Sunday, May 13, 2012

On Mother's Day

Dear kids,

I'm writing this to you now because by the time you're old enough to read it and understand a lot of what it says, you'll have stopped listening to me. It's OK. That's just what happens. You'll start listening to me again someday when you're a little older.

What I want to write about is your Mother. It's Mother's Day right now so I thought it might be good to tell you a few things I think you'll need to know about her. Here goes...

  • She's truly amazing. Let's just start with that. I know it sounds generic but it's true and I honestly can't think of a better way to say it. She's about the only person that can put me at a loss for words. 
  • She's happy. This is more important than you'll know for a long time. But trust me, it's uncommon to find genuinely happy people in life and your mother is one of those rare individuals that is honestly happy. Your goal in life is to become one of these people. Short of that, find people like them and keep them around you. Marry them if you can. It's really wonderful.
  • She never puts the top back on pens or clicks the thing to make the tip of the pen go back in when she's done using them. This isn't crucial information but I thought you should know. Unless one of you inherits this same characteristic, don't worry, we can always blame Mom when our pens run out of ink.
  • She's more thoughtful than I knew a person could be. As an example, one time when your Mom was laid off from a job, she called to tell me the bad news as she was driving away from the office. I asked if she was OK and the first thing out of her mouth, the thing she was most worried about after just losing her job right before having a baby, was whether or not her patients would be transitioned to their new nurse with the care she knew they deserve. Most people have a tendency to look inward, especially in difficult situations, but your Mother has this incredible ability to really think of others before herself in an honest way. 
  • When you need someone to just love you, look to your Mother. There will be no judgment, no pretense, no ulterior motive. She will love you without limits at your highest of highs, lowest of lows and everything in between. 
  • Other than being your Mom, being a nurse is the perfect job for her. Working in cancer research, your Mother is with people in some of their most difficult and emotional times. Believe me, she is exactly who you want by your side when you receive the news her patients do. Her silent strength and compassion will help you get through anything.
  • She remembers every dance, cheer and song she's ever heard or seen. She likes to do them while she's cleaning up after dinner or getting lunch ready or really whenever. But the chances of her dancing and singing increase by 100% when she's around your aunts (200% if they're also at the beach). I tell you this so you can plan accordingly to avoid potentially embarrassing moments in the future. If you don't want your Mom dancing and singing at your sporting events or school plays, don't invite her sisters, and definitely don't hold those events on the beach.
  • Madelyn, as you grow up and are looking for a woman as a role model, look to your Mother. She is the epitome of what a strong, assertive and independent woman is. She's not out picketing somewhere or writing angry feminist manifestos or anything like that because she knows that's not what being a strong woman today actually is. She understands that being a strong woman is really just about being strong. Woman or not, the virtues of honesty, loyalty, compassion, patience and love are what matter and she has them all in abundance. Your Mother cares about these things and is constantly trying to improve herself. She will teach you to be a strong woman as well as an unbelievable Mother. 
  • Patrick, as you're growing up and looking for what qualities make a good wife, look to your Mother. She has an amazing way of making every day special. She is loving, brave, attentive and supportive. She'll call you out when you need to be called out and listen when you need to be listened to. She will support you no matter what. This is exactly the kind of person you should marry. Someone you can love and respect.
Most importantly, your Mother loves you. For as long as I've known her she's dreamed about you and prepared her heart for you, long before you were born. Being a good Mother to you occupies every thought, every action, every decision she makes. She will do anything for you. She'll fight for you, she'll cry with you, she'll buy you a toy literally every time you walk down the toy aisle just to see you smile for a few seconds. Your Mother really just wants to see you be happy and she'll do anything she can to make that a reality. It's a given that you won't always get along. She's going to do things that you don't like to ensure you're safe or happy down the road. Just know that even if she doesn't always agree with you, she is always on your side. Her love will enable you to do amazing things and be the incredible people you are. When you know you have your Mother's love no matter what decision you make, you have a certain freedom that not everyone is lucky enough to experience. You'll take risks, you'll try new things and, most importantly, you'll be yourself. On this Mother's Day and every one going forward, be thankful that your Mom is your Mom. We are blessed to have her in our lives every day.

Love you forever,


Aunt Mollie said...

beautifully written! I totally agaree that Angie is that wonderful and AMAZING lady! I love you all very much. Mothers are true blessings on this Earth given to us by God! Thanks for putting it into such beautiful words!

Anonymous said...

OMG Toby, that was sooo BEAUTIFUL!! We are all lucky that she is in our lives.
I read this while at work and have tears running down my face.
You have such a talent for words (how many times can I tell you that?!?!?)!!
Thank you-
Love, Aunt Jill

Toby said...

Thanks so much Mollie and Aunt Jill!