The song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” played at our wedding – I stood in foyer of the church and listened to the words knowing that many rough and rocky roads had led me to where I was standing. The doors swung open and I suddenly became a bride – the crowd stood and your dad’s eyes filled with tears. I remember looking at you both – the weight of this new adventure rested squarely on my shoulders – truthfully, I was scared to death – I had no idea how to be a wife or a mom so I did the only thing I could…..I put one foot in front of the other and walked down the aisle…..
Much of the last 10+ years have been like that – me scared to death – just putting one foot in front of the other. Most days I’m convinced that I’ve made a horrible mess of it all but on days like Saturday, I see a glimmer of hope that just maybe I didn’t totally screw it all up. I think back to days, like our wedding, where you were waiting at the end of the aisle – you had no idea how it would all work out but you loved me anyway. There are few moments in life that leave really profound footprints on your heart but that day was one of those for me. It wasn’t the flowers or the dress or the “wedding” – it was you and dad waiting for me at the end of that aisle. Prepared to walk through life with me – to love me in spite of the many mistakes I was sure to make. Completely trusting that I would figure it out, eventually.
When a child is born there is a physical connection – an instinct that kicks in – a love that bubbles up from somewhere inside of you. It is undeniable and unexplainable – it is terrifying and amazing all at the same time. It is a beautiful thing – no doubt – but when God places a child in your life, when He places the hand of that child in yours, something equally amazing happens. It is also terrifying and amazing – undeniable and unexplainable. It is a miracle in the rarest of forms – there is suddenly a connection that is created, not by blood or DNA, but by God. There is a love that defies all odds and knows no boundaries for it isn’t supported by anything that science can explain.
No one could have prepared me for being your mom – no one could have explained what it means to be “picked” by someone. You had a choice and you chose me – undeserving and flawed and imperfect (although I’m sure the chocolate chip cookies helped) – you believed in me, you loved me, you respected me, you made me your mom. The gift that you gave me is one that most people will never understand – every parent is blessed but few are given the gift of parenthood by a child that had a choice.
I’ve certainly failed you on more than one occasion – I’ve been impatient and short tempered – I’ve worked too much and taken a lot of moments for granted but I hope that you know how grateful I am that you chose me. I hope you know that on the hardest of days I think back to you standing at the front of that church and I draw strength – how could I offer anything less than my best when that sweet 7 year old boy is cheering me on. How can I doubt myself when such an amazing kid saw enough in me to believe that I would figure it all out. You made me a mom and that is a blessing that I will never take for granted.
I love you more than you can possibly fathom – my heart aches when I think about you not being at home but I know the man you’ve become and I know you will do amazing things. Always remember that when things get tough, I believe in you and I choose you – EVERY SINGLE TIME. Nothing – not time or distance or DNA can change that – I will always be a phone call away. I’ll be on a plane, I’ll get on a boat, I’ll charter a sub, I’ll do whatever it takes to be there, if you need me. Never doubt my love for you or the place you have in my heart – you are my hero, my firstborn, my retirement plan (just kidding about the retirement thing – well kind of). I love you and I’m forever in your debt.