Dear mom,

I’m not sure if you are aware, but not every girl is lucky enough be born to a mom like you.

Growing up, I just assumed that every girl found strength and friendship in their mom. That every girl was told she could be and do anything she wanted to do and could regularly both giggle and cry with their mom. That every girl got in heated fights and learned that disagreement did not have to mean disrespect. As a kid, I just assumed that you were just an “average mom”, but this was the biggest understatement in all of time in the history of forever (not exaggerating).

Because I (somehow, some way) won the mom lottery. I got you, a baked-in best friend and guide that has always lit the path out ahead of me and looked out for danger. And, when I was ready, you started to let me lead. You stayed close by, ensuring someone was always there to catch me, but eventually letting me find new paths and explore right and wrong ones all on my own. You pushed me when I felt self doubt, you always saw me as the woman I was meant to be, and let me stumble and soar on the journey to getting there.

Again, I realize now that not every girl gets this. And as I reach (and surpass) the age at which you became a mother (x4) I start to reflect back on the choices you made and the parts of motherhood I most remember you embodying. I start to see the sacrifices and joys you lived, the standard to which you held yourself knowing that your actions directly impacted our actions. You showed us that one of the truest forms of love can be seen in showing up for the ones you love- for everything, no matter what. But, the part of motherhood that I see you living day in and day out is that your motherhood and unconditional love does not just extend to your four children. In fact, it extends to anyone who will let you close enough to love them and it extends to anyone we kids choose to love. This part of your motherhood is a sight to behold.

Somehow every single person I pull into my orbit, gets you as a mom. They get all of the unconditional love and generosity. They get to know that you would be there to step in at a moments notice. They feel heard and seen by you. They laugh with you, they cry with you. And truly nothing has ever made me more proud.

Your compassion and inclusivity spills out of you covering everyone in your path. I can’t even count the numerous nights as a kid, a teen, an adult that you set up a bed in our house for a friend of mine needing one, for as long as they needed one. You are thoughtful and kind, you are so fun and put everyone around you first. You care in such a genuinely deep way, that I honestly don’t know how you keep all that love inside of you! Perhaps that’s why you are so openhanded in giving it away? And this doesn’t just extend to your kids or your kids friends, but every single friend and family member in your life. You are often the glue that makes and keeps the deep, unbreakable bonds between us all in tact. All of your magic dances on the light around you – we all can’t help but to see how extraordinary you are.

You have always been one of the purest friendships in my life. A true best friend. So today and every day I celebrate you. I celebrate this friendship. I celebrate my friend’s friendship with you. I honor your sweat and tears and frustrations of motherhood. I hope you know how much joy you have brought into all of our lives – not just your biological children’s (or dogs). I will never not be in awe of you and it is the proudest point in my life to get to share you, my extraordinary mom, with any girl (or guy) out there. Not every girl was born with a mom like you, but by gosh, you have opened your arms more than to just me. So on behalf of every single girl, guy or friend you have ever cared for, thank you. Thank you for being the mother that you are. To me, to the boys (human and dog), to every single one of us.

Happy Mothers Day.

How has a mother figure influenced who you are today? What qualities do you hope to emulate in your life? What do you notice now about their relationship to you that you didn’t notice as a child? Tell me in the comments below or share a story with me here.

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