I think you're the greatest. I really do.
You look back on my childhood with regrets and "what if", but I look back with the fondest of memories. I haven't forgotten the bad times, it's just that the good definitely out way those bad days.
You gave me stability and security, even when there wasn't.
You went to work outside our home, when everything in you wanted to stay home and "mommy" us. I knew you would have rather been home cooking and cleaning for us, and that it ate at you that you weren't there. That is why I took up those chores, hoping to help you do what you had to do with a little less guilt. I took so much pride in having your kitchen clean for you when you came home, just like you would have. I copied you in so many ways, and I still do.
I look back and laugh at some of our memories. I'll never forget the first time we had to figure out the riding lawnmower on our own. Two clueless gals, trying to cut grass. You didn't weigh enough to keep the mower on, so I had to ride behind you. We talked a lot while the two of us circled the yard. Our hearts got closer and closer every week we circled together in the sunshine smelling freshly cut grass, feeling quite proud of ourselves for figuring it all out. Sure, we ran into the fence once, and we never did quite get that weed eater going - but, we did what needed doing. You and I.
Randi was too little to help a whole lot, and she just seemed so fragile. You and I became partner mothers for her, for better or for worse. And, we had both of those, the better and the worse - The Three Musketeers. It was us three against the world!
But, it wasn't. We had so many others supporting us, even when it felt like a lonely time. I remember Grandma showing up with bags of goodies. I remember Uncle Jasper coming for a late night emergency call. Three hysterical females screeching and pointing at an upside down bucket covering a mousetrap containing a mouse, and loosing our minds every time that bucket scooted a bit. We laughed and laughed. How do people survive without family?
I guess that what I want you to know is that you did well. It was the best of times and the worst of times all at once, and I remember the better days more. You did that for us. You made it ok.
What I have learned about motherhood, is that no one expects perfection from a mother but herself. If you love your people, they cut you a lot of slack. Just love your people well.
Was my childhood perfect? Nope.
Were you a perfect mother? Nope.
But, you were perfect for us, because you have always loved us well.
Oh, have you loved us well.