Why you told me my favorite bedtime stories, night after night, even when you were nodding off between sentences.
Why you came to school one day holding a bag of melting ice because the nurse called to say that I sliced my finger in shop class.
Why you searched every department store to finally find me a winter hat that covered my ears without messing up the wings of my hair.
Why you let me eat candy even though Dad, a dentist, did not like it.
Why you told me how sweet I was even on those days when I was beastly hormonal to you.
Why you left the sink piled high with dishes so you could take us to the park across the street for those last minutes of summer sunlight.
Why you let me take the maximum number of books (10) out from the library every week and helped me carry them home.
Why you let me try on your jewelry, even the good stuff, and parade around the house in your pointy black high heels.
Why you didn’t get (too) mad when I almost sold your most expensive perfume for 25 cents at a yard sale.
Why you insisted on being true to you—in your flamboyant blouses with the lace and ruffles, and sticking to your unusual hair-do—even when I thought the entire world was staring at you.
Why you had a standing Wednesday lunch date with Dad.
Why you took naps.
Why you rarely complained.
Why you hugged me all the time.
Why getting things on sale was such a rush.
Why eating out was such a treat.
Why you put lipstick on every day.
Why you spoke to your mom every day.
Why you always made me feel like the most loved little girl in the world.
I now understand why in ways I never did before.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mamas out there. And to those up there, including mine.