My mom has always been and always will be my best friend, no question. Before I ever even left her body and grew to know her, she was my rock.
And as the years passed, she proved to be my biggest cheerleader and supporter, despite my anxieties, moodiness, and indecisiveness growing up (and all of my annoying traits that still remain.)
Thanks mom, for putting up with my school morning meltdowns, my many crying sessions over math homework, and my temper tantrums over unloading the dishwasher. For being totally blunt and transparent whenever I need(ed) it and at the same time, for coming to the rescue with all the right words when others prove(d) a little too straightforward for me to handle.
Thanks for keeping your cool when Zen and I were pinching each other and pulling each other’s hair in the backseat and for making sure to always keep track of whose turn it was to sit up front once we were old enough. And for being our personal chauffeur for years and years, taking us to the events and places that meant the world to us, and making so many memories while on the road.
Thanks for being there to see me off on my first date and for hearing me out after my first heartbreak (and the many that followed.) And for offering to slash tires and ding-dong-ditch the jerks who were responsible (note to readers: she never actually followed through on those!)
Thanks for making so many family vacations possible and for the mother-daughter trips that followed. And for squeezing in as much time as you possibly could at home with Zen and I while working many demanding jobs with equally demanding hours.
Thanks for helping me up three flights of stairs in a building with no air conditioning on a hot August morning during my first day at college, and for seeing me off at the airport three years later so I could fly halfway across the world for a year- and for holding it together so I wouldn’t break down in sobs while passing through security.
Thanks for being so supportive in my first years in “the real world” – always being just a phone call or text message away when I need to know why my houseplants are dying, how long to boil an egg, or if I should be concerned about some crazy disease because I’ve got a headache. And for using emojis more than I do.
I could go on for hours, but here’s the thing: My mom is a mother, yes. And she has handled motherhood beautifully for the past 27 years. But her life is so much fuller than that. She’s a daughter, a wife, a friend, a nurse, a mentor, a creator… and it’s so crazy for me to fathom that there were many years in which I didn’t know her – before she became a mother.
I love hearing stories about her growing up – her favorite books and music and school subjects, her friends and boyfriends and siblings. Her move to Florida and back, and all of the jobs she tried out before deciding to go to school for nursing. Her hardships and her triumphs. And there are hundreds of moments and stories in between, all of which have helped shape her into the incredible woman she is today.
Mom, you’re an inspiration. To so many. And you’ve lived SO much in your years that it’s hard to believe. You’re still so young! You’re smarter, more beautiful, and more capable than you’ve ever been before and I can’t wait to see what stories unfold for you in the many years to come.
So happy birthday, mom. This is going to be your best year yet.