Today is Mother's Day.
The House of Representatives in May, 1913, unanimously adopted a resolution requesting the President, his Cabinet, members of Congress, and all officials of the federal government to wear a white carnation on Mother's Day. Congress passed another Joint Resolution May 8, 1914, designating the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day. The U.S. flag is to be displayed on government buildings and at people's homes "as a public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country." President Woodrow Wilson issued the first proclamation making Mother's Day an official national holiday.
from: All About Mother's Day
While it's sad that it takes an act of Congress to remind us to call our mothers, it's important that we do. And when your mother is as amazing as mine (which yours probably isn't... nothing personal, but my Mom is fan-freakin-tastic) you have a lot to be thankful for.
My mom fits in to many molds and then shatters the hell out of each and every one of them. She came from a large family where she worked hard to help raise 8 other kids. She met my dad on a blind date. She got married and pregnant (with me!) young. Went to school part time and worked full time. Finished her degree. and had another kid. Ho-hum. But the thing is that nothing is ho-hum when you're a Mother. Because each of the things she has done are a major accomplishment for anyone and when you put them together, it's beyond comprehension the will-power and strength of character that it takes to do all of it and do it well.
And of course we didn't make it any easier (and still don't, that's part of our charm) See, both of her children are male, as is her husband (which should come as no surprise) and we're also a bunch of sarcastic, cantankerous, stubborn, unreasonable, smart-asses. In many ways, to us, taunting is the same as saying "I love you." and in retrospect, she has gotten more than her share of the taunting from any one of us, and then that's multiplied by 3. Little things, like the inter-city high school rivalry... she went to the "other" school. My dad, my brother and I all went to the same school (had some of the same teachers too). So she'd get grief for that. And she took it, and took it and took it, and still takes it. But she never gave it back, becuase she's smart enough to know that when you want to say "I love you", saying "I love you" is really a better way than saying something like "You make monkeys look polite, assface." which is more along the lines of the way the males in our family think. So yeah.
Then there's the strength of character she has for herself. Getting married young and poor and having a kid right off before you've finished college, and marrying a guy who works in a guitar shop is not the best plan from a financial point of view. So mom worked. Finished college and got a degree in something marketable (as opposed to psychology, theater and philosophy like the men in this family) and then worked and worked some more to make sure that we grew up normal and happy. All this time, at heart, my mother has been an explorer and wanderer as much as the rest of the family. For years she put aside that wanderlustand worked her corporate 9-5 job while Dad played in a band, I did theater and my brother was a little rat-bastard. It built inside her, and yet she put the three of us before her own dreams.
It paid off. I'm happy with my life, and have married a woman who is on par with my mother for sheer mind-bending amazement level. My brother is happy with his life and has more potential than stem cells, and my Dad, well, that lucky bastard gets to spend every day of his life with an amazing woman whom he loves and even more amazing, loves him back. And now that I've got my own family, and my brother is on his way into the world as a college graduate with a degree in philosophy and a remarkable ability to seperate diners from tip-money, my mom is finally at a stage when she can let those dreams she's been holding for the last 30 years come sailing out. And boy is she. Yesterday my mother did the Indianapolis Mini-Marathon. Why? Because she doens't believe in doing things half way. Like me, if she's going to do something it's all or nothing. When she decided that 2 kids and 30 years of desk jobs had left her in a physical shape she didn't like, she didn't sign up for a gym membership and say I'll work my way up to fitness. Not my mom... she decided to do triathalons. This from a woman who didn't even like being near water, let alone swimming. If you're going to excersize, do it big! In August she'll be doing the Chicago Triathalon. But not just because she thinks that the excersize is good for her. That's not enough for her. She wants it to be good for other people too. So she's doing the triathlon for Teams in Training to help raise money for Lukemia patients.
My mom gave so much of herself to help my brother, myself, and even my father grow up to be pretty good people over all. And now that she's got the time and the chance to follow those dreams, she's using them to help other people have better lives too.
There's just not enough I can say about how great my mom is except...
Thanks and I Love You!