Letter to Mothers from a 25-year-old Daughter

“A mother, a real mother, is the most wonderful person in the world.”
–Wendy (Peterpan)

I remember staring at it. Bright orange and very strange. My mother looked down at me, holding a pot in her hands and said, “See that orange thing? Don’t touch it. It’s very, very hot.” I bit my lip; well now I’m curious. My mother turned to the sink, separating water from pasta, and I reached up. Miliseconds later I was screaming, holding my tiny finger, now puffy and white from a serious burn.

Dear Mothers:

From the time we, your children, are born, you have a very difficult job. I didn’t understand this when I was little, because when you’re little you think of the “Mommy” job as something you asked for! I was always told by my mother, “God gave me you and your little brother.” Well, then, if that’s the case, we were determined to make her thankful for that!  Now that I am 25, I see the world of mother differently. Not because I am one, because I’m not. But I’ve just come to be very appreciative of… “the way I turned out” (for lack of better words). And credit needs to be given where credit is due.

Ann Taylor once said, “Who ran to help me when I fell, and would some pretty story tell, or kiss the place to make it well? My mother.” Thank you for all of the boo-boos you fixed, and thank you for every time you just had to throw in there, “Well, now I told you this was going to happen.” It’s true. You did tell me it was going to happen. But thank you for letting me learn the lesson myself.

When we are young children…

You create our memories. You establish our beliefs. You design our holidays. You direct our logic. You feed us. You tell us when to brush our teeth, when to change the TV channel and when to cover our eyes. You show us how to forgive, save money and stand still. To my own mother, you were my universe by creating my universe and helping me walk through it.

When we are tweens…

You allow us to try new hair styles and clothing styles. You encourage us to be brave and unique. You listen to our sob stories of embarrassing moments. You share with us your sob stories of embarrassing moments.  You take us shopping. You analyze our friendship choices. You pay for our extra-curricular activity of choice. You make us do the finger-tip check on our skirts before we run out the door, and you remind us to use our manners. To my own mother, you helped me feel cool when I was feeling very uncool. You told me when my outfits were ugly, and you helped me create an identity I could be proud of.

When we are teenagers…

You teach us how to drive. You explain the importance of multi-tasking and weighing options. You help us through the tough math homework, and you agree when we point out we’ll never use it. You fight with us, because you’ve been there. You worry for us, and watch the clock waiting for our curfew. You photograph our prom. You wave as we drive away.  You give us just enough space to grow. To my own mother, you stood firm when I tested you over and over again. You never stopped loving me, even when I thought maybe you had. You proved to me that you aren’t going anywhere, and that I was just going to have to deal with that.  

When we are young adults…

You edit our resumes. You suggest options. You call your connections. You help us fill out our tax forms and benefits paperwork. You explain direct deposits, 401k, taxes, IRAs and why bonuses are taxed. You go car searching with us, for our first big purchase. You photograph the moment we bring home our first big purchase.  You let us mess up, but you are always there when we do.

When we become parents…

One day, I will be a mother. I can only hope and pray that I will be like my mother. Strong, courageous, inquisitive, energetic,  inspiring, creative, business-oriented, and loving, so very, unimaginatively loving.

To all of you Mothers out there, regardless of what stage your child may be in… please know, everything you are doing will not be forgotten and it is so very appreciated, even if it causes us, your children, to throw a fit. We love you. We love your crazy sayings (that never really make sense, and yet they do). We need your discipline. We need your guidance. We need you to make us angry, because that makes us think which makes us learn which makes us never forget.

We, your children, won’t be able to fully grasp who you are and what you’ve been doing all these years until far, far down the road. But as our lives change and people go their separate ways, you MUST know…

Home is where our Mama is.

Keep on fighting for us, even if that requires fighting with us. Because we will always love you and we will always need you.
The work you do is priceless. From cutting the crust off of sandwiches to beyond: You will always be amazing.

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3 responses to “Letter to Mothers from a 25-year-old Daughter”

  1. Angela Skaggs says:

    How beautiful and it really makes me feel appreciated. Love you.

  2. Fred R. Skaggs says:

    That’s my girl. You know how to say it, and you say it well. You are absoluely right. Your mom is a great lady. She has put up with a lot and walked most of this road alone, but it has clearly been worth it. You will never know a time when she is not your friend.


  3. Shannon says:

    You made me cry!! Beautiful words from a beautiful soul.

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