A Letter To My Mom

Dear Mom,

Your month long visit has come and gone. I’m sitting here looking through photos from your stay and they remind me of all the little adventures we went on. It’s funny because most children would cringe with the thought of their mother staying at their house for a long period of time, but we welcome it…in fact, we look forward to it. When you come back, you just fit in again. Six months can go by between visits and yet, you just know how to fill in the gaps. At times I feel guilty because you help out so much (just the other morning I was yelling at you to stop doing the dishes), but I have to remember that you wouldn’t do anything you didn’t want to do. Regardless of why you choose to do the dishes, make my bed, put fresh flowers throughout the house, pull our weeds or get the kids a snack, I want you to know it is deeply appreciated.

You know when you’re a kid, you don’t pay attention to the little details of your childhood. You just live life because you don’t know any different. You don’t know to absorb each moment, listen intently to every piece of advice or embrace each and every hug. You don’t catalog all the songs that were sang or games that were played. Of course there are always memories, but it’s not until you are a parent that you wish you had paid closer attention. There are so many traditions, favorite meals, stories and songs that I want to tell my children about yet as I get older, the memories fade. But watching you with my own children helps remind me of the childhood I once lived. I picture you chasing me around the house, I try to remember the books you once read to me, I like to think that you once asked me, “Do you like boys?” and if I laughed when tickled then it meant yes, I like boys! Clearly Lola loves boys because she laughs hysterically when you tickle her!

Most people don’t know this, but I moved to Costa Rica to be near you and Steve. After losing my father to lung cancer, I felt as if I needed to hold on to you. I was afraid I would lose you like I lost my dad. I didn’t want to go through life having questions about who you were. I didn’t want to carry that regret so I packed up my life (and Rob’s) and tried to recreate a feeling I had as a child. The feeling only Sunday family dinners could bring or the feeling of being together on Christmas morning. Yet life would be too busy in Costa Rica. We lived next door to one another and yet, we were living two completely different lives. For my own family, it was not a life conducive to raising a young child. So we said goodbye to you and Steve and we said goodbye to Costa Rica. It was a difficult decision to make, but we knew it was the right thing to do. I would still miss you though. I miss you now.

You and me — we just have fun together. I don’t know how we do it, but we can manage to putz an entire day away. We laugh, we share stories, we give each other advice and we can just be ourselves around one another. We are constantly mistaken for sisters and while I know it makes you feel good, it’s starting to make me feel like I’m looking older! We can share clothes and the latest beauty trend that we like. You motivate me to work out and I motivate you to sit still once in a while. We balance each other. I feel so lucky to have such a special bond with you. And I’m even more happy to see how you interact with my children. You always pick up on their idiosyncrasies. You know what will make them upset and you know what will make them beam with happiness. It never offends me when you discipline them and they know that they better listen to grandma! You eagerly help Lola accomplish a task and you’ll read Sebastian a book without hesitation. You are a really good grandma and I thank you for loving my children unconditionally.

Mom, I don’t know when you’ll be back and that’s a hard reality to swallow. We hope it’ll be sooner rather than later, but in case you need a mood pick me up, let this post and these pictures be your reminder of the ridiculous amount of love we have for you. Thank you for everything! See you soon!