It's no secret that I find myself challenged whenever it comes to giving gifts to either one of my parents. Seriously, what do you give to someone who basically has everything they'd ever ask for? Each year it gets harder and harder to think of new ideas. Something practical, or something whimsical? Something typical, or something sentimental?
This time around, my thoughts kept coming back to one thing...words.
A while back I started to watch the show, Grey's Anatomy. Wait, I know what you're thinking...What does that have to do with this post? ...Well, absolutely nothing...other than the fact that all doctor shows use patient stories to create the drama that they need to stay on the air. They explore the emotions humans go through when faced with the possibility, or even the reality of losing someone they love...and in these situations people always turn to the words they've been holding inside for far too long.
Don't worry, I'm not going all sappy right now...it just makes me think about how many opportunities we actually have to tell people what they mean to us while they're alive and well. It makes me realize that saying things when people are able to hear you is much better than saying things when it's too late.
...and so, I wrote some words for my mom...
Back in October, I had the chance to spend the day with my friend, Jana, on her little girl, Brin's first birthday. I was so impressed by how much of her heart Jana poured into making her little girl's first birthday party special. It's strange to say, but I couldn't help but think about what their relationship will be like in 18,20, or 50 years...after several years of life have transpired...after the "growing up" phase is complete...and I found myself hoping they would always remain close. Mother and daughter, and even close friends.
Then I thought of my own mother, and my own "growing up" phase. I thought about the birthday parties my mom planned, the cakes that she baked, and the books that she read before tucking me in at night. I thought about her sending me off to school, and waiting at the bus stop when the day was done. I thought about her driving me to volleyball practice, picking me up from the school dance, and cheering me on at every chance possible.
The only problem was that I was only a child...then I was only a teenager...and then I was only a stubborn young-adult who thought she knew everything about life. And when you are a child, a teenager, and a stubborn young-adult you don't realize that your mother doesn't do those things because she has to, she does them because she wants to. She does them because she wants your days to be special. She wants your life to be special.
Now, here I am 28 years later from when my mother placed that first candle on that first birthday cake, and I am absolutely sure that in that moment she could have never imagined the roller-coaster-ride my growing up would be. But she also couldn't have known how she would help to shape me into the person that I am today, and now that I'm grown up that's what I want her to know.
Tomorrow I'll share more details with you about how I made this little print...but today is my mom's birthday, and this post is for her! I hope her day was a happy one!