FEATURE — Dear Mom,
On this day dedicated to celebrating mothers, I have an admission to make: I’ve taken you for granted. Probably for longer than I care to admit. Maybe most of my adult life.
As these things often go, I didn’t mean to do it. It just kind of happened over time.
I guess you could say I grew accustomed to the many things you do seemingly so effortlessly and failed to see your purpose and care.
I grew used to your generosity. I grew callous to your beauty. I grew numb to your stability. I grew prideful of your prosperity. I grew arrogant. And I forgot what a miracle you are.
It’s weird because people often say you never really appreciate your parents until you are one. But then, when you are one, it’s easy to get caught up in life. The busyness. The hustle. The worry. The bills. The caring for others.
I’m not justifying it. But it does happen.
Of course, I’m not an entirely ungrateful child. I used to marvel at your majesty all of the time.
I’d lay transfixed by a ladybug on a blade of grass for the better part of an hour wondering about its wings and its spots and how fast the grass it crawled through grows.
I’d lay on my back and gaze at the sky seeing shapes of dragons and giraffes and ducks in the clouds that rolled by.
I’d climb barefoot up the rough bark of the tree in my backyard and see how long I could hang from its branches before I thudded to the dirt.
I’d race the waves at high tide and poke the translucent sand crabs the white foam left in its wake and dance with seaweed wrapped around my ankles.
And then I grew up and I’d see you here and there – maybe from the window of my car as I sped kids off to lessons or took the dog on a quick loop around the block – and think to myself, “oh yeah, she’s pretty amazing.”
When I slowed down enough to see. Or to hear.
But now I know better. And I’m sorry.
You see, over the last several weeks, I’ve had to slow down. We all have. It’s called a pandemic. It’s been hard and scary and worrisome. And it’s meant we’ve had to stay in our homes and limit our contact with others. It’s meant we’ve had to change a lot of our habits, a lot of our hustle.
It’s meant more walks and less driving. It’s meant more eating at home and less eating on the go. It’s meant tea in the garden in the mornings and holding hands with my honey on the couch in the evenings.
And slowly over time, I’ve started noticing you again. And wouldn’t you know it – you’re amazing.
From the grass of my front yard, I’ve noticed the clouds in the sky still roll by in the shapes of dragons, giraffes and ducks. And also, hippopotamuses and pelicans and trucks.
On my almost daily hikes in the foothills with my (very happy) dog, I’ve noticed at least five different purple flowers that I’m now trying to identify with the National Audubon Society’s Western Field Guide.
Every day, you seem to get prettier and prettier. Every day you seem more mesmerizing. More inspiring. More powerful.
And that’s been a real gift in all of this: you.
So, “mother,” today is your day. And I promise never to take you for granted again.
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