I say that a lot, mostly in that sigh-and-roll-my-eyes way. Rarely the way that I ought to. Rarely the way that means "Hey, Mom, I love you, Mom."
Every year I think that I shouldn't wait so long to say these things to you, and then every year it's mother's day again and I'm scratching my heart out in another card, hoping I can make you understand that I understand that no matter how often I say it, it will never, ever be enough.
Oh, Mom. Thank you.
Thank you for trusting me.
Thank you for making me earn your trust.
Thank you for not allowing me to wear makeup until I was old enough to recognize my own naked face in the mirror.
Thank you for being more concerned with your kindness than your beauty, and being all the more beautiful for it.
Thank you for always having the right costume for an occasion.
Thank you for staying beside me until I fell asleep, your two year-old five year-old thirty year-old baby girl.
Thank you for keeping a journal of my first years, so I could have the memories that I was too young to form.
Thank you for being tough as nails without abandoning your tenderness.
Thank you for never giving up, and teaching me to fight for myself and my own. Even when I was fighting with you. Especially when I was fighting with you.
Thank you for gracefully owning up to your mistakes, so I wouldn't have to fear my own.
Thank you for listening to me wail when I made my own.
(Like that one time I tried to push you down into the New Mexico snow, and found myself pinned to the ground, cold and wet, until I'd learned my lesson. That was a mistake. You're quicker than I'd thought.)
Thank you for your love of colors, and sequins.
Thank you for showing me that "follow your dreams" means "work really hard at what you love," and that success is measured individually, internally.
Thank you for teaching me that being generous does not mean being a pushover.
Thank you for teaching me that family has very little to do with blood.
Thank you for always, always putting our little family first, and including yourself among us.
Thank you for being the family mascot, our collective beating heart.
Thank you, Pinky. I love you.