Hallmark chooses some beautiful words to grace the covers of Mother's Day cards. But after becoming a mother yourself, the words you really need to use to adequately thank your own mom are not exactly poetic. This is what my card to my mom should say, although no respectable card company would ever consider this:
You endured constant vomiting, swollen feet, puffy fingers, hemorrhoids and countless other complaints while housing me in your stretched out belly.
Once I arrived, you then suffered through stitches in places no woman wants to imagine, cracked nipples and the temporary inability to urinate without pain.
You sacrificed sleep to deal with my hunger and loneliness, and then later sacrificed sleep to deal with your fears of my latest boyfriend and potential to sneak out of the house.
I tested the boundaries and you never once strangled me, although at times I'm sure it was difficult to refrain.
You allowed me to make stupid decisions without rubbing it my face later, and cheered on my potty training efforts like I had won Olympic Gold every time.
Thank you for dealing with my crap and allowing me to live to have a child of my own, so that the tables may turn and I am now the puffy, sleep-deprived mad woman of the family."
I recognize all of this now that I have a child. But I have to say the one thing that hits my heart the most on my first Mother's Day is this: I know how much I love my daughter. And the knowledge that someone loves me that much is powerful enough to knock me to my knees.
Happy Mother's Day to all the women out there who contribute to raising a child. Whether you birthed your children, adopted, are a grandparent or just a strong female presence in a child's life, today you are celebrated. Now go get back in bed and make someone bring you flowers and pancakes.