There is something about the nature of thank you notes that makes procrastination inevitable. I think that possibly a curse was put on the act of writing thank you notes hundreds of years ago and that’s why we never get them done on time.
I always dread hopelessly searching my memory for the names of gifts and their givers, squeezing out all of my creative juices trying to say something about the tenth empty journal I got for one birthday. So maybe it really takes forever because we all hope that, at a certain point beyond the appropriate time frame in which to send thank you notes, the objects of our gratitude will forget that they ever did something worth thanking.
With that said, it feels wrong yet still mildly appropriate that my Mother’s Day Edition of Thank You Notes is a couple of days late (sorry, mom).
For moms, I just can’t let myself pull the “Irish Goodbye” of thank you notes, a tactic that I shamelessly employ in every other facet of my life. Moms are just so integral to daily functioning. And by "mom," I don’t just mean a female who shoved you out of her birth canal. A mom doesn’t need to be a woman, or related to you, or older than you, or anything else that fifties TV shows made moms out to be.
A mom is that little girl on the first day of kindergarten who could see that you were nervous as all get out and invited you to play with her. A mom is the person who stops, even for just a moment, to listen to every busker she encounters on the subway. A mom remembers your birthday.
Now that I think about it, moms don’t just remember birthdays. They remember everything, from your favorite color to your most embarrassing fart-related story (speaking of, a mom is the kind of person you can fart in front of without embarrassment-- well, much embarrassment). Moms remember to write thank you notes.
I’m lucky enough that, at almost twenty years old, I can say that I have a lot of moms. I’m even luckier that my most reliable and loving mom is the wacky and wonderful woman who carried me in her womb for nine months (and, believe it or not, I was an exceptionally tall baby) and who continues to support me every day of my life, sacrificing more than I will ever be able to list.
My mother is a florist. For as long as I can remember, I have watched her bring enormous power to delicate things. Sweet peas, lilies of the valley, forget-me-nots, and lamb’s ears have all slid through her lithe fingers to become meaningful and important. In the same way, she has ushered my growth with grace and elegance. My strength originates in her, and I only hope that I will be as resilient as she is one day.
I would be a shell of a person without my mother, without all of the people in my life who have dared to glimpse beneath the surface and unconditionally understand me as I am. So this year—even though I’m already a little late—let’s not postpone telling our moms (all our moms) thank you in the best way we can-- by being a mom to them, too.