A Letter To My Mother On My Birthday
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A Letter To My Mother On My Birthday

Because when it comes down to it, today simply is not about me

A Letter To My Mother On My Birthday
Victoria Cox

Dear Mom,

As I turn 20 today, I leave behind my childhood and teenage years, and I enter into the adult life you've prepared me for. As I dive into the unknown, I want to take a moment to thank you, because when it comes down to it— today simply is not about me.

Thank you for never expecting anything in return.

For the 20 years, you've given, given, given, and expected absolutely nothing in return. For the hundreds of nights I kept you up screaming as a baby (truly sorry I didn’t nap— I regret it now), just for you to wake up from your dangerously minuscule amount of sleep and do it all over again. For making me breakfast in the morning and dinner at night, for which my brother and I never stopped to think what went into it. For holding me through the night when I had a trying day, even when you hadn't had a good day yourself. For the $20 I weaseled out of you for a Friday night out, which you knew I’d never pay you back (and for all the times I “paid you back” with money you had originally given me…it’s an endless cycle…). For putting me before you, forever then, now, forevermore….

Thank you for being my biggest fan.

For hanging my second grade drawings up and having them framed, because I truly believed I was the next Van Gogh — and in your motherly loving heart, you did too. For going to watch my ballet performances when I was a toddler, and taking me to each practice and back again, but more so for being genuinely proud of me for jumping up and down in place and usually falling. For walking me proudly down the street hand-in-hand through all my phases: the tank-tops over long sleeve shirts, the colored mascara, the giant sunglasses (that phase never quite ended…), and my Heelys phase — despite being entirely unable to ride Heelys (#bringheelysback2017). For Mizzou-fying your wardrobe— the black and gold suits you well.

Thank you for somehow always knowing

For knowing when something went wrong, and for patiently pulling it out of me. For knowing I was sick just by looking at me, and for knowing when I was faking sick just by looking at me; for knowing when I was faking sick for a reason, and figuring out why. For always bringing extra toothpaste, among other necessities, on vacation because you knew I would inevitably forget mine. For reading my face, my words, my actions, and my body language better than anyone I know or ever will know. For knowing when I needed to be disciplined, and then for knowing when guilt was discipline enough. For knowing well before I even started drinking that I was going to outdo my limit last night….

Thank you for being a teacher

For teaching me true love and what to strive for in love through your example of 22 years of marriage. For teaching me selflessness in the way you care for your parents — making them dinner night after night, being their best friend, and giving up your freedom for their comfort. For teaching me the beauty in simple elegance when you wore that long red gown to a black tie when I was in first grade and I watched you leave our apartment (I remember thinking… if I can be that beautiful one day, how lucky I would be). For teaching me a love for God, and for raising me in the church — instilling me with firm, unshakable values and the knowledge that I am part of something much bigger than myself that has ultimately come full circle as a core part of my life. For teaching me perseverance as you stuck by my side and remained my rock during a dark time in my life, and showing me strength and poise in how you faced the challenges in your life.

Thank you for comforting me like only a mother can

For smelling like home. For letting the adolescent me steal your bathrobe when you would go out to dinner, because nothing steadies my heart beat like it’s smell and warmth. For answering my random late night calls from school because I forgot the time change, I had a headache and I needed advice…and the only person I wanted to talk to was you. For, at the end of a long day, being my breath of relief because in your arms, I know that no matter what, everything is going to be okay.

Thank you for giving me life

My life giver, in whose body I literally grew and became human: thank you for choosing life, and for creating life. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be who I am and experience this world in all of it’s glory. I have it all thanks to you.

Today is my chance to thank you for your never-ending labor (you can laugh, that was a joke). This is my chance to tell you — without you, I’d never be where I am today. Without you, I simply wouldn’t be.

Some may argue, but I’d venture to say that you, my mother, are the best mother in the entire world.

With endless love and thanks,

Your (no longer so little) daughter

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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