Things have been quiet here on the blog as life has picked up (and I admit to letting my inner Eeyores run amok). Last weekend I flew to Connecticut for a whirlwind 24-hour extravaganza in honor of my mom’s 60th birthday. We surprised her with a party filled with family and old friends from her high school and college years. I was supposed to give a little speech, but, after sharing a slideshow with all her photos from babyhood until today (including footage from my parents wedding that I had never seen), I got too teary-eyed and thick in the throat to say what I had planned.
So, mom, this is what a meant to say.
Mom. You are 60 years old today, exactly twice my age. And that gives me some hope, because I have 30 more years to grow and become as wise and kind and grace-filled as you are. I am learning that motherhood can be a crucible through which these traits are formed.
Mom. When I was collecting these photos of you, I learned from your high school friends that you were once voted “Most Fog-Bound.” You always were dreamy but that only tells the easy story, doesn’t it? You are complex and gifted: a peacemaker, a creative force, a smarty theology talker, a storyteller, a proclaimer of God’s love and grace.
Mom. You make the best MorMor. You tell slightly off-color jokes, let my toddler jump on your couch, and sign up for mommy-and-me dance class so I can have a break on Saturday mornings. Thank you for loving my baby so well.
Mom. You may be getting older, but you can still sleep like a teenager. New wrinkles are showing but you shine with the beauty that comes with a well-lived life. You are aging well.
Mom. You have taught me how to always listen first. Thank you for never criticizing or cajoling, even when my choices didn’t make much sense. You are always even, always safe, always there when I need you. Thank you.
Mom. You let insults bounce off your back, like water droplets on waxy feathers; yet, you know when to stand up for yourself and fight back. Keep it up, it’s good for daughters to see their mothers engage with conflict.
Mom. Thank you for going to seminary when you were 40. Thank you for trusting God’s call on your life: to preach, to teach, to minister. I know that this road has had its sorry potholes, but I am so proud you took it anyway. Thank you for being the person that God created you to be. You have shown me that I can be brave.
Mom. If this is what 60 looks like, then I can’t wait for the next 30 years to fly on by.
I love you.