In creative writing, we have an assignment that requires us to write a letter to someone in our lives that has taught us something valuable and is important to us. Mr. Dugan said that we’re not really supposed to write to a person who is a clear and easy choice. I guess I’m better at going outside of the guidelines than working within the prompt’s norm because I chose to write to you. Most of my stories end up different than what they are supposed to be and maybe that’s a good thing. I enjoy having my own style and way of doing things. I guess that’s what makes me, me.
It’s funny though. You don’t just wake up your own person, you know? You’re not just born making your own decisions. When we are little and still learning the basics of life, our mothers and fathers hold our hands, make the decisions for us, and guide our little fragile bodies safely into the bulk and build of our days spent on Earth.
You did that.
When my body was still small and new to this big world, you held me close and protected me from the dangers that could harm me. You made decisions, both easy and hard, that kept me from harming myself or cutting my new life short. Even at such a young age, you took on a woman’s ultimate task, taking care of a living breathing thing. As time progressed and I gradually grew into the person that I am today, I learned from that protection that you gave me, the gentleness of your hugs and the wetness of your cheek kisses. I learned from the decisions you made for me, the times you told me I couldn’t do something, and the times you made me get out of bed to participate in things that you knew I would regret missing later.
You have guided me in the right directions that lead to success every single time I have asked for your help. You have helped me grow independently and allowed me to fall in places you felt needed, in order to open my eyes and let me see what true consequences to your actions can really feel like. And every time you allowed that fall as a lesson, you were there to pick me up when I hit the ground, and lead me in the right direction, one foot in front of the other.
I have fallen a lot. There have been times that I have fallen so hard that getting up felt impossible. I have made decisions that I know have made you very unhappy, but life is full of people making mistakes and I am no exception. You push me to be my very best, to strive and work hard, and to not give up on what I love. I dream so hard and so big sometimes, and those dreams would never be something I honestly worked towards unless you were here to push me, motivate me, and help me along the way.
I am sorry for the times I made you sad. I don’t apologize much. Sometimes I do things that hurt the people around me without even realizing it, but I’m working on fixing myself. I have priorities I need to learn how to keep straight and people I need to let back in my life. I need to spend more time focusing on the good things around me and stop focusing on the things that make me sad. I have so much I need to work on. I know that you see that. I am bettering myself for myself and the people I love. I wish you wouldn’t let go of my hand for that. A change like that is something you need your mother to be there for.
I struggle to balance time between everyone that I love. There just isn’t enough time in this life. I’ve really learned that here recently, juggling as much as I have been. I am sorry that I have been so stressed and that I allow that to take over my mind some days. I guess those are the days that I need you most.
As I enter what feels like the final stages of my childhood, and as life begins to get more serious within the next few months, between work, love, friends, and the next stages of my schooling, I will carry these lessons I have learned from your decisions, and the love you have shown me my whole life along on my journey into what comes next in this life. I turn 18 soon, and graduation is shortly after. I remember the days when I begged for school to be over. Now I wish it would slow down so I can take in my last year a day at a time, but 24 hours goes by fast.
There are days I wish I was still so small. I wish I didn’t have to work or buy a car for myself. I wish that school didn’t have me so stressed and that the teachers would stop putting so much on us all at once. There are days I wish I could come home and lay in bed curled up next to you in your arms again, like a few weeks ago when I woke up too early for work and you laid next to me in bed until I needed to leave. I wish that we still held hands when we went to the zoo and you could still stand me up on the windows in the exhibits for me to look see better, or push me in the stroller when my feet were hurting. I wish I wasn’t too big for bouncy houses and I still got goody bags at little kid birthday parties. I guess I’m just trying to say that growing up is terrifying.
You have taught me how to be strong. Life is approaching quickly and as much as it scares me, sometimes I forget that it scares you as well.
I love you more than you know. Sometimes I fail to show my appreciation for you, and I know that hurts you. I’m bad with emotions (unless it’s like crying). Do you remember when I was little and the teachers in Greencastle had us write little letters to our mothers? I was thinking hard about the last time I just wrote to you because I love you and felt like I needed to, and other than elementary school and maybe Mother’s Day, I can’t remember the last time that I did. Writing is my way of telling you what I need to without saying it. When the words won’t come out right and I’m overwhelmed with the things I need to say, but I just can’t. I love to write, it’s good for me, and it’s something I take a lot of pride in. You support me in it so much, sharing the stories I write with the world. So I thought, why not write for my biggest supporter and my best friend.
I am sorry I have been failing to show you how important you are to me. It’s easy for me to get wrapped up under the pressure of life and the idea that soon, I won’t have you by my side to hold my hand and guide me like that new and fragile child you used to guide, and that scares me. Sometimes I think it scares you too and that’s why you get upset with me. I know I’m difficult. You have lived with me since the day I was born. Your world has practically revolved around me and my sisters for so long. You know that I deal with things differently. It’s a blessing and a curse sometimes. You are strong for keeping up with us. I guess more specifically me.
I just want you to see how much you are loved. Even when I struggle to show it. I want you to know that after I graduate, and after life truly starts, I will be safe and I will love hard just like you have taught me, and are still teaching me now. I want you to know that even though I will move out, grow up, and start a life one day, you will still always be my rock, and even though I may not need you all the time like I did when I was small, there will always be times I need your hand. There will still be times that I need your help deciding. I will always need you. You have formed me into the person that I am today. It’s not easy being a mom, and I never really started to realize that until very recently. It takes a special woman to raise a child as well as you have raised me.
Because of you, I am me..
And I could never thank you enough for that.
I love you mommy.
Ps. I’m sorry this is a little jumbly, but I hope you understand what I am trying to tell you.