When it comes to being grateful, I can't imagine feeling more gratitude than I feel for the person who brought me into this world. My mom.
Since having our own children, I've lived in awe of my mom. I now know firsthand what it takes in terms of time and sacrifice to raise a child. The first step is putting aside everything in your life that stands in the way of devoting 100% of your energy to your children. They don't always need that 100%, but you sure have to be ready when they do.
I am further amazed at my mom when I consider at the age when my life was focused on having fun and filled with irresponsibility - the entire decade of my 20s - my mom was raising kids the age of my boys. When reflecting and measuring her selflessness against my selfishness, I don't walk away with nearly as much regret for who I was as I do with love and admiration for who my mom was. And who she still is.
I'm jealous of her many days, really. She discovered at a young age what it took me many years to understand: that many things of this world that appear valuable and worthy of our attention - are in the end worth absolutely zero. But children, they bring out the best in us. They remind us each day of what we have, and leave us feeling very indifferent to the things we don't have. In fact many days our kids leave me feeling elated for what I don't have. My mom understood that at a time that made her wise beyond her years.
I feel no shame in saying that our boys are lucky. They have parents who place them above all in terms of our commitment and our earthly priorities. We spend no time pining for the things we left behind to have them, only about what lies ahead with them. One day I'm sure they will reflect with wisdom on the way they were raised. I'm hopeful they will feel the gratitude for us that I feel for my mom today. I also hope they will understand their lives would be completely different if it weren't for the selfless and unconditional love my mom showed for her children at an age many others are completely incapable of doing so.
Happy Mother's Day mom. I love you.