A Letter to My Mama Bear: 10 Things I've Never Thanked You For

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Dear Mama Bear,

You are exactly what a mother should be. Overbearing, flawed, warm, loving, protective, and so many things that there aren't even words for. You're also pretty computer illiterate (aside from being able to get on Pinterest from your iPad) and I doubt you'll ever read this. But here's my thank you for all the things I've never been brave enough to say to your face.

Thank you for...

  1. Never making me apologize for my teenage years when I blamed you for everything and made you cry. You still wanted to be my friend when I finally started being a person again. 
  2. Telling me to "have a safe and happy day" every morning as I leave the house. I still might roll my eyes at you, but your words echo in my head when I start driving too fast to work or begin counting my personal miseries. I slow down and remember the positives. 
  3. Taking care of me when I coughed up so much blood after my tonsillectomy that I looked like an extra from a B-list zombie movie. When you gently wiped the blood off my chin, I felt nearly human.
  4. Letting me and my terrible dog live at home during college and post-grad. I admit that Cloe is kind of a jerk 90% of the time and has been destroying your house since I was 12, but there have been times when she's been my only friend. I know that you see how much she means to me and you let her stay even after she's peed on the rug every month for the 11th year in a row. 
  5. Being really healthy. You're so dedicated to working out and eating healthy that it's truly inspiring, but you never make me feel ashamed for being overweight. You encourage me to do better. 
  6. Holding my hand when I was little girl when I couldn't sleep at night. I still remember those moments when I'd lie next to you and feel protected knowing that my hand was in yours. 
  7. Being a crazy dog lady. How on earth did you think it was a good idea to get two Newfoundland puppies at the same time?! You're crazy and eccentric, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Plus, the puppies are probably the cutest things I've ever seen. 
  8. Calling me "sweetie" when I'm wrong. If I'm convinced that we need to go left, but you know we need to go right, you always let me down gently. "No, sweetie, we take a right to get to Target." 
  9. Letting me call you weird names. Sure, a lot of the time I stick with Mom, but you let me mix it up with "Big Hoss" and "Mama Bear" when I'm being silly. 
  10. Encouraging me to pursue whatever degree I wanted. You didn't bat an eyelash when I told you I wanted to teach English or get a degree in Professional Writing. You believed in me enough to know that whatever degree I pursued, I would make the best of it and find a great career. 
All my love,
Sarah Walsh