Dear Mom,

I want to say thank you. I want to say thank you until I can’t say thank you anymore. Thank you for my curls. Thank you for my education. Thank you for making me laugh and hugging me when I cry. Most of all, thank you for loving me.

There was the cringy middle school phase—the pictures I wish I could burn. I smiled with my pimple-ridden face, crooked teeth, and frizzy hair, and you never even batted an eye. To you, I was beautiful, and that made me feel beautiful.

Remember all the crazy dreams I used to dream up? The dreams I still dream up? You never once made me feel like they were unobtainable. You encouraged me and listened intently, supporting me in any craft I wanted to take up. If I had an idea, you developed it with me until I had run it dry. You wanted me to have the world, and you gave me the world.

In every phase of life, you have been there for me. You gave me tea parties and stuffed animal playdates. You helped me with all my class projects, even when it meant you were running to the store at midnight the night before one was due. When you became a volleyball mom, you became a proud one. You got excited about everything I was involved with, which got me excited, too.

You taught me how to best show my love for others. You wrote me notes, like the little ones in my Hello Kitty lunchbox. You snuck a candy in my suitcase before I left on a trip. You went to great lengths to let me know I was loved, and I felt loved. It’s the way you’ve loved me that shaped how I let people know I love them today. I am proud to say I learned to love from my mom.

You have boundless empathy for the broken people in the world. You didn’t have to teach me how to be caring toward other people; you showed me through your actions. Each time you stopped to ask someone if they needed help, you exposed me to a more compassionate world. You helped me see the good in the world, and for that, I am grateful.

Thank you, Mom. Thank you for loving so widely and so deeply. You are the best Mom I could have ever asked for, and I want you to know that. I love you, Mom. I love you so much.

With love,

Your Thea

Photo credit: Thea Snider