And what have we done? I'm embarrassed to admit: not much, and certainly not enough.
But is it ever enough? Can I ever show my mother just how much I love her and finally--finally--am beginning to realize how much she loves me? Can I ever show my mother-in-law how grateful I am that she raised such a wonderful family--a son in particular comes to mind, but her daughters are pretty rad too--and that she treats me like one of her own? I think we all know the answer to both those question, and the many others I could ask, is no. You just can't. Ever. (Read the Billy Collins poem linked below, as it expresses this sentiment much better than I could.)
I've been reminded over and over in the last few weeks just how incredible women are. Sure, mothers, but not just mothers. All women, in all seasons and stations of life. They...we are strong and capable and have such a boundless capacity to love and serve and give until we've got nothing left but ourselves, and then we give that too.
I'm so thankful to have had my life shaped by countless incredible women. Most of them probably have no idea what kind of influence they've had on me, but they've changed the way I talk, teach, learn, dance, sing, write, read, cook, drive, parent, dress...all the verbs, guys. All of them. Brilliant women have showed me how to live.
I have been blessed. I'm pretty sure you have too. So to all the women who have ever touched my life, whether you realize it or not, thank you. I know it's not much, but please believe me when I tell you: You are awesome. And I mean that in a hundred billion hot dogs kind of way.
Some related things that maybe you should read if you haven't already:
"The Lanyard" by Billy Collins
"Wandering Around an Albuquerque Airport Terminal"
"Compliments from random women" (both via Design Mom)
Mabrey's Birth (on House Tweaking)
And, just because it's worth mentioning and is in the same vein as that piece about compliments from random women:
Spreading the Love (an upcoming feel-good link party through Friday We're In Love)