Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

I just want to wish everyone a Happy Mother's Day. Being a mom is the single most important job you'll ever have (just so there's no mistake, wife is the most important title, it's not a job). I have been blessed in my life to have an incredible mom, and several other wonderful mom figures. I nominated my mom for America's Favorite Mom, and even though she didn't win, I think she's the best. Here is my tribute to my mom.

My mom is a loving wife, a supportive mother, and an amazing preschool teacher. She raised me and my brother, took in a foster brother and raised our cousins. She put her career on hold while my brother and I were young to stay at home and give us a solid foundation. When we were both in school she decided to go back to work part time, but was always home when we got home from school. She reserved that time for us-she was never on the phone or busy with other things, she just wanted to hear how our day was. She knew everything that was going on in our lives because she listened.

I was a swimmer growing up, and Mom made it to every meet, and woke up at 5:45 every morning in the summer to take me to practice, and sat on the horribly uncomfortable bleachers during every practice. When I was in junior high, my parents decided to take in a kid from our youth group who was homeless. He lived with us for a year before he decided to move out and move on with his life. Even though he didn't live with us long, he still calls frequently to check in and for advice.My mom is also incredibly nurturing. My husband and I were stationed in Virginia, and he had to move back to Washington for his next billet. I couldn't go because I had one semester of school left, and a 3 month old baby. My mom took a leave of absence from work, came out to stay with me and do childcare which enabled me to finish my bachelor's degree. Right before I graduated we got the news that my husband was going to Iraq for 7 months, and instead of having me move to a new area while my husband was gone, my mom opened up her home for me and my son during deployment.

My mom is also a great preschool teacher. I think what makes her great is that she accepts nothing but the best from her students, and empowers them to make the best of themselves. While this isn't uncommon in teachers, I think her approach of working with her student's parents to be better parents is quite remarkable. Several of her past parents have become friends and even colleagues, and made changes that made them better parents and role models for their children.

One of the best lessons that my mom taught me was the importance of family. The summer after I graduated from high school my Uncle fell from a 40 foot tree and was in a coma. My mom had Power of Attorney for his kids, and cared for all four of them, ages 12, 11, 8 and 4 for over 3 months while we was recovering. She had to drive 250 miles one way every 4 days to drop them off at their mom's house, and then pick them up drive the 250 miles back for four days and then do it all over again. She never complained. The kids are incredibly close with her, and continually go to her for advice and support.

She has consistently showed her love to all of us, me, my husband, my brother, my son, and most importantly, my dad. She is my hero!

I love you, Mom.

Happy Mother's Day to all!