an open letter to my mom.

Dear Mom,

Happy birthday! It’s a blessing to be able to celebrate another year of life with you. I know aging isn’t always easy. We think of all the lives who haven’t made it to “28”, we can’t help but feel grateful to celebrate another year with you. Trust me, you don’t look a day over 20.

What a year it’s been! It’s been beyond special to watch you flourish as a Grandma this year. I don’t say often enough how wonderful you are in this role. My children adore you. I feel like I have this unique inside view watching what it was like to be a baby in your home 32 years ago. Your creativity astounds me. The games you make up to keep Kirsten and Logan entertained are nothing short of wildly amusing. Your patience knows no bounds and no matter what mood they are in, you will have them smiling and giggling in no time. You managed to get my kids to sleep in the early days in ways that were an art form – balancing one on your lap while patting a back, and rocking the other one in your arms with a blanket delicately draped over their cheeks. When I was too tired or foggy to process much, you took over feeding and sent me to a quiet room to pump and made grandmothering look so natural. I drank in your wisdom and was thankful for all the tips and tricks you taught me, and are still teaching me.

I don’t tell you enough what a great mom you were. If I had a dollar for every time I shared something “my mom did when I was younger….” and the amount of people who called you a genius, I would be a millionaire. You parented with patience, love and an extraordinary amount of creativity. It was something I took for granted until I started to realize how unique and special what I had really was. You instilled in me so many special things – a deep appreciation for Johnny Mathis and Eva Cassidy, a love for cooking and entertaining, a heart that prayed for the family of the person in an ambulance that passed us by on the street, eyes to see someone who needed a bouquet of flowers brought to them, or a hot meal dropped off, and the love to surprise someone with thoughtfulness, although I have yet to do a total bedroom makeover for someone while they are at a friend’s house for a day. J I learned how to garage sale well, give without needing recognition, how to put others first, and enjoy a nice bubble bath because of you. Your wisdom taught me to turn to prayer first and that it was important to “rise and shine and give God the glory glory.”

I find myself now, as a mom, doing things just like you and I know that because of the example I had set for me, these kids have a chance in this world. I pray that I can only do justice the wonderful example I have.

And now my heart is so full knowing that my babies have their grandma just down the street from them, not 2 states away. I know your move came at a sacrifice and I recognize the toll that transition has been. Every time you swing on by to say hi to K & L, or drop off a dinner for us, I am so thankful that you’re 6 minutes away and not 6 hours. I can’t fathom the thought of them not knowing who you are intimately well. The smiles you bring to their faces are priceless.

And today we get to celebrate YOU! And for that I am so very thankful. You were called to be a mother, and Mom, you do it so well. God gave you the greatest job in the world, and you leaned into Him and took on the challenge with grace. And while I no longer need diaper changes, you are always just a phone call away to talk me through a situation or give me your advice or unique perspective on a challenge. I appreciate that very much, even when I am too proud or stubborn to say so, which sadly is too often.

I hope you feel loved and celebrated today. You have changed lives because of the way you invested in mothering. LIVES. Not just Courtney and mine, but the lives of others that have been touched by your lessons and tricks, or that have spent a night around your dinner table being loved on with your hospitality. You have the most selfless heart I have ever known and I love you to the moon and back.

Thank you for being you, Mama Starlight. I love you.

With love,

Your Baby Starlight xoxox