Mother always made sure that the tooth fairy did her job, that the Easter Bunny was on time, and that Santa Claus used different wrapping paper than all the other presents under the tree. Christmas was always an especially fun time; we baked Christmas cookies and hung out in the little kitchen at 214 E. Vilbig Street, watching mom do what she did best.
She changed my sheets and washed my clothes, gardened and grew vegetables for the family to eat, taught me the value of work and to aim higher, to be consistent, to not be satisfied with mediocre results, and that unless I was bleeding out, I was going to school. She taught me that no good would ever come of whining, and that you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. I learned the value of getting a job and making money, and the pride that comes from a job well done.
Mom helped to give me (and Nolan by default) an incredible wedding. Nolan and I still say that that our reception was the best party we've ever been to. (And hey, we're us. We've been to some great parties. Not only is mother a good mom, she's also a good mother-in-law. Nolan and Mom didn't really like each other for the first few years we were married; I remember some pretty intense "discussions" (read: fights) but thankfully, due to some unspoken agreement between the two of them and their mutual love for me, I believe that they truly love one another now as mother and son without any strife at all. That gives me more joy than you can possibly imagine.
She's a phenomenal grandmother. All it took for her to hop a plane to Amarillo when I was two weeks past my due date with Ethan was that she couldn't reach us on the phone. She took a cab from the airport and showed up at the hospital; the woman loves me, and she adores my sons. I LOVE that she loves my kids. They adore her, too, and get so excited when "Granny Carolyn and Papa Tom" are coming to visit. (As a sidenote? I love Tom more than my luggage. I'm sad for everyone who doesn't have Tom in their lives.)
And today, after Nolan, mom is the first person I want to tell my good news to, one of the only people I call when I need to cry and the one I talk to when I need someone to pull me back from the edge of insanity. She's a strong woman, a wonderful mom and a great Granny. We couldn't possibly ask for anything more.
Love, you, Momma. Happy Mother's Day. And because I'm me and half Dad's (and a procrastinator to the very end despite all your hard work), your present is gonna be late. I'm nothing if not consistent. And that's all due to you, little woman.