I hope that your birthday getaway to Oregon was a much-needed and deserved break from your upcoming work deadline. I hope that you enjoyed your presents and the food, and loved being surrounded by people who love you for your special day. I hope that your 49th year will be a good one and that this upcoming tax season will be the easiest one yet. I hope that you get your swing set.
I’m the person I am today because of you. There are a million and one ways my life could have turned out, and I’m glad it turned out with you as my supporting, loving mother. I can’t think of another person in the world who has done as much for me as you have. You’ve gone beyond the call of duty too many times to count and, yes, I know that it’s because I’m spoiled. But without you I wouldn’t be the same, and I like to think that I’m awesome just the way I am.
Thank you for deciding to keep me even though there were other options. Thank you for raising me in Oregon for my formative years and continuing to take me back for visits so I could always be in touch with my roots. Thank you for putting up with my endless concerts and dramatic performances, ranging from Shania Twain to re-enacting The Mask. I can’t believe you’ve put up with almost twenty-two years of bad jokes, temper tantrums, and quirky habits.
Thank you for fixing ‘casserole’ when I was little, because I didn’t realize that the ingredients were cheap or easy to fix for a reason. Thank you for reading Harry Potter to me and changing my life. Thank you for all of the money you’ve spent on books for me—ranging from book fairs in elementary school to impulse buys at the checkout. Thank you for teaching me how to make pasta and encouraging me to cook when the mood struck.
Thank you for putting up with the dark years of me being a teenager. I know that I wore a lot of black, used way too much eyeliner, and listened to music that you couldn’t stand, but you still loved me. Thank you for attending all of my theatrical performances, sometimes multiple times, even though you probably didn’t care for all of the plays. Thank you for picking me up from rehearsals, conferences, and paying for me to go to Nationals.
Thank you for always supporting my writing in whatever way you can. Whether it’s letting me use an empty cubicle at your office, buying reams of paper for printing whatever draft I’m on, occasionally reading what I wrote when I let you, or telling clients with connections about what I do I appreciate it more than anything. I will deliver on that dedication one day, I promise.
Thank you for driving me to all my dates before I could drive myself. I know that must have been awkward on some level, but you never showed it. Thank you for accepting The Captain and treating him like part of the family, even though he might not be what you pictured my future husband to look or act like. Thank you for letting us mooch some food on occasion, paying for stuff until I can truly afford to do so on my own. Thank you for listening to when I call and talk about my day; I miss living at home for that reason (and many others).
Thank you for the countless times I left towels all over the house or floor, for when I didn’t do my dishes, for when I didn’t pick up after myself and left some kind of mess, for when I didn’t help out as much as I should have. Thank you for the Saturdays where I would hang out at your office, draw, and watch Disney movies on the VCR.
I could go on and on, thank you for a million things and more, but it still wouldn’t be enough. You’re my mom, but you’re also a role model, one of my biggest supporters and inspirations, and one of my best friends. You’re a constant in my life and I don’t know what I’d do without you.
Happy Birthday, Mom.
Your baby girl