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Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Beautiful Gift

This year I turned (gulp!) 50 and my dear daughter Lauren gave me a most precious gift. She had wanted to do a scrapbook of memories for me, but having a premature baby sort of distracted her. Instead she wrote me this wonderful list of memories of her childhood. It's funny the things we remember. They don't seem very significant at the time, but stick in our minds to be brought out later, savored, laughed and cried over. So many of these things she's remembered were brief moments and I had no idea they meant anything to her. Can I remind you young mothers that your children will be grown up before you know it? You'll turn around and they'll be taller than you with babies of their own. Enjoy this journey--even the potty training, midnight feedings, spit up, and yes, even the tantrums. Love is a verb--make memories together. There are days I'd give just about anything if one of mine was small enough to sit on my lap again.

Hope you enjoy this beautiful gift from a daughter to a very grateful mother.

To My Mother

(I am sitting here waiting for inspiration to strike.

I want this to be perfect, poignant, emotion-provoking.

Everything I can think of to say never seems to be enough.)

I am reminded of you when I was younger.

I used to love to watch you get ready:

To curl your hair, your eyelashes.

I thought you must be the most beautiful mother in the world.

I remember laughing with you

When we sang a song in the car

Making fun of the singer with our mouths open as wide as they could go.

Then we had to make fun of ourselves, noticing that we were watched by the

School bus of children staring out their windows at us.

It is because of you that I loved to read, to write, to learn.

It is because of you that I know how to keep a clean house.

It is not because of you that I can cook

But you did teach me to take care of myself and my family.

I remember trying to put together a desk

Cracking up for hours as we made many mistakes.

How hard it must have been to send your daughter so far away.

How hard it was for me to leave my best friend for a new place and new people.

You took me to piano lessons, to karate.

You proofread my papers and helped me to learn from my mistakes.

You impressed me with the trivia you spouted

As you watched your daily dose of Jeopardy.

You always had a ready lap

When my head grew too heavy to hold up.

You always supported me,

Even when I asked you to buy dozens of Girl Scout cookies

So I could go to the Ice-capades with everyone else.

You kissed my scraped knees,

Brought me cold wash cloths and wet paper towels,

Cleaned me up when I was sick

And surprised me with new gerbils when my pets passed away.

You let me experience new things,

To try things you knew would never work.

You encouraged me to be better and kinder and smarter.

You are my shopping partner, my advice giver.

My fountain of ideas about how to raise my own children.

You are my sounding board and often my shoulder to cry on.

(And though this is not awe-inspiring or elegant

It is real and true.

You have been a wonderful mother and now you are my greatest friend.)

Thank you.

5 comments:

Charlie & Nicole Borders said...

My goodness, that was such a sweet letter and I am glad that you shared it with us. If I am teary-eyed, I can't imagine the impact it made on you!

Beverly said...

I can't read it without crying. I keep it handy for when I'm feeling like the world's worst mother--believe me, that doesn't go away just because your children grow up!

Lauren said...

Well, I am glad you liked it... though I still wish I could do the scrapbook. :)

Beverly said...

Hey, Christmas is coming up! ;-)

The Bay Family said...

I absolutely cried as I read this. Lauren is such a sweet daughter!

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