Sometimes, a simple thank you can go a long way.
Especially to a mom. Being a mother, like my own mom once said, “Ain’t for the faint of heart”. It is a relatively thankless job, very little pay, but has the best benefits of any career out there. So this year, I just want to say thank you to all the mom’s out there that have made me who I am today.
None of them hear it enough. Mostly, because we are all so busy anymore with our own lives that we forget to tell our mom’s much more than the minimal details that happen in our daily lives. I know I am certainly guilty of leaving out the simple, yet important, things she needs to hear.
I rarely tell her how awesome she is. How proud I am of how she and Dad raised us. How much I admired her as a child for her strength, grit, and ability to be both a rancher and a housewife. I know she doesn’t hear it enough, because I don’t say it enough. I don’t tell her thank you enough for teaching me how to ride, how to drive, and how to cook. I haven’t told her thank you enough for not killing me when I broke her sewing machine. Or when I was a brat and argued with her over whether I should wear dresses or jeans. Or that time I told her I was going to Canada with my boyfriend when I was 18 and there was nothing she was going to do about it…
My mom has always been my hero. She is artistic and creative. She is funny and sometimes a bit crazy. She has talents that I can only dream of ever having; mostly because she didn’t share her patience genes with me. She taught me how to ride a horse, how to break colts without getting killed, and proved to me that screaming while riding a run-away horse only makes things worse. She was the one that taught me to drive (while I admit that sucked for both of us, she survived.) She took me hunting, shopping, and instilled a love for animals and wide open spaces that I will never lose.
Growing up, my mom was a hard ass (or at least it seemed like it!). She wasn’t a pansy pushover- but I don’t remember necessarily pushing her buttons to a point of making her inner grizzly bear come out more than a handful of times. ( I am sure she remembers it differently…) Of course I am sure it helped that we were scared to death of our dad, so she definitely only had to say “You better hope your dad doesn’t catch you doing that” and we pretty much quit doing whatever we were doing that was making her mad. Even though she might have been ornery at times, she never failed to show us how much she loved us, and never failed to make us feel special.
She is much more patient than I have ever been, and how she dealt with three kids and my dad and living on the ranch, I will never know. I always admired that my mom was always out in the thick of the work- of course she cooked and cleaned and did laundry and all those other motherly things, she also helped build fence, moved cows, worked in the branding corral, ran the baler, broke colts, and always stood right beside my dad. While she tends to opt for the role of babysitter these days, I would say she has certainly paid her dues as a ranch wife over the years.
Although we haven’t always agreed on things (clothing styles, and the virtues of raising chickens, just to name a few), we have managed to survive each other’s wrath’s to become the best of friends. We still don’t agree on everything, but at least we appreciate each other’s point of view a little better. She isn’t just my mom, she is my friend. I could never truly show her how much I love her, because you just can’t quantify stuff like that.
I am grateful that our girls have not just one, but two really awesome grandmothers that love them dearly. Which brings me to my other mom.
I am extremely blessed to have a mother-in-law who is also my friend. She has always treated me better than she probably needed to, and has always supported (most) of the decisions Shane and I have made. Not counting the time I talked him into rescuing a red Heeler puppy from the vet clinic I worked at (he still lived at home, and they already had two dogs- his mom was less than impressed with me at the time), we have never really had a tough time getting along. She is forgiving, kind, and funny, and I love that she shows real interest and cares about our agriculture lifestyle. Never one to be a pushover, I have admired her strength, character, and ability to stand her ground and do what ever the hell makes her happy. I love her now more than ever.
When we decided to start a family of our own, I wasn’t so sure I was going to hack it being a mom. I had no idea how to handle a newborn, but I like to think I had really great teachers when it comes to this parenting gig. Between my grandmas, my mom, my mother in law, and all the other great mom’s I have had the pleasure of knowing over the years, I guess I am finally starting to figure it out.
To risk sounding cliche`, being a mom has been the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. It is the best job I never had to apply for, and the best present I never bought. My daughters’ laughter is music to my ears, and there is nothing on this planet that compares to snuggling my babies and just watching them grow into beautiful, respectable little ladies. I love how excited they are to see baby calves, ride the horses, and ride in tractor with their dad. They may have changed my body in ways that will never be recovered, but they filled a hole in my heart I never knew I had. I never felt real, unconditional love until my girls were born. I know every mom feels this way- and what a great feeling to know!
Happy Mother’s Day to all you mom’s out there. I hope you know how wonderful you are, and how much your children love you. One day a year isn’t enough to show you how much you are appreciated! After all, without your love and care, none of us would have lasted long with Dad. So, once again, thank you for loving your children- through all the blood, sweat, tears, dirty diapers, nagging, up-all-nighters, school plays, first sleep overs, first boyfriends (or girlfriends), inlaws, graduations, weddings, and everything in between- thank you. I love you.
Much Love ~ Richelle