Since I became a mom myself an enlightening perspective has seeped into my soul.

I see the world through your lens and I FINALLY understand.

Not one day goes by where I don’t sit in awe of the sacrifices you made so my life could be an easier one than yours.

I know you sat up on too many nights to count; waiting, worrying, thinking the worst possibility.

Then I shuffled through the door aloof and arrogant, you sucking in air with such relief it almost knocked me over.

I was disdainfully oblivious to your concerns and fears. 

They were a nuisance; bothersome like a fly that lands only to annoy.

I chose not to make it one ounce easier by always denying you the briefest of reassurances that I was alright.

You relied on my friends to report suspicious behaviors and school dalliances.

You must have known they would taint the truth to retain the sisterhood!

Yet you pursued their teenage equivalent of feedback to maintain a lifeline.

What a jerk I was to put you in perpetual knots and not permit your state of mind to alter my day one iota.

How the heck did you put up with me?

I look at the cherub face cuddled on my lap and think it impossible that this little princess will slam a door in my face someday or dismiss me mid-sentence.

There’s no way I would put up with that nonsense!

That’s what you thought too, right?

I feel almost queasy reliving those moments in time when you did not appear on my radar; not your concerns, not your thoughts, not your insights, not your hopes, nor dreams.

Wait, YOUR hopes and dreams went on the back burner. You pushed all of mine to the forefront and gave up nearly everything to make them happen.

Not once did you allow your fears or private suffering, disappointment or frustration to overshadow your exuberance for my triumphs.

Not once did you allow your viewpoints on my choices to make me feel inadequate and I know that must have been a hard one to swallow.

What a jerk I was.

I never said “Thank-You” or “I appreciate you” or “You’re a great mom.”

I guess I did when I was little but those ‘tween and teen and young adult years worth of attitude seem to obliterate the “Winnie the Pooh” moments.

So with this newly acquired insight will you indulge me for a moment?

I look at you and see a woman of remarkable spirit and strength.

Your wisdom exceeds mine by a country mile.

Do you realize you gave me the most precious gift?

You inspired me to find and celebrate my unique self.

The funny thing? I am not as unique as you once thought. I am almost a carbon copy of another glorious mother.

So on this day and all others, I pray I can do parenthood with half the grace you displayed.

For then I will truly have become my mother’s daughter.

Lisa Leshaw

Lisa Leshaw has worked as a mental health professional for the past 31 years. She currently conducts Parenting Skills Workshops, Group Counseling for Blended Families and Empowerment Circles for Women. As a consultant, Lisa travels throughout teaching Communication and Listening Skills, Behavioral Management Techniques and Motivational Strategies. To de-stress she performs in children's theatre and plays piano whenever requested. She is hoping to either write the next memorable musical composition or Great American Novel!