I write this as a young adult, at a stage in my life when I am beginning to know and understand you as more than just my mother.
As I grew up I phased in and out of many stages. You watched them all, holding my hand and supporting me, guiding me and encouraging me, fighting me and teaching me.
You have seen me grow into the person I am today, the entire time without me really knowing you.
You know what makes me cry, what makes me smile. You helped nourish my strengths and have accepted my weaknesses. You made me the person I am today, and I barely knew you.
I knew you were my mom. You were the person I ran to when I fell off my bike. You were the person I ran from when you caught me hitting my sister.
I knew you were my caretaker. The woman who tucked me in at night. The person who made sure I had clothes to wear and food to eat.
I knew you were my teacher. You studied with me, did homework with me and quizzed me the night before exams.
I knew you were my counselor. You listened when I cried through break ups. You advised me when I struggled with friends.
I knew you were my advocate. You fought for me to succeed. You pushed me to keep growing and being better. You stood up for me when my ability was questioned.
You were everything to me, you did everything for me. I thought I knew you. You were mom—plain and simple.
I sit here today knowing that I was so very wrong.
I am amazed every day by all the parts of you I never saw before. But how could I? I was busy growing up, too consumed with my own development.
So I hope you know today that I am beginning to know you as a woman with an identity comprised of so much more than just a mother.
You are sensitive. I know I have hurt you through the years with my own self-absorption, assuming mothers didn’t have feelings. I know now that you do.
You are strong. You are everything to everyone and you don’t ask for anything in return. You stand tall and you keep going when you could have thrown in the towel many times.
You are selfless. I thought it was a mother’s job to give up everything for her children. I was wrong, it isn’t. But you did.
You are a damn good time. I fought against being your friend for so long. It wasn’t cool to be friends with your mother. Well I missed out, because it turns out that you can walk into a room and instantly lift the mood simply by your presence.
You are insecure. It may be rare, but I pay attention when you let your guard down. You let me in and I thank you for that. You are showing me that you are human.
You are confident. You know who you are and you live authentically. You don’t apologize for being you. I admire that.
You are a friend, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a wild dancer, a nervous driver, a lifetime movie sap and a life enthusiast.
I am so fortunate that I get to know you as more than just a mother. I know not everyone has that opportunity.
What a blessing it is for the tides to change. How amazing it is that life keeps altering our relationships.
So happy Mother’s Day to the woman I am finally getting to know. I look forward to one day being a mother myself, to sitting with you as I learn what it is like to be on the other side of this journey.
Author: Alissa Lastres
Editor: Travis May