Today is my 27th birthday. So much has happened since my last birthday, and today seems like the perfect day to reflect on that. It just so happened - timing-wise - that since my last birthday I got pregnant, had a baby, and watched the baby grow to be almost three months. Of course other things happened during that time - we moved to Hoboken and celebrated other milestones both within our family, personal and professional lives - but by far the hugest change was creating and growing Noam.
Becoming a mom has made me realize a lot about being a child. So, on the day of my birth - the gravity of which I now understand - I've decided to write to my mom, since this day is really about her too.
I get it. I didn't get it before but I get it now.
I get why you can't watch a television show in which something happens to a child without tearing up. I get why you tell me the same stories over and over about our childhood, and I get why those matter so much to you.
I get why you can't throw away those art projects from 2nd grade, and why they're still proudly displayed throughout your house. And I get why you insist on sending Christmas cards every year with a family picture in it. I get why you didn't want to buy me that mini backpack at JC Penney when I was 8, and I get why you did after I had a meltdown in the store over it.
I get why you needed to know where I was going and with who when I was a teenager. And I get why you stayed awake until I got home from being out. I get why you drop everything to talk to me on the phone, and why you don't hesitate to talk to me several times a day, even now that I'm a full-fledged adult.
I get why you were sad for me when I went through some difficult things in high school, and why you'd do anything to take my sadness away. I get that you wish some things were different in my life, and I also get why you tried your hardest for those things to not affect me in a negative way when you couldn't change them outright. I get why my friends said you were the best mom.
I get why you never asked me to stay when I decided to move 3,000 miles away from you at the age of 21. And I get why you were thrilled to hear that we were moving back east a few years later. I get why you love Jason so much and why you tell me all the time. I get that you want the best for me but even more importantly, that you want me to be happy.
I get why it meant so much to you to watch Noam be born, and I get why you wanted to know what I wanted to eat immediately after delivering him. (I was not hungry and was being stitched up but I get it.)
I won't pretend to get how you raised two children to be the women we are today almost completely by yourself. I'll never get how you made it through the years with a smile on your face all the time, when I sometimes have trouble making it through a day. But I get this: I get how lucky - how profoundly lucky - I am to have you in my life, in Noam's life, and as a mom and friend forever.
I love you.
Fuzzy, Peanut and all the other nicknames you gave me. (I get that, too.)