To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Thank you (J Style)

So... as you all know, Sunday was Mother's Day. And, I am sure you all think your moms rock. And, I am sure they do. But, no mom can top mine. She's the best.

I called my mom on Sunday and she spent an hour telling me how wonderful I am and what a blessing I am to her and how she feels selfish that she got the five best children God ever made. I am pretty sure it's a good thing I can't see or hear any of you laughing. And perhaps, it's an even better thing that none of you can see how hard I laughed at it too. Now isn't that so sweet?!? Especially since it wasn't too long ago that she balked "I have five kids, but I only like two of you!" I am pretty sure that I was ALWAYS one of the two!

I didn't even do anything for my mom this year, and she still thinks I am wonderful! How did I pull that off?!? But, although I am a little late, I'd like to give my mom a little thank you shout out, publicly so you all get to see how you missed out.

Let's start at the beginning - Thank you for loving me even though they had to break your tailbone with a mallet to extract me from your womb, and, in spite of the fact that I was born on the exact same day as your oldest child, thus ruining her 6th birthday party and putting a damper on the ones that followed.

Thank you for teaching me how important it is to be honest and always tell the truth. It sure was awkward being the only kid that gave the school a note that said "Please excuse Ali from school yesterday, she just really didn't feel like being there." And, it sure was funny when you made me get inside the shower and start hopping around before you'd tell a boy I didn't want to talk to that I had just hopped in the shower. I remember thinking you were such a dork, but the lesson that I learned was important and poignant.

Thank you for being a little bit nutty. Screaming at the top of your lungs out the front door and into pillows so you didn't hit us or lose your sanity. It taught me that the best moms are the ones that don't pretend they always have it together. Perhaps the neighbors thought that you needed to be medicated, but I liked your lack of pretense. You were always real.

Thank you for driving me to swimming, and t-ball, and seminary, and school, and ballet, and gymnastics, drama,volleyball, and basketball, piano, and singing and... for never saying much by way of discouragement when I changed my mind every six months because there never really were that many things I had a natural talent for.

Thank you for being a mom that not only taught me through your words, but also your example, that the way the world defines a person's worth and the way Lord define's a person's worth are distinctly different and that the latter is always more important.

Thank you for teaching me to see the best in people. And, for understanding that most people do the best with what they know. And, then for teaching me to always strive to know as much as I can in order to be better than who I am.

Thank you for buying me clothes. And, teaching my to love shopping and fashion, although you may have wanted to start with that lesson a little bit younger. Because, for the love of everything good and holy, I haven't been able to find many childhood photos where I had ANY pants on?!?

Thank you for TRYING to have Family Home Evening. Even though, someone always fell asleep, someone always got flogged with a flying object, and someone always left the room crying. I always remember you trying.

Thank you for marrying my dad. It was the best decision you ever made! Thank you for staying married and enjoying it. And, showing me through example that marriage *might* definitely be worth the work.

Thank you for teaching me by word and example how to be dependable in all things from little to big. I can still remember you saying "there are two kinds of people in this world, those who do what they say they're going to do and those who don't. You have to decide now which one of those people you are going to be, because you can't be both." Dependability is one of the characteristics I have come to admire the most in people.

Thank you for trying so hard to teach me to eat healthy. I am sorry that one didn't exactly take!

Thank you for writing me a note on the napkin that you stuck in with my school lunches. It was sweet... and embarrassing... and it ALMOST made up for the fact that I NEVER EVER EVER got anything that a normal kid would consider an entree, just a whole lot of snacks.

Thank you for saying "no" a lot, everytime it was important and necessary.

Thanks for all the little traditions you made up, like picking us up and taking us out to eat on our half birthdays - even though they might have only been carried out sporadically, I DO remember them fondly.

Thank you for teaching me the important lessons in life that steered me to being a Christ-centered human being, but also letting me figure out who I wanted to be.

Thank you for teaching and showing me how important is to take care of yourself.

Thank you for loving me even when I was a teenager.

Thank you for telling me until you were blue in the face to be kind to my brothers and sisters because someday they'd be my best friends. Like always, you were right. Sorry, it took so long before I listened.

Thank you for teaching me that it was only ok to be sad for a moment, but then I had to pick myself up because there wasn't enough time for pity.

Thank you for choosing to be happy, no matter what happened in your life. And, for teaching me how important it is to be grateful for each and every blessing, instead of focusing on the ones I wish I might have gotten. And, for living a life that showed me that 'life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning how to dance in the rain.'

Thank you spending so much time on your knees on my behalf; for always being in that position when I walked in to kiss you goodnight; and for teaching me to pray for other people, showing me how important it is and promising me that it always works.

Thank you for always loving my friends like they were your own children. I promise you several of them have repeatedly told me often they have wished they were.

Thank you for telling me every single time we talk that you believe in me, that I am more than enough and that you couldn't imagine being more proud that I was your daughter.

I love you more than you will ever know. You are one of my greatest blessings. And, for all that I do well, I owe more credit to you then I will ever deserve to take myself.


Sandra Nixon said...

Wow! I loved all the stories. Your mom really is so wonderful. I want to start the half birthday thing with my kids, what a great idea.
"I only like 2 of you" that is priceless!

mrsfussypants said...

I think you know how I feel about this post!

Anonymous said...

Well . . . I'm (almost) speechless! Thank you for that amazing tribute. I must have slept through half of your growing up years, because I didn't remember doing all those things! When all is said and done, mothers matter, but individuals matter more. Agency is a priceless gift; thank YOU for using yours in a way that honors your dad and me. YOU make US look good! (And Reyna, you are my adopted daughter! I loved your note and sincere expressions. It made my mother's day!).

Anonymous said...

By the way, "Anonymous" is me, Mom. My password doesn't work anymore!

Amanda said...

That was lovely.

A mallet? Really? That's love right there.

wendy said...

Ali, everything you wrote is so true about your mom.....what I know of her anyway. She will always treasure this post.

SLR said...

Ali, this was such a beautiful post! It brought tears to my eyes thinking that one day Grace might write something even close to this about me. I spend a good amount of time screaming out front doors and into pillows - sounds like I'm in fabulous compnay :)