Motherhood is complicated under the best of circumstances. I’ve worked many jobs in my lifetime, and without a doubt being “mom” is the hardest one.
With that in mind, I’d like to introduce you to my mother.
When I was a little girl, my mother gave me books and encouraged me to read them. She spent countless hours reading to me, both before and after the magical day when the little black squiggles made sense to me on my own. She read me everything from Little House on the Prairie to Little Bear, every day and over and over until I knew the beloved stories by heart.
My mother made me dresses. Beautiful dresses with skirts that swirled. I loved going to the fabric store and picking out the material. I loved it even more when that material became a real dress I could wear to school. My favorite sundress was black with tiny multicolored flowers. I liked it best because the first day I wore it a giant morning glory butterfly flew up and fluttered around the skirt.
Best of all, my mother supported my dreams. When I scrawled a new “book” on construction paper, my mother read it and praised my efforts. When I finished my first (awful) manuscript in high school, my mother was proud of my accomplishment. When I went into law, but still wanted to write “someday,” my mother’s belief helped keep that dream alive.
In 2004, my mother sent me to Maui for the writer’s conference that put me on the path of serious writing. I wasn’t going to go (for financial reasons) and she gave me the conference as a birthday present. A birthday present that once again changed my life.
It is no mistake that my first novel is dedicated to the mother who loved me, supported me and encouraged my dreams. I am who I am and where I am in large part because of her. The lessons she taught me could fill many books. The love she has shown me can’t be expressed in words.
Happy Birthday, Mom. I’m sorry I can’t share today with you in person, but I’m grateful for you in every possible way.
If you have a mom to hug or call, go do it. I hope yours is as big a blessing to you as my mother is to me.