Today is my mom's birthday.
She's thirty. Again.
One of my earliest memories is sneaking into her bathroom, opening up her makeup drawer, and sitting on the counter while I put on her lipstick. I would know the smell of Elizabeth Taylor White Diamond Perfume anywhere in the world, and I don't check out at the grocery store without seeing a Woman's World magazine and thinking of her.
I remember sitting and watching my mom put on her makeup or curl her hair and thinking that she was the most graceful, beautiful person in the world (even in the days of light blue eye shadow. This was the 90's, people), and I wanted to be just like her. I remember watching her get dressed for a party once, and she wore a black dress and black heels with little gold beads on the front center of them. I thought she looked like a movie star.
As I've grown, my view of my mother has changed a little bit here and there. My mom is still beautiful as ever. She's spunky without being crass and she's classy without being stuffy. But I've also seen sides of her, as I've become a mother myself, that show her humanity. As little girls, we see our mothers and we think that they're these perfect molds of happiness. They're effortlessly successful. As children, we don't see the sacrifices, the late nights, the odd jobs to make ends meet, the coupon clipping, the middle of the night grocery store runs, the meal planning, the savings account adding, the worrying and praying and loving that goes into being a mother. And if we don't really notice so much of that, it's because we have good mothers. As we grow, think back and remember, our adult minds start to put it together.
I love you for all of it, mom. I love you for Christmas Around the World. I love you for that playhouse that I know wasn't cheap. I love you for the sound of typing late at night, with piles of Hot Tamales. I love you for stolen sips of diet coke with "this much" cherry coke. I love you for the time you yelled at the lunch ladies. I love you for tea parties. I love you for that brief stint with flute lessons. I love you for braces. I love you for that one time, in 5th grade, with that mean girl....you know. I love you for cinnamon rolls. I love you for frozen waffles on the way to Tami's. I love you for swim meets. I love you for dance competitions. I love you for Graceland and choir tours. I love you for giving me the "sex talk" while you played solitaire on the computer (talk about nonchalant. haha!). I love you for donuts after Saturday chores. I love you for emergency Lunchables from Dairyland before field trips. I love you for making me walk home from the bus stop the "long way" because it was safer. I love you for blocking MTV on cable even though I still think that's super stupid. I love you for all of it, and more. I love you for the things I never knew, and I love you for the things I know that we both wish we could forget.
You did a good job. You're still doing a good job.
Happy birthday, mamma. I owe you everything.