Emily Post might cringe in her grave at all the mannerly blunders that pave my path. Despite the best of intentions, I find myself failing in proper etiquette more often that soaring. It’s not that my mother and grandmother didn’t teach me well … or that Miss Ela Hockaday didn’t add her imprint as my friends and I endured Wednesday Dress Dinners each and every week. But somewhere along the way, I’ve casualed down and moved my proper etiquette from the passenger seat to the trunk ( … my procrastination tendencies don’t help.)
Which leads me to this Thank You Note (overdue, but better late than never) in the spirit of Thanksgiving.
To my kids:
~ for being my wing-men … especially for doing such a terrific job texting for me while I’m driving.
~ for understanding and being patient when I periodically forget to pick you up from activities.
~ for bearing with my wandering fork (the choicies on your plate looks so much more appealing than the food on mine.)
~ for being honest about my wardrobe malfunctions (“Mom, you have a hole in your pants.” “I do? Is it big?” I ask, reaching to feel, mentally flipping through all places I’ve been and people I’ve seen. “Let’s just say … a mouse could crawl though that thing.” Eek!)
~ for gently correcting my fashion faux-pas (“Do you like the shoes I’m wearing?” “Oh my word no. Their hideousness was singed into my brain the moment I saw them this morning. You’ve got to get rid of those things,” At least she’s honest.)
~ for enduring my singing along with the radio … even when your friends are in the car.
~ for teasing me.
~ for changing the screen saver on my phone to crazy pictures that make me laugh (like the current picture of a certain 5-year-old’s eye staring at me each time someone calls.)
~ for enduring all the ridiculous thing I say.
~ for every single gray hair, that in the past I begrudged, but for which I am now grateful. Each one represents a rocky road we’ve walked … together.
~ for all the noise. Might I never wish away even the bickering. All to soon, I know silence is coming … and for me, it won’t be golden. When the noise is gone, you’re gone.
~ for letting me hug you… and for, every so often, leaning into it. When you melt in my arms, I get to feel & remember that little kid who relentlessly begged for them not so long ago.
~ for laughing at the absurd. You remind me to find the humor in the mundane.
~ for forgiving me.
~ for falling asleep on my shoulder.
~ for enduring (often forced-participating in) my hair-brained ideas (especially a book and blog where you excitedly – okay so only a couple excited’s – agreed to be the story-line)
~ for being strong when I could barely stand (“Mom… please don’t cry. If you cry, then I will,” begged one after a major trampoline accident. She stood strong while my knees buckled and I fought losing consciousness at the sight of her broken bone trying to push its way through her skin.)
~ for getting back on the trampoline … and bravely facing (on your own) so many of your fears.
~for thinking I’m your hero.
~ for still admitting we’re together when we walk out of the movie, bump into one of your friends, nodding-smile at their comment, “Did you hear that person laughing?!” fully aware that it was me.
~ for enduring my lack of skill in the kitchen – and so many areas.
~ for providing an excuse to watch the teeny-bopper television shows (Good Luck Charlie, et al) that I love
~ for loving me, as close to unconditional this side of heaven.
~ for every smile, every tear, every agreement, every argument, every sleepless night, every celebration, every defeat, every question, every complaint, every mundane detail…
I never imagined I could ever love someone as much as I love you.
What parent can?
Photo cc by rogercarr on Flickr.