Sarah Brady Stack
Lately, I’ve been a horrible daughter. I missed Mother’s Day. I didn’t do anything for my mother to commemorate the occasion. I slacked on my daughterly duties because I was tired from having worked a 22-hour day that ended at 5:30 that morning. All I cared about was sleeping—which is exactly what I told my mother when she called to remind me it was Mother’s Day. I have come to regret my behavior. Sometime since Mother’s Day, it dawned on me that my mother has never ignored her parental responsibilities, even when she was tired. To commemorate my mother’s birthday today, I am taking this my second chance to acknowledge and thank my mother for all she does, as well as remind the other slacker children out there with amazing parents who might need a second chance, too.
When I was young, my mother, like all other amazing moms, made sure that I was fed, dressed and clean for school every morning and for bed every night. She ensured that I could pursue my interests and talents in academics and extracurriculars, no matter the cost in time or money.
I realized recently that she once bought me a dress just because I wanted it, instead of a new pair of glasses for herself when money was tight, even though her only eyeglasses were broken. She wore her taped-up glasses for months and never once seemed to care what anyone else thought. At the time, her general disinterest with fashion embarrassed me instead of inspired me to aspire to the same level of self-confidence (and, as I later learned, selflessness).
She supported me at my best and at my worst. She loved me even when I was a horrible teenager routinely throwing a fit. She stays up with me when I’m sick—all night if necessary—including a year and a half ago when I had a bad case of stomach flu on Thanksgiving Eve. She then took me to the ER at 5 a.m., and still went to my grandmother’s to cook a dinner for 30 people after I finally was asleep.
Mothers (and fathers, too) never get to take a vacation from having children and being parents. Yet, despite their enormous workload, they are infrequently thanked for their hard work. How can one day a year possibly express the amount of appreciation that we all should share with our parents for a life time of unconditional love and support.
So here’s the biggest “thank you” to all of the absolutely amazing parents out there. Know that you’re appreciated and loved by your children for everything you’ve done and continue to do — because you never stop being parents, just as we never stop being children—even when we forget to call, or throw a tantrum.
Thank you, Mom. I owe everything about me that I’m proud to have become to you and Dad. Happy birthday.
Sarah Brady Stack, a former Central Arkansas resident living in Manhattan, works for a New York publishing house. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.