To My Mother

You didn’t tell me I would fall madly in love within the first minute of her arrival.
You didn’t tell me how tired I would feel.
You didn’t tell me I’d be so enthralled that it would be hard to focus on anyone or anything else.
You didn’t tell me I didn’t have to hold her until she fell asleep, that I could put her down in her crib and she’d learn to put herself to sleep.
You didn’t tell me that leaving them, even for an hour, would be hard.
You didn’t tell me that I would someday miss those early exhausting days, and that I’d remember them as the simplest of times.
You didn’t tell me they would bring me such joy.

You told me that having a daughter was the best.
You told me that being a mother never ends.
You told me that I would learn to sleep with one ear open.
You told me to pay attention.
You told me to pick my battles.
When I had a second daughter,  you told me they would be completely different. I didn’t believe you, but you were so right.
You told me to listen to my inner voice.

You taught me that brave mothers aren’t always popular with their daughters.
You taught me that mothers and daughters make wonderful adult friends.
You taught me to listen and watch and reserve comment.
You taught me to be an independent woman.
You taught me that family dinners are essential.
You taught me to notice the happy moments.

Most of what I know about being a mother, I know from you.

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