As a mother it’s far too easy to focus on all the things we didn’t do, or the things we wish we’d done differently, instead of the things we did right. Today, I want to celebrate all the things my mom did right. But, since that list could go on and on, I narrowed it down to five things that I’m so thankful my mom did for me.
Thank you for all the things you did right.
- You instilled a love of reading.
You read to us every night. I still remember some of my favorite picture books, and how much I loved hearing them read aloud night after night. You also showed me how much fun reading could be. I remember you sitting in an armchair, reading novels, almost every night. Instead of dreading reading as a chore, I learned that reading is enjoyable long before I began to read because of your example.
- You made me feel safe.
I remember a night when we all camped out in the hallway on the old futon. I was only eight, and all I knew was that it was stormy outside. I had no idea the Storm of the Century was rolling through. You assured us it was alright, that we were safe, and somehow made it fun to be camped out in the dark listening to the weather radio. Throughout my childhood, you kept me from unnecessary worry.
- You made me feel secure.
I know, this one is similar to the last one, but this one isn’t about physical safety. When I was a kid, I always felt provided for and taken care of. I never felt as if we didn’t have enough. I had no idea that for a while money was tight, and that you had to meticulously put together a grocery list each week to make sure we had food on the table without going even a penny over a very limited budget. I don’t remember ever hearing you talk about not having enough, the stress of having to count every penny, or worry about how you would manage if an unexpected expense came up. While you may have worried about how we would make it month to month, you sheltered me from that burden.
- You taught me to be safe without being overprotective.
You gave Katie and I the freedom to ride our bikes around the neighborhood, go to a friend’s house, and play down the street, but you also taught us to be aware of the adults around us. You made sure we knew things like:
- Adults shouldn’t ask children for help
- Never ever go near a stranger’s car
- Just because someone knew my name, or yours, didn’t mean they really knew me.
- If a family friend or someone claiming to know you came to pick me up in the event of an emergency, we had a code word they had to give to prove they had been sent by you.
I’m thankful you took the time to teach me those things, without terrifying me of the world around me.
- You made sure I knew I was loved.
This one is the hardest to put into words, but it’s also the biggest one. Beyond just telling me you loved me, which you did often, you showed me you loved me in a million ways. Your love for me was a given, I never doubted it or second guessed it. I wish I could say that’s just something all mom’s do, and that every child innately knows their mother loves them. Unfortunately, it’s not. I’m so thankful for the love you showed me every single day.
I could go on and on with all the things you did right. I know you aren’t perfect, no one is, but you taught me how to be a mom by your example. When I look at my girls, I’m so thankful that I know how to love them because you first showed me how.