I have been lucky enough to be influenced by some amazing mothers. Today I was thinking about all the wonderful women who have blessed my life, and I felt like I needed to say something to them.
:: To my wonderful friends, thank you for the good examples, the good advice, the hugs, the meals, and the breaks. Being a mom is hard work, much harder than I ever could have fathomed, but all of you have helped me to weather the hard times so I can enjoy the good ones. Thank you for making motherhood navigable, for adoring Cal, and for sharing your lovely children with me.
:: To the mothers of my patients: Thank you for your sacrifice, your endurance, your faith, and your trust. I have only had a tiny taste of what it is like to have a sick child in the hospital, and you live it every day for years. The love you have for your children is written on your faces, and I hope I can learn to emulate your strength.
:: To my beautiful sisters-in-law: Thank you for your amazing examples. You all have beautiful, sweet children and Cal is lucky to have such good role models for his cousins. Thank you for helping me to have a sense of humor, for your advice and perspective, and for your friendship.
:: To my sweet sister: I know you're not a mama yet, but you already touch the lives of so many children as you teach, and honestly, I've never met a kid who doesn't love you. Cal can't get enough of his Auntie Jenna, and I know that once you are a mama you are going to be amazing and I look forward to learning from you.
:: To my lovely grandmas: I am so lucky to have known so many of you. I miss my great-grandmas that passed away last year, and I feel so blessed that I still have three lovely grandmas to spend time with now. Thank you for teaching me to cook, for being interested in what I am passionate about, and for loving me unconditionally.
:: To my mother-in-law: I haven't had the opportunity to meet you in this life, but the stories the people who love you tell makes me excited for when we finally do get to meet in the next life. Thank you for raising the wonderful man I married -- he says you are the woman who has had the greatest influence on his life, and I know that without you he wouldn't be the man he is today. You are one of my greatest role models and I can't wait to give you a hug someday.
And of course...