my father’s absence more, but his death gave me much more gratitude for my own mother, and all she continues to do for me.
Into adulthood, I gained even awareness for Mother’s Day when my first child was born. Just being born doesn’t give you much of an opportunity to see the pain and effort that a mother goes through in childbirth. Seeing it in person, with your own significant other, and involving your own child, gives a significant gravity to what it means to be a mother.
I don’t say it enough, and one day really doesn’t give them justice, but I am tremendously thankful for all the mothers in my life.
For my own mother, I owe much of who I am today to you. You raised me from birth, through a divorce, and worked several jobs to take care of us. You equipped me with the financial skills to make a dollar go seemingly a whole month, and know the difference between a need and a want. Somehow, though, you still allowed me to experience all the same opportunities as kids from more fortunate families. I don’t know how you managed it, but I am eternally grateful that you did.
To my grandmother, you’ve been the matriarch of the family for my entire life. Everybody knows they can go to grandma’s house for a hot meal and a cup of weak coffee. Every holiday since I’ve been born has been spent with everyone congregated at your house. I don’t know of any other family that has been as close knit as ours across so many generations. Blood is no doubt thicker than water, and I genuinely think that you are to thank for that case in this family.
As for my wife and mother of my kids, you have done so much that I just cannot thank you enough for. You went through agonizing labor, you wash the mounds of clothes we go through every week, you plan outfits for every single day, and generally keep the house in working order. I literally have no idea how you do it all, but I thoroughly appreciate it. There is no way I could do even a fraction of it on my own. I just hope that you realize how much we rely on you, and how thankful I am for you and what you do.
To all the other mothers out there, you have my absolute respect and admiration. Not only the biological mothers, but adoptive mothers, and mothers without the official title, you all do a thankless job. You are responsible for creating a generation. You birth, raise, and take care of your children that become the adults of tomorrow. Know that the role you play is a vital and necessary one, and for that you have my respect and thanks.
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