I'm Sorry, Mom, For All The Years I Didn't Understand How Much You Love Me

I'm Sorry, Mom, For All The Years I Didn't Understand How Much You Love Me

I'm turning into you, and it's not as horrible as I thought it would be.
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I know it couldn't have been easy to raise me, but you and Dad did it.

Throughout my childhood, I would sometimes get annoyed with the decisions you made or the embarrassing things you'd do from time to time.

Back then, it bothered me... but now I realize that it's part of growing up.

Being a teenager is hard, and I know that I couldn't have been that nice to you. I was trying to figure out who I was and what I believed. I had to navigate high school and friends and everything else puberty threw at me. Through all of that, you were my scapegoat. If I was angry, you were the person that I'd get angry with. It wasn't fair whatsoever, but even then, I knew that you were someone that would never stop loving me, no matter how awful I was to you... so I kept doing it.

I'm only now starting to realize how much I hurt you... and I'm really sorry.

As I get older, I'm starting to see everything you've done for me.

From the day I was born, you (and Dad) have loved me more than I know. You were a stay-at-home mom while I was young, making it a priority to teach me things like the alphabet and numbers and shapes. You did anything you could to help me excel and learn to love learning.

You encouraged me to do things I love, and that was apparent in softball. You came to all my games and cheered me on. You sewed up jerseys and washed loads upon loads of dirt-ridden clothes. You encouraged me to practice even if I wasn't feeling it. You were as invested in my hobbies as I was, which, back then, I took for granted.

In addition to the good times, you also stood by me when making hard decisions. When I decided to quit playing softball, I remember being terrified to tell you and Dad. However, both of you were understanding and told me you'd stand by me no matter my decision.

You also always let me make my own decisions. Being the indecisive person I am, I both love and hate this. In the moment, I want the easy answer and I hate that you don't tell me what I should do. However, in retrospect, I know that you're simply letting me figure out life on my own and allowing me to grow into the human I am supposed to be.

Mom, thank you for everything. Thank you for everything I can be too stubborn to notice. Thank you for loving me - truly and unconditionally.

We still don't agree on everything, but as I get older, I realize how much I am turning into you. No matter how much I said I wouldn't, I am.

And it's not as horrible as I thought it would be.

I love you, Mom.

Cover Image Credit: Jenny Lofton

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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A Goodbye Letter To My Best Friend

You'll always be my puppy.

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Dear Lexie,

I grew up with you, and then I watched you grow old. For 14 years you loved our family and greeted us each morning with your puppy smile. I'll never forget those first few years of life with you.

As you and your playful soul grew, so did my love for you. I have memory upon memory of you romping around on the carpet in our living room, eagerly seeking to engage us in a playful endeavor. Your tail would wag and your tongue would flop as you ran around in circles sharing your unbridled joy with us all. I'd then find one of your many toys and send it careening through air for you to dash across the living room in a tizzy.

As you continued to grow, so did your excitement and optimism for new feats of playfulness. Even in the sweltering heat of July, you would tear across the backyard in search of lost toys and a space to play. You'd run circles non-stop and I could never keep up with you! But as soon as both of us were tired, a nice swim would cool us both down. I would sit on the pool stairs next to you, both of us drenched after a dip, and just listen to you pant away while you still held your puppy smile. You were satisfied with yet another day filled with laughter, play, and companionship.

Even in your youth, you still had your moments of love and calm. I can remember the days when we would all sit as a family watching TV and you would sit quietly at our feet. Then when the time came, you would come and rest your head on the empty seat next to me and give me those big old puppy dog eyes. You always wanted to sit on the couch, and I always eventually caved. A quick two slaps on the seat and you would enthusiastically jump on to comfortably join me.

And the one thing I'll never forget about you Lexie was your insatiable hunger! Scores of cakes and cookies left on the kitchen counter were lost to you over the years. And even after a day of looting, you'd come to us at the kitchen table to rest your head on my leg to beg for more food (and once more I couldn't resist).

As you got on in age, you began to grow a white beard which stood out on your chocolate fur. You were no longer running around as frequently as you once had, but you still had every desire to play. But the one thing that never disappeared was that beautiful puppy smile. And so as I write this goodbye to you on February 2nd of 2019, I want you to know that we all love and miss you. You were a beacon of hope for our family, and you never let your ailments dampen your wonderful spirit. I'll never forget you or the times we had. I know now that you can finally steal all the cookies and cakes you want! While today might have been sad, I will forever remember all the joy you brought to us. Here's to you Lexie, my best friend of 14 years. I hope one day I can see your puppy smile once more.


Love,

Anthony

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