Two words, eight letters…it’s not enough.
Not enough for the nine months of ickies and heavies and umpteen hours of grunting and moaning and breathing and hand hurting from all that fatherly squeezing…the necessary uglies and pain to bring forth she who would bring forth joy, but also bring forth more pain and more uglies of her own with her attitude and disrespect to you. Oh, what you had to endure. Thank you is not enough.
Not enough for all your sleepless nights à up feeding and rocking and soothing and driving around so the hum of the car would finally calm me down.
Not enough for trading in your beloved classrooms to make our home and our comings and goings a classroom to deeply and fully teach and mold two beings who would go on to use those lessons to influence others. Being home and being there to all the day long teach those lessons of justice and compassion, those lessons of enthusiasm and commitment (even though we fought piano practice), those lessons of writing and reading (I think of family reads on the ugly 70 sofas in Sparta, not to mention the countless hours of being read to and the countless times “The Little Engine that Could” got up that mountain – maybe that’s part of why I know how to persevere), those lessons of sacrifice and being on time (OK, maybe I haven’t learned that lesson, yet, but I hope to by the time my children would be waiting on me to pick them up – that they’d NEVER have to wonder if Mom forgot – how I took for granted that security; I would think that would cause a child some angst that I never had to experience!), those lessons of kindness and honesty (even though the grocery store didn’t reward me for turning in the $20), those lessons of manners and morality that kept me on the straight and narrow (for all the goody-two-shoe remarks I took from peers and for all the over-protectiveness I felt, I’m thankful I don’t have many regrets from leaving the straight and narrow too often), those lessons of balanced meals and balanced checkbooks – learning to live modestly within our means…and all these lessons of love, not just taught by books but lived out by you. Thank you is not enough.
Not enough for the endless love – extending beyond the 18 years. Those 18 years of live-in duty of have-to time and have-to provisions, converting into whatever time and resources you wanted to give. And oh, do you give the time…to every swim meet, to every special occasion…and not just a day on either side of the occasion, total of weeks to look for a wedding dress (and oh, the patience needed for the indecisive daughter shopping for the ideal) and plan the big day – the time, the energy, the creative, the money… given freely, sacrificially. The weeks you’ve given to ease the transition with baby #1, baby #2, hernia surgery, foot burn recovery. The time and expense to travel and visit and prepare family vacations and the gifts and the work to update the house and make it more organized and the cleaning and the this or that device to make life at home more convenient. No, surely, “thank you” is not enough.
And yet you don’t expect or have ever asked even for those eight letters…because that’s just the kind of sacrificial and loving mom you are. So I guess, thank you is more than you even expect, so: THANK YOU!
This post was inspired by The 1000 Moms Project