I distinctly remember the moment. I was lying on the floor of my son’s nursery. He was going on hour four of non-stop crying, and I had resorted to a desperate, exhausted heap at the foot of his crib. While I cried alongside him, I realized that my mom loves me THIS much.
This love that I have for that little crying baby, my mom has for me — multiplied by 25 years. There are no words to adequately describe the intense love that is so raw it hurts, but there doesn’t need to be, because I know how she feels. I get it, Mom.
I get why you were always the last to have new clothes; what’s like to fill the shoes of both Mom and Dad; that counting to 3 is not enough time to come up with an appropriate punishment and that a shower can change your entire attitude. I get it, Mom.
I know why playing nurse is your least favorite mom-role; why the to-do lists never end; why grocery shopping alone is a vacation and why you hung a sign over the kitchen island threatening to abscond items left there overnight. Oh, Mom I so get it!
I understand how with one glance you know exactly what I need; how you can hear my voice in a crowd and how you know every freckle, scar and wrinkle I have, without even looking. I get it.
After all these years, I know why you still remind me to wear my seatbelt; why you play with my hair when we are laying on the couch; why you cry when I cry. It all suddenly makes sense because I get it.
And I get that when my screaming son finally fell asleep and I spent another hour just holding him, that you just held me too. When you finally made it to your bed, you probably laid there worrying that you did something wrong, that maybe you just weren’t cut out for this mom gig. I get it, Mom, because I do it now, too.
But let me tell you, from daughter to mother and now mother to mother, this job was made for you. You were meant to be a mother, specifically my mother—to teach me, to love me, to argue with me, to care for me, to challenge me, to comfort me, to befriend me. Thank you, because I get it.
I get that raising me and my sister was the hardest job you ever had. It’s thankless, selfless and sometimes really messy. It’s late nights, early mornings, round-the-clock laundry and never peeing in private again. It’s joyous and hopeful and full of wonder, and you did it.
I get it Mom, because I’m doing it now, with you still right by my side.