As you hopefully are well aware, this Sunday is Mother’s Day. This is supposed to be the one day of the year (it is pretty sad that we only do this one day a year) that you make a point to show your mom how much she means to you, but unfortunately it seems like this holiday has become yet Koopanother casualty of corporate greed. Now days, I feel like people just robotically send their obligatory flower arrangement with some generic card and call it a day, without even taking the time to really stop and think about how much their mother has done for them. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t send your mom flowers, in fact you should send her flowers…and balloons…and a stuffed bear, but you should also stop to reflect upon what she has done for you. When I think about my own mother and our relationship, I always end up focusing on all of the sacrifices she has made for me. It is important to reflect upon all of the sacrifices that your mom has made over the years, and then tell this queen who brought you into this world that you appreciate her and everything she has given up for you.
Every proud, self-proclaimed mommy’s boy thinks he has the most amazing mom in the world, and I am no exception. The difference between me and all of these other devoted sons though, is that in my case I actually do have the best, most selfless mother ever, and I will fight to the death anyone who disagrees. Seriously, I can be as ferocious as an angry hippo. Or is it a hungry hippo? This woman has spent the last 27 years of her life working tirelessly to make sure that I have the best quality of life that she can give me, while also making sure that I am safe and healthy. I only realized how difficult it is to manage this balancing act between quality and quantity of life after I moved out on my own, and after discovering how hard this juggling act is, I gained a whole, new respect for my mother. I realized that in order to create harmony between leading a full life and a long life, there were certain sacrifices I had to make. I was okay with this, as we all have to make tough choices and give up certain things to enjoy certain others. Making these decisions for my own life is one thing though, because I get to enjoy the potential benefits that come from whatever I am giving up, but my mom had to make these same impossible decisions, these same sacrifices, for my life without the prospect of receiving any of the rewards. She has given up so much without expecting anything in return beyond me being happy. That is sacrifice.
My mother was my primary caretaker for the first 18 years of my life, and in that time she gave of herself in numerous ways. Firstly, she sacrificed her time to take care of me. Every single day she spent time getting me dressed, preparing my food, chauffering me about, and a million other things that don’t take much time individually, but when you add them up they become quite the time suck. Let’s say she conservatively did only 120 things for me at a mere 30 seconds a piece. That adds up to an hour a day for 18 years. That comes to 274 days of doing nothing but taking care of me, and that estimate of only an hour a day is definitely a conservative number. Secondly, she sacrificed her own health. All parents know how quickly you can get physically rundown when you are getting up through the night with a new infant. For most parents, this period of never getting a full night of uninterrupted sleep is relatively brief though, and your body quickly recovers. My incredible mom put her body through this insomnia routine for 18 years, as she had to get up to reposition me my entire life. We all know the importance of a good night’s sleep on our health, but she was willing to sacrifice this basic human need to take care of me. Lastly, she sacrificed her happiness. I don’t know how many times she took me to a chess tournament, academic competition, or even a social function, and then would just hang out in the car or somewhere nearby in case I needed her. I’m sure she had no interest in watching chess (which is about as exciting as watching…well chess), but she gave up her day and happiness so that I could experience as much as possible. She was willing to sacrifice her time, her health, and her happiness with the soul purpose of giving me the best life she could. If your mom can beat that, I would love to meet her.
I wish it would not have taken me so long to be able to realize how incredible my mom and her years of sacrifice were, but I guess it is better late than never. I know that I can never repay everything she has done for me, but I can honor her by taking advantage of what her sacrifices have given me and making sure I live the happiest, longest, best life I can. I can bring happiness to her life by achieving my dreams and making her proud to call me her son. She is such a huge part of everything I do and every accomplishment I make, and I will be forever grateful that I am lucky enough to call her, “mom.” So, to my wonderful mother, I hope you have a great Mother’s Day this weekend, and I may not be with you in body, but I am with you in spirit. Know that I will always appreciate all of the sacrifices you have made for me, and that all of my successes are because of you. I love you, and even though it is 2 days early, happy Mother’s Day!