Whenever I look at my mom, figuratively or literally, the resemblance is obvious.
She’s one of the strongest women I know, and the reason I find it difficult to ask for help or even acknowledge that I need it. She thinks she’s funnier than she actually is, and I’m her constant reminder of that. She hates when I write or tweet about her, and she is my constant reminder of that. (Her signature phrase is, “Don’t tweet that!”)
She is undoubtedly the reason I am the man I am today.
She is the reason I value family above all else. She is the reason I grew up a young boy who respected his elders and the reason I’ve become a man who continues to do so. She is the reason I was as a gentleman who respects women and expects the same respect in return.
She is the reason I was able to go to college. She is the reason I was able to get to the position I’m in now. While I’m proud of the fact that I want for, ask for, or need very little, it would be ignorant to think that anything I have accomplished and will accomplish in life was not a direct result of her parenting.
She is an exceptional mother, and the reason why I have always wanted to be an exceptional father one day. She instilled that desire in me — long before any child should think about having kids of his own. I’m proud of the man I am today, and I know that her parenting is the reason why. It is because of that I know I will make an exceptional father if I’m given the chance one day.
I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve seen her cry, be it in joy or in sadness. She is the reason that — despite all of the sappy and personal writing I may do, and my willingness to put myself out there in the dating world — I almost never let someone completely in.
She is opinionated, not unlike myself. She is the reason I’m petrified for any girl I’m seeing to meet her, and the reason why there are just a small handful of women who have been afforded that luxury. She is also the reason why I am able to evaluate a potential relationship so easily. Any girl I could not see meeting her wouldn’t be worth my time. Anyone I wouldn’t fear to bring “home,” so to say, would be someone I truly value and see potential in.
I spent so much time with her growing up that it was inevitable some of the traits she didn’t genetically pass down to me would rub off. She is the reason my morning feels off without a cup of tea to start my day. She is the reason I dance like a buffoon in the car. She is my harshest critic. She is also one of my biggest (but quietest) fans.
She’ll hate that I wrote this, but it wouldn’t fit in a card, so this will have to do. I love you, mom. I wish you the happiest of birthdays, and I thank you for everything you’ve done in my life.