Every year that I'm a mother I am amazed at how much wisdom my own mother has, and how little I actually know. The sacrifices she made overwhelm me, as does the energy she continues to have and the work she made look so effortless. My mother's wisdom has grown consistently as I have aged, but once I had children the growth was exponential.
I'm sorry now for a lot of things. Now that I'm a mother, I realize how hard Mom tried day after day to do what was right and what was best for her children.
I'm sorry my mother ever had to ask me more than once to help her. The work she did was tireless and thankless.
I'm sorry I ever said I hated her in a fit of teenage angst. I didn't know how overwhelming her love for me was, and that she was only trying to protect me. I can't imagine how much it hurt to hear that, although if it makes her feel any better, I will have three teenage daughters in my house in about seven years, so I'm sure I'll get what's coming to me.
I'm sorry I lied to her every time she caught me doing something I wasn't supposed to. I didn't think she was stupid; I was hoping to get lucky. I didn't want to disappoint her because she seemed so flawless to me.
As I was lying in the bed working on this article, Emma, my 3-year-old, came tiptoeing into my bedroom. My first reaction was to send her straight back to bed, but I paused when she said, "Momma, I'm a-scared."
I immediately remembered running silently through the darkened house, with my heart thundering in my chest as I hurried to my mother's room after having a bad dream. My mother never once sent me back to my room in the middle of the night. She would slide over in the bed, offering me refuge in the spot she had warmed and smelled of soap.
I slid over as Emma climbed into the bed, wrapping her arms around my neck. I scratched her tiny little back as I thought of all the small things my mother had done for me that I had never even acknowledged.
There are so many things I have never thanked her for: giving me the last slice of pizza, the last glass of milk, eating the slightly burned chocolate chip cookies so I could have the good ones, and somehow always showing up at my school when I was in the middle of a crisis.
I'm finally appreciative that my mother made me go to church every Sunday, wouldn't let me wear that dress out of the house and refused to let me go to the tanning bed.
If my mother's IQ level continues to increase at the same rate my children are growing, she's going to rival Einstein by the time we hit the teen years and get nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize when they hit college.