an ode to my mom

There are so many things I don't tell my mom often enough. These days, our conversations are often so centered around what my kids are doing, or I've had such a crazy day that my brain can barely string three words together to make a coherent sentence, I neglect to take the time to just tell her about the important, sentimental things that surface in my mind when I actually have a quiet moment to think straight. Though honestly, sometimes I choose not to say them out loud because they are likely to bring tears--albeit happy, nostalgic ones--well up in my eyes. For instance:


1. I will always be in awe of how you effortlessly traveled with two small, bickering children across the ocean to England every summer for three months. Some of my most treasured childhood memories are from those trips, and I appreciate that they may have come at the expense of your sanity.


2. I am sincerely sorry for every time my sister and I declared we would hate each other forever. Now that I have two children of my own, one of my biggest priorities is teaching them to always be there for each other when I'm not.


3. It makes me so proud to see parts of you when I look at myself in the mirror.


4. Every time I asked "can I be a teacher/astronaut/the president/artist?" when I was little, thanks for always saying "of course, you can do whatever you want, as long as you work hard at it." Even if, deep down, you & Dad equated "whatever you want" with "a lawyer, engineer, doctor, or something else with a stable future and reasonable expectation of success".


5. All those times you said "you will understand, one day when you're a mom", you were 100% right.


6. My kids are incredibly lucky to have you for a grandmother. I will always work to make sure they never take that for granted.


7. Thanks for not letting Dad disown me when he found out I got a tattoo, even though I know you were mortified that I did it. Ditto for every other bad decision I ever made that you witnessed & chose to hold your tongue and let me learn my lesson the hard way. I needed that.


8. It makes me happy to smell your perfume in my kids' hair after you visit.


9. Even though I always wished you'd named me something simpler when I was little & I swore repeatedly that I would change my name to "Samantha" the minute I turned 18, I truly appreciate having a unique name now.


10. You should be proud of your smile and share it more often, because it's really beautiful.


Trafalgar Square, circa 1984.


Holding my second born, July 2012. See what I mean about her smile?