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Lauren Smith

Lauren Smith

Dear Mom,
I know you've heard the countless "thank you"'s over time when you bought me something special, drove me to a friend's place, or made my favourite dinner just because you knew I needed it. But this time, my thank you is a different one. Now I want to thank you for the bigger things, the unforgettable, life changing differences you have made in my life.
Mom, thank you for me. You carried me for nine months in hot summer weather at the expense of your back and your bladder, you suffered long and sleepless nights, insane hormone fluctuations, and all of the countless pains of pregnancy for me. At that point, you had every right to despise me for messing up your body and being the selfish unborn creature that I was, yet you still read to me, talked to me, and sang to me. Before I was even born, before you knew my name, gender, or hair colour, you had a dream for all that I could become, and hope for me to be healthy, happy, and loved. And then, after all of that, you did something that even today seems impossible, you did the most painful and brave act a human could ever do: you gave birth to me. There was blood, tears, and sweat. It wasn't fun, it wasn't pretty, but the second I took my first breath you were holding me to your chest and whispering sweet words of love to me. So thank you, mother, for the feat that was making me.
I could stop there, because carrying me and birthing me alone deserves more thanks than I can utter in a lifetime, but your love didn't stop there.
Mom, thank you for the years that followed. Thank you for getting up at midnight to feed me, for losing sleep over my piercing screeches at 3am, for changing my diapers and carrying me on your hip and bathing me and feeding me and hushing me and giving me all of your attention, all at the expense of your energy and time. You did all of these things before I could even speak, when all I knew how to do was take and take. Yet you still gave and gave. You are the back bone of humanity, the epitome of all of the strength, selflessness, endurance, and love that a woman can possess. Thank you.
And I suppose I could stop there. You carried me, birthed me, and nurtured me so I could become the woman I am. But mother, you still didn't stop there. You created and nurtured a beautiful and healthy child, and then you shaped a woman.
Mom, thank you for teaching me how to be grateful. Thank you for teaching me the importance of friends and family, and the importance of human connection. Mom, thank you for teaching me that I can be whoever I want to be, and that no one can stop me. You fostered every dream that popped into my head, from being an author to being a hockey player, you were there along the way telling me I could do it if I really wanted it.
Mother, thank you for teaching me the importance of education. On the nights when I still had chapters to read for school, or pages of math to do, you would not let me leave to hangout with my friends until I finished. Although I didn't understand it at the time, and I certainly was not going to thank you for it, I thank you for it now, because if it weren't for you instilling that early sense of importance for education in me, I may not have even made it this far in my schooling.
Mom, thank you for teaching me lessons the hard way. I can only imagine how hard it must have been for you to watch me struggle and fume over one problem and not interject, but you knew that if you never let me do anything by myself then I could never be independent. You taught me that I don't need guidance for everything, that anything I want to do I can find the will and power to finish it in myself. That includes the countless chores I had to learn, and the housekeeping I needed to get done. Although at the time I was envious of the friends who had no house work to do, looking back now I see that because of the laundry and dishes I had to do when I was 13, I did not have to phone home my first year of university asking how to do laundry. You had already molded me into a self-sustaining woman who could take care of herself.
And finally, mother, I have one last thank you to give. You carried me, birthed me, nurtured me, molded me, but above all else, you gave all of yourself for me. You gave your sleep, your energy, your sanity, your happiness, your time, your social life, and even some of your own dreams, for me. I remember the times when you'd lay on the couch, exhausted, and I'd still be asking you to play dolls with me or look at my new drawing. I thought you were just being boring, but looking back I see that that was the mark of a truly exhausted and over worked parent just needing that one second of peace and rest. However, I know that if asked to do it again, you would. You would give it all up over and over again for me.
So mother, thank you. Not just for the small things, but thank you for your entire life- the precious life of yours that you gave up, all so that I could have one of my own.
I love you to the moon and back,
Lauren.

Thank You Mom & Dad

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