No, she is not a witch. (Wouldn't it be crazy though, if I told you that I grew up in a home like this??) But she was born on Halloween. I won't get distracted by a long explanation of what our family "Halloween" traditions looked like, but they rarely (if ever) involved trick-or-treating, and while I may have pined for it as a child, I am quite content now with our unique family history.
I didn't give my mom a birthday card today. This is her card, which I am letting you all read.
I've been thinking a lot about you in the past two months. As I spend my day with kids, I've been remembering what it was like to be a kid. And now that I am a primary caregiver, I feel like I get glimpses into what it might have been like for you to be my primary caregiver. Except that your job was tougher; you had four kids. Twenty-four hours a day. For twenty-seven years (from Sarah's birth until Jonathan turned eighteen). And really, it's been even longer than that - considering the short-lived success you've had in being an empty-nester!(I know we're all excited for Jonathan to come home, though.)
I feel humbled by the thought of the choices and sacrifices that you made over those years. I can never fully understand it. As a child, I (like all children) had no concept of my parents existing outside of their interactions with me. I lacked the ability to be grateful for the things you did for me, the ways you taught me, and how you lovingly guided me and helped me grow. And now, I know that you did do all those things, but I can't know how it felt (or feels) for you. Maybe someday if/when I am a mother, this will be even more clear.
Is gratitude twenty years on still meaningful? Because that is how I feel. Grateful to have a mother who loves me. Grateful to have a mother who loves Jesus. Grateful to have a mother who loves my father deeply. Grateful to have a mother who gave up many things to raise her children how she thought best. Grateful to have a mother who wants to be my friend - and yet has willingly given me my independence.
I love you.