Thursday, November 10, 2011
Dear Sandee aka Mum,
I know you know how much I love you, and even though it's not your birthday or Mother's Day, I figured I'd write a little thank you note to let me tell you again how amazing I think you are. I am so lucky to have been raised by you and Dad and wouldn't change a second of my childhood or my life with you. Don't worry, Dad...you'll have your turn, too.
1. Thank you for my sister. Sam and I always had our little brawls (remember when the neighbors almost called the cops??) and ups and downs, but I appreciate it more-than-ever that you gave me a best friend for life. Or someone to lock out of the house when she was aggravating me. Even though we are 5 years apart, it was, and is, always nice to know I had someone to play with...or pick on.
2. Thank you for teaching me the value of friendship. It seems no matter what state you moved to, or what activity you were doing, you always made great friends. I think it's because people like to be around you? You have a natural draw, and that is why many of your friends you have known for most of your life. I have learned to always listen to them, and to appreciate all the friends in my life. I am lucky to have been able to keep most of my childhood friends and add some wonderful ladies in my life through high school, college, theatre, work, and mutual friends.
3. Thank you for never letting me pierce my tongue or face. Or get a tattoo at 16, either. I'm glad I don't have a large hole in my tongue now or a Celtic design on my lower back to remind me of the signs of youth. I'm glad you supported Limited Too and American Eagle, and didn't allow me to walk around this town like a total trashbag.
4. Thank you for bringing musical theatre into my life. Some of my favorite memories with you involved going to see shows, singing along to tapes/cds (Kiss Me Kate, Annie, Secret Garden, Songs for a New World...), and for making me have a good "ear" so I can harmonize and hear when someone is flat (the eyebrow raise to get them to go up just a little bit). Music moves me, and I thank you for that.
5. Thank you for never judging me and for supporting every decision I ever made. Majoring in musical theatre? Transferring colleges twice? Having a baby at 21? Moving to Oklahoma? Dying my hair brown? Telling you we want 4 kids? How about when I told you Ryan was "The One" after only a few weeks. HA! I was definitely right on that one, and you never told me I was wrong.
6. Thank you for cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Maybe one day I will learn it, too. Or you can always just come over to my house to cook it for me. You may only cook chicken and pasta during the week, but I thank you for that because it makes me want to learn how to cook other things, too.
7. Thank you for teaching me compassion and how to love, and for giving me the "sensitive" gene that I SO have. I may cry over Pampers commercials but I just think that shows that I have a heart. I would rather be like this than a stone-cold, unloving, unemotional, unaffectionate person any day of the week. When you cry it naturally makes me cry. Why does that happen?
8. Thank you for your patience. I find myself sounding just like you when parenting Brady; never yelling, always explaining. It takes a very patient person to deal with two strong-willed girls like you did. Especially Sam...HELLO! Not going to school because her socks didn't feel right? Or how about when I dismissed myself on Pretty Day Freshmen year and you BUSTED ME? Your "disappointment" was far worse than any punishment or yelling.
9. Thank you for always trusting me, so I never had to rebel. I'm glad I wasn't 16 and pregnant or sneaking out of the house all through high school. By the way, all of those 3rd of July parties we had toward the end of high school and college? We drank. A lot. So, thank you for providing a home close to White Horse Beach so none of us had to drink and drive. Same goes for the Cape House, too...
10. Thank you for always having a good relationship with my dad, even after you divorced. It is refreshing to look back and know you never bad-mouthed your relationship to us kids, and always made an effort to not only be civil, but friends. I have never felt like the product of a divorced family because you and Dad have always put the effort in to make things good. I feel so lucky that I can spend holidays with both my parents, step-parents, and future in-laws, and never have an awkward moment.
11. Thank you for teaching me how to be a MOTHER. Someone who my kids can count on like I have always counted on you. I watch you with Brady and it's a little glimpse into my childhood with you. Even though you are a grandmother (Mimi) you still have so much energy and fun with my precious 2 year old. I think you are such a wonderful teacher because you bring that love and compassion for kids into the classroom. I am just lucky enough to get that experience 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
When I was a little girl, in twirly dresses, sparkly shoes, and braided hair....I told you that I would live with you forever. Which then turned to "I'll be your neighbor, then." I may be 10 minutes away, but I know if I ever needed you, you'd be here, and I think even at 4 years old that's what I was getting at. I love you so much, as my parent and best friend, I can't wait to see how our relationship will continuously evolve. This year is bringing a lot of changes...another baby and of course a wedding, and I am so happy we get to experience it all together.
"I'll love you forever and ever..."