I have beautiful memories of Freida Hall, the woman who wiped my snotty nose, cleaned out my grungy ears, and made sure I always wore clean underwear. Glamorous roles, indeed.
Isn’t that what being a mother is about, though? Taking on those tough jobs that nobody else wants to do: Getting up at midnight and two and four and six with a newborn who can’t settle into a schedule, or with a two year old who just wants to have a cuddle and a bit of comfort, or with a 16-year-old whose boyfriend had just broken up with her?
It’s about doing the tough love stuff when necessary–sniffing out the truth instead of believing every word her beloved child tells her. It’s about holding that child accountable for wrongdoing, and then holding her close and letting her know she’s still loved.
I’d love nothing more at this moment than to be able to tell my mom how much I loved her and how much she meant to me. I’d say:
Thanks Mommy for all of those unglamorous acts you performed, for all the wiped noses and bums, all the scrubbed faces and ears.
Thanks for all the times you stayed up with me, cuddled me, held my hand, cooled my fevered brow, and listened to my teenaged angst.
Thanks for teaching my brothers and me to be responsible adults through example and discipline and tough love.
Thanks, Mom. I love you and miss you every day.
Peace, people. Life’s too precious for anything else.