for my mother

by Kayla Raymond

I’ve been doing this whole “mother” thing for 345 days. Exactly 345 days ago when I flew to Haiti on a one-way ticket to take it all on full-time, 20 days short of one full year. Webert and I had rescued Jeffte the summer before, but I didn’t feel like a real mom until that moment when I landed in Haiti, not knowing when I would be back again.

Not even 48 hours into being Jeffte’s mom, Loveson came into our lives. Being a part of an orphanage crash, Loveson more or less fell into our lives out of nowhere, but Webert and I couldn’t help but completely fall in love with his spirit.

So, there I was, taking on the task of being a mom. And what a task it truly is. I remember a key chain my mom always had in her car. It read, “Motherhood is not for wimps!” I never really understood it, but now I get it, I totally get it.

Over the past year, I’ve had so many “mom moments” and in them I couldn’t help but think of my own amazing mother. All these insignificant moments while growing up, I’m now realizing were the moments that would mold me into the mom I am today.

The moments I find myself rubbing calamine on Jeffte’s bug bites or waking Loveson up to drink some cough syrup in the middle of the night, I thank my mom.

The moments of getting them out of the bath and rubbing them down with lotion, I thank my mom.

The moments of wiping dirty butts, cleaning dirty beds and doing non-stop laundry, I thank my mom.

The moments of cutting up food and wiping hands after meals, I thank my mom.

The moments of snuggling and kissing goodnight, I thank my mom.

What seem like repetitive and insignificant moments, only lead me to remembering and realizing the amazing childhood I had because of my mom.

The summer nights covered in bug bites and sunburns, she was there to comfort my pain. The nights of coughing and being sick, she was there to take care of me. Every meal and every bath time as a child, I remember my mom. And the nights she’d tuck me in and sing, “Jeremiah was a Bullfrog.” Why she sang that song, I’m not quite sure of, but I will always remember that he was a good friend of mine, I never really understood a word he said, but I helped him drink his wine, yes, he always had some mighty fine wine! Singing JOY TO THE WORLD.

As I grew up and went off to college, my mom turned into my best friend. I practically had her on speed dial those four years in college. Going from a college graduate to a full-time mom, wasn’t exactly the easiest transition, but of course mom was always there for encouragement. This past year of being a mom myself has made me realize more than ever how truly blessed I am to have the mom that I do.

So mom, for all those “mom moments” – those all day, everyday, self-draining, exhausting & repetitive moments – thanks for doing them with such grace over the years. Thanks for doing them with such care and patience. Thanks for teaching me how to work hard and be honest. Most of all, thank you for being an amazing role model of a mom, someone who I can look up to as I face my own set of challenging “mom moments” on a daily basis.

And, for all the things I never said thank you for:

The baskets full of clean laundry, the cinnamon and sugar toast every morning, and the “3 backyard rules.” The years of cheering me on at sporting events, the dance recitals, birthday parties and sleepovers. For all the trips you had to make to school because I forgot something at home. The tears I have cried on your shoulder, the secrets I have whispered in your ears and the dreams of mine you have helped turn into a reality. The hallmark cards you hide in my suitcases, the care packages you send and the late night calls.

Thank you for it all.

I couldn’t have learned from anyone better, so thank you, just thank you.

Love you mom, and happy mother’s day.

Only 3 more sleeps!

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