Thank you Mom.

I always thought I understood how much you did for me and how much you loved me. It wasn’t until I had my own daughter that I was able to more fully grasp just how grateful I am for you and the sacrifices you’ve made for me over the past 30 years.

Thank you for giving up your body to carry me for nine months, for fighting nausea and exhaustion while running a business. Thank you for putting yourself through birth and then enduring weeks of recovery while tending to my every need. Thank you for the countless sleepless nights, holding me and rocking me while I cried. Thank you for your patience with me when frustration wanted to creep in. Thank you for nursing me, even when it hurt so incredibly bad. Thank you for your constant devotion to me, even though I couldn’t give much back to you.

Thank you for making me smile and showing me the world. Thank you for introducing me to music, dancing, and magic. Thank you for comforting me and reminding me that you love me to the moon and back. Thank you for the vitality behind every silly face and goofy noise you made to make me laugh. Thank you for being my safe haven and promising me that you’d always come back for me. Thank you for the hours spent just holding me because I loved to be held.

As I hold my baby girl in the early morning hours, I think about you taking care of my youngest sibling while us three older siblings slept. How did you do it? How did you have the energy to take care of a newborn through the night, then get three kids ready for school in the morning, work your full-time job, drive carpools to soccer practices, make dinner, and help everyone with their homework? All with a smile on your face, making it seem like it was easy? Thank you. Thank you for finding the strength and perspective to never make us feel like we were a burden. Thank you for all of the seemingly mundane moments that assured us everything was right in the world when I’m sure it felt like the world was crazy for you.

I have gained a better understanding of what it takes to be a mother and I’m sure that understanding will continue to deepen over time. When I think about how much a mother sacrifices, it’s extremely humbling. Mom, thank you for sacrificing so much in your life to help me live mine. Now, I’m doing the same for my daughter. The sleepless nights, the nursing pain, the lack of personal time - but it’s worth it. Your love and example always showed me it would be. It’s only been six months but I can already tell that being a mother is the greatest privilege of my life.

I know that as the years go on and my daughter grows up, I will have even more appreciation for you and all that you did for us. But for now, just six months in, thank you. Thank you for everything.