When people point out to me how much I'm like my mom, I always find myself immensely flattered yet somewhat undeserving. My mom is one of the most selfless, thoughtful human beings on the planet. She bends over backwards for her kids and everyone else on a daily basis and does so wordlessly, never expecting anything in return. I'm pretty happy with where I am in my life right now. I'm at a school I love, learning about things I care about. I've surrounded myself with people who do nothing but make me smile, and am in pursuit of a future I can get genuinely excited about. 5 years ago, this sort of situation felt impossible, and without my mom and her tireless encouragement, it really would have been. When I came home from school crying about how hopeless I felt, my mom was there. I was a mess and to keep telling me to have to keep telling me to keep my chin up must have been exhausting. But my mom never showed any indication of getting tired. She would remind me of my talents, and cheer even the tiniest accomplishment. When my "friends" in high school treated me like something less than a fellow human being, my mom would hug me and talk to me until the tears stopped flowing. She would remind me that I deserved better and take me window shopping until I forgot what made me sad in the first place. I owe so much of what I am today to her.
What's incredible is that my mom managed to do all of this while also utilizing her talents at her job at a fantastic graphic design place. Shortly after I hit the first grade, my mom stopped working. She would still do freelance jobs, but focused mostly on raising Maura, Sam, and me. I still remember her sketches spread out on the dining room table, which she'd work on between playing peacemaker between myself and my siblings. It's because of her and my father and the attention they put into our upbringing that our family remains so close. When we became a little more self-sufficient, my mom went back to work, and is still there today. She's a crazy talented artist. And in between assignments at her actual job, she designs programs for my school plays pro bono. If that's not amazing, I really don't know what is. I love my mom so intensely much. She is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the out, but never seeks the kind of spotlight she deserves. So mom, this is your long overdue spotlight. You are wonderful and I am so lucky to be able to call you my mother. You taught me to be kind, to be compassionate, and to be a good listener. Thank you so much for everything. I feel like nothing I write here would be sufficient enough to show just how incredible you are. But this was my best shot at it, and I hope it helps you understand how much of what I am I owe to you, and what an amazing person you are. I love you. Happy mother's day!