This year I thought I would turn the tables a bit. I would like my kids to know how much it means to me to be their mother.
Mike, thank you for making me a mother in the first place! You were a beautiful baby, an adorable toddler(ni-night tha moom), and lots of fun as a kid(even when I was pulling my hair out, I was marveling at your talents. You turned into a good man, with a beautiful and nice wife(who shares my love of knitting!). Miles has a lot to look forward to, growing up in your household. Congratulations on making it through law school, I know it couldn’t have been easy, but you followed your dream and made it happen.
Joni, thank you for being a cuddly baby! After Mr. Mike, who never wanted to sit still, it was wonderful to have you want to just sit on my lap in the rocker. I love the woman you have become, and I cherish the friendship we have. I love that you took up sewing, and that you love vintage patterns as I do. You married well and you and Matt have adorable, creative, brilliant children, and I look forward to seeing what they become. It’s great that you became a chemist, I didn’t see that coming when you were a kid!
Kevin, wow, graduating from Notre Dame in three and a half years of work! I guess I’m not terribly surprised. You have become a wonderful man, after being a wonderful boy. I can still picture you playing with the stereo in San Diego when you were one, looking like quite the imp. You are kind, thoughtful, and funny. Celeste is perfect for you, and I expect there will be wacky times at your house. I kind of can’t wait to leave New York, so you can visit us more often. The girls and I had such a good time with you last summer, and hope we get to do that again sometime, with Celeste added in.
Em, Best. Hairdresser. Ever. I know you get teased about being a “mini me”, but I see a lot of your dad in you. There were times I wasn’t sure you would make it to adulthood, and if you did, was sure you would be deaf. Fortunately for Russell, Gavin, and Lena, you did make it to adulthood, hearing mostly intact. You are a great mama, and the kids are really lucky to have you. So is Russell. You really have what it takes to be an Army wife, and you know the sacrifices and where Russell’s duty lies.
Robbie, I am so proud of you I could bust. Helicopters. You fix them and fly on them. Coolest job ever. I’m proud of what you do, and that you still like being in the Army, in spite of the hurry up and wait that you have to do so often. I am so grateful for the times we’ve gotten to hang out at EFR. I will miss that. You were a cute little guy, active as all get out, and I will always remember your Roveralls, and carrying you upstairs by the straps like luggage when you didn’t want to go take a nap. Kindergarten, when all you wanted to wear to school were sweats, and your favorite was the Gravedigger set. I hope that you and Laura will have a long and happy marriage, and that adapting to Army life won’t be too difficult for her. Oh, and thanks for being friends with Russ in Basic, and asking me if he could hang with us on Family Day.
Catherine. My snookums. I miss you so much when you are not around me. I love visiting you in Philly, even if I do get stressed over the parking. You were such an awesome and cute little girl, and I love the almost adult you have become(hey you’re still in college). It makes me happy that we share the same ideas about food, and where it’s grown and where to get it. I’m always excited to have you come home and help me pick fruit and do the canning. And Salvation Army, we always find something cool there. I really like Matt too, you can keep him around ;).
Laura, the first of my “bonus” babies, you are turning into a wonderful young woman. You have some strong convictions, and I am proud of you for them. You can be silly, and that is fun too. The drawing, the fan-fic, the photo shoots, the curly hair, Zelda. I love to hear you cantor at church, it makes me so happy to hear you sing.
Molly, my baby. I love everything about you. Being the “baby” of the family does give you a special place in my heart. It’s wonderful to watch you grow up, but bittersweet too. You have a real talent with younger children(you are a great Auntie). You are my Drama Queen! I will always cherish the little love notes you send me, they mean a lot to me. Kisses for you, my sweet.
To my Emergency Backup Kids: 2A and Katie, I love you guys! I worry for you, get happy when you are, you are like my own. I feel blessed to have you in my life.
Jeff, thanks for making it all possible, and for working so hard so I can be home with our kids all these years. I love you.