All She Taught Me

Sunday, May 8, 2016

I remember the hugs, the texts asking when I would be home, all the moments she was cheering me on in the stands, the cards on my birthday, the goodnights kisses, the popsicles when I was sick, feeling her stroke my cheek as I laid on her lap, seeing our silver van in the parking lot every day after school, folding laundry together, seeing her stand there in the rear view mirror watching me drive away alone for the first time, and her sitting with me while writing my 5th grade president speech.
I remember so many memories of the best times with my mother, but most importantly, I remember her always being there for me.
My mom has shaped me into who I am today and she has never stopped caring about me or encouraging me to keep going towards my dreams.

Growing up, my mom always showed us she cared in the biggest and smallest ways.
We always had dinner on the table, she would pack my lunch every day and leave a little note on my napkin for me, she knew that when we were sick we needed her so she was always right there to snuggle us even though she knew that meant she would end up sick.
I also remember wanting to ride my bike home so badly in elementary school, but we transferred schools so it was way too far to ride all the way home.
So what did my mom do to make it work?
She brought Andrew and I our bikes after school every day and let us ride until a certain point where she would be waiting for us to load up the bikes in the trunk again and take us the rest of the way home.
Looking back, it was so important for me to ride my bike, even though it must have made it so much more difficult for my mom.
We could have gotten home in 10 minutes, but because we just had to ride our bikes, it took about 30.
But, she always took time out of her day to let us because she knew it was important to us.
Because of that, she taught me how important it is to slow down and let your kids be kids and how much the simple things matter.

My mom has also taught me to keep going, because of her example, to always chase my dreams and keep going. 
When I was in middle school, my mom decided to go back to school to get her degree in interior design.
I remember watching her do homework with the rest of us kids and thinking it was kind of funny, but it was important to her so she stayed dedicated.
She used that degree to open up her own shop with her best friend, a dream come true for her!
I strongly remember going to a house they were working on, and watching them work in action. 
There was so much passion in the room and I loved seeing my mom in her element. 
Watching her pursue her dreams has taught me to always chase mine.
She showed me how important it is to do something for yourself and that you can still be an incredible mom even when doing something for you!
In fact, she has helped me see that it is very needed to do something for you.
She is the main reason I have pursued this blog and stuck with it.
She has been nothing but supportive since the moment I told her I was going for it.
Thank you for teaching me that dreams can definitely come true mom!

I could go on and on about all the wonderful life lessons my mom has taught me, but the most important of all is how to be selfless and loving even when you feel worn out.
As a child, it is hard to see just how much your mom does for you.
Because moms do so much, you just sort of... expect it over time.
Since becoming a mom myself, I think I finally understand just how much mothers give and children take.
I don't have a single memory of my mom not being there when I needed her.
She had so much going on, but somehow was always there. 
Who was the first person I saw after waking up from surgery? My mom.
Who was laying awake with me when I was sick in the middle of the night? My mom.
Who was the first person to congratulate me when I made the cheer team? My mom.
Who was the first person I looked to after scoring my first goal? My mom.
Who ran to the store with me the night before a project I forgot about was due? My mom.
And who was the person that helped me through my first week of being a mother myself? My selfless, loving mother.

Mom, thank you for always being there and for never missing a moment.
Since becoming a mother, I think I finally have a glimpse of just how much you love me, Taylor, and Andrew. 
We are so blessed to have you to call mom.
I appreciate and love you more than I can even begin to explain.
I hope one day, I can become half the mother you were to me.
Happy Mother's Day mom, I really love you!

All my love,
Aleigh Joy

ps. here's a little Mother's Day video I put together for my mom a few years back!

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