I wish I could’ve met you at my age. I wish I could somehow travel back in time and watch you grow up. I’m sure it wasn’t always pretty – real life is hardly ever a bed of roses 24/7. Did you ever wonder about who you’d fall in love with? Did you ever imagine yourself with seven crazy children?
Did you think you’d successfully homeschool them all while keeping track of a home and a farm?! Yikes. If you did, no wonder I’m such an overachiever. I must’ve gotten it from you.
I must say, kudos to you. You managed to snag yourself a pretty handsome man, though I do say so myself.
You have good taste in guys! He’s a hard worker, super cute, loves kids, watches chick flicks with you… though I don’t need to continue.
You know all this, and your marriage with him is the reason that I want to be married someday. You two are #goals. Seriously.
Looking through all the pictures we have, it’s fun to see just how happy you are in all of them.
I know you’ll be embarrassed that I even posted any of these, so I’m sorry. I get that (after all, I am your daughter!), but I’ve been realizing just how important it is to be in front of the camera sometimes.
You were always behind it, documenting your children growing up. I hope that even though you’re rarely found in our photo albums, you can remember that it was YOU we were smiling at.
It was you who raised such happy children, you who kept us safe and fed and loved.
You were behind the scenes, orchestrating our wonderful childhoods.
You’re the reason we’re grinning from ear to ear in so many of the photos that fill the pages of our albums.
I admit, in high school, I thought we’d be lifelong rivals, doomed to a future of fighting and disagreements. I imagined myself as the girl who moves far away from her nagging Mom. Boy, was I ever wrong. I never would have guessed then that in a few short years, you would be one of my dearest friends and closest confidantes. You’re one of my favorite people to spend time with, and now I can’t imagine moving away from you. Maybe I’ll buy a tiny little shed and live in the backyard with my bookshelves, near your favorite lilac bushes.
You’ve agreed (somewhat reluctantly) to be my model and wear wedding dresses multiple times over the years, whether they were yours or not, and whether my attempts at photography turned out well or not…
Even though I know you hate being in front of a camera and don’t think you’re beautiful, all I see when I look at you is the loving, giving woman with laugh lines and wrinkles and maybe a stray hair or two.
To me, you’re beyond beautiful. You’re gorgeous. You look like a woman who has lived – and lived well.
Often I look at you and wish I could slow down time. Other times I can’t help laughing because I’ve started to sound like you. We are so very different, and yet we are alike in many ways. I just hope that someday I’ll be as wonderful a Mom as you are, but I doubt it. There can only be one you.
You’ve got the whole supermom thing down to a science, even though you’re an introvert and would rather stay in the house all day.
You’re out helping someone else today, despite it being your birthday. (Personally, I think you should be pampering yourself. You’ve survived seven children for this long! Celebrate!) Typical you, however – always thinking of others, wanting to help out, working hard even when you’d rather stay home and read a book. Could I ever be like you? Oh, I hope so!
In all these little moments, life is going by. I’m so glad that our laughter has always been more prevalent than our tears; our jokes more common than our angry words; our good times always longer than our bad times.
When I was born and everyone thought I wasn’t going to make it, you were there, holding me close to your heart.
(Yup, pretty sure that’s me. Who knows, though. I mean – babies look alike when they first come out. That could be any of us. I know who would know for absolute-positive-sure who that is in the picture. You. You would recognize all of us as babies, even though we look the same to me.
And I’m glad you didn’t mind having a bald baby girl for two whole years. My hair came in eventually, but it took a while. Sorry.)
I love you, more than words can express. Happy birthday, Mom!