A couple weeks after I had Griffin, I called my mom.
“I am so sorry I ever caused you grief — at every stage,” I said, adding, “This mothering thing is hard.”
Like most kids, it took me awhile to realize my parents weren't always parents. I don't think they became actual people until I was in college, out of the nest. When I became a mother, scared to death to bring this beautiful newborn home from the hospital, I finally realized what my mom's life has been like.
My mom was 19 when she had my brother, Sean. I was 33 when I had my first child. I can't imagine becoming a mother when the word “-teen” still describes my age. When I was 19, I was playing beer pong and speed dialing Mad Mushroom for pizza with my college roommates. When my mom was 19, she was tasked with the most important job in the world! Over the next four years, she had two more children, me and my brother, Chris.
What I remember most is that our house was always clean; we always had a hot meal on the table with multiple side dishes; and, most of all, my mom was our biggest supporter.
When I won an essay contest in the fifth grade, I immediately went to the school's office to call mom.
When I wanted to play piano like the New Kids on the Block crew (don't judge me), mom set me up with piano lessons.
When I wanted to go to college, mom filled out all of my financial aid forms and helped me secure scholarships.
When I was a poor college student, mom sent care packages on a regular basis.
When I announced my engagement, mom took over the wedding plans and created the most magical night of my life.
When I was two weeks over due with Griffin, mom was by my side. And when I was in the throes of labor and my epidural ran out, mom held my hand.
Over the years, I've met broken people from not-so-good families. I often wonder what their lives would have been like if they had a strong, supportive and loving mother like mine.
This Mother's Day, I realize how blessed I am. I love you, mom.