I would have never guessed, a few years after the chaos, fatigue and endless things I had yet to do after you went to sleep, that I would find myself thankful for what I had and every gift on the road to maturity I would pick up along the way. Yet, now I can look back and be incredibly grateful for what you have taught me, and for your patience when I got it all wrong, yet again.
So, I think its time that I thank you for:
Waking me up at 3 AM, standing beside the bed and giving me a three second warning, before throwing up. You taught me how to think fast, and to react with patience and compassion, when what I really wanted to do is yell at someone else to clean up the mess, and hide under the covers. I also was gifted with wonder and awe of the human biological process when your sickness caught the rest of us, and every towel, washcloth, sheet, pillow and blanket in the house. Those skills have served me well in unpredictable times.
I thank you for teaching me humility, when you beat me soundly at Scrabble, repeatedly, after I taught you the game to help improve your spelling skills. I am also proud, and humbled that your math skills sailed effortlessly past mine by fifth grade, and that completing college and future success as a member of the workforce was in your future. That has encouraged me to never give up on learning new things, or improving my own abilities.
I thank you for all those times I sang you to sleep, or played the piano, as my father did, at bed time. The endless readings of Dr. Suess’s The Foot Book, and finding myself dozing off next to small bodies, who had almost mastered resisting falling asleep. Those are memories I cherish, and I’m delighted to see that the tradition handed to me has been passed down to you.
I thank you for laughter…oh, how we laughed, at funny movies, at each other’s silly antics, practical jokes, and that one time involving a stuffed duck, a ceiling fan, and two cats. Your ability to find the humor in the situation, or because obsidian humor is a terrific stress reliever, is a part of your incredible charm.
I thank you for the stories of things the two eyes in the back of my eyes missed. I thought I knew you well, but your ability to push the limits of your boundaries is now family folklore. I’m glad I found out later, about your more perilous escapades, but I admire your bravery, even though, I still can’t imagine what prompted you into thinking they were good ideas. Courage is often learned from taking risks. Your willing to take them helped you make some excellent decisions as you struck out on your own. Your examples helped me learn that taking a chance is worth the risk.
Watching you grow from infant to adulthood has been an journey I never imagined, full of adventure, exploration and moments that tested the range of my emotions. I have had moments when I wanted to run away from home, because being a mother is often thankless and exhausting, but never longer than a few hours, because life without you in it, was unfathomable. So on this time designed to honor me, I choose instead, to honor you.