It takes guts and brains to be able to handle four children under the age of six before you’re thirty. It takes all of that, plus so much more to do it as a single parent. I have three children, and a completely involved loving husband and there’s a lot of the time when I feel completely overwhelmed. I can only imagine how my mother must have felt all the time. And somehow she managed to make us all feel safe and loved and like we were the most important thing in the world for her.

I hear her voice in the way I talk to my kids, see her smile on my daughter’s face, and watch her sense of humor and irony develop in my son. I see her when Jessie snuggles her sister the way I snuggled mine, and hope that one day, my daughters will be the type of mother that she is. She’s my best friend, my first morning call, my reality check and the woman I most hope to emulate.

Thank you, Mom, for all that you’ve done, for all that you do, and for the way you still inspire me every day to be a better mom for my children. Thank you for coming over when I was sick and pregnant and rearranging my house. Thank you for the nights when you take Jessica and paint her nails and make Mickey Mouse pancakes and let her stay up far too late. Thank you for the tickling Sammy and trying so hard when he was such a crabby, colic-y baby who cried every time you looked at him. Thank you for getting up at the crack of dawn to be with me when I was induced and sitting beside me when I gave birth to Julianna. Thank you for all the cupcakes and coffee and flowers and fun that you’ve bring into my life and the lives of my children.

I love you so much, Mom. I couldn’t ever imagine my world without you.

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