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Service Sunday: Dear Mom, I Know You're Reading This

I didn’t secure an interview for this week so I knew that this Service Sunday would turn more educational. Today’s Service Sunday was going to be about some aspect of service and I would just have to get myself to sit down and write it.

I had my topic picked out and as I sat down ready to write, I suddenly changed my mind – eager to write about another very important act of service. That is what you are about to read:

Dear Mom, I know you’re reading this.

I know that, because you have read every blog that has ever been posted to The Smile Project page. Scratch that, because you’ve read everything I’ve ever written period. In fact, you were the one who made me believe I could write.

Ever since I told my third grade yearbook committee that I wanted to be a writer when I grew up, you believed in me. We would go to the craft store and get those blank books where you would encourage my creative stories about talking animals and weather disasters. You would read whatever I presented and shower me in support.

I have since read the final draft of Two Talking Cows and One Talking Chicken – I can assure you, it isn’t very good. But you encouraged my love of writing from day one and I have forever been hooked.

But it goes much farther than that. I remember even before I could hold a pencil, you would sit at the edge of my bed at night reading Little House on the Prairie. It was those long nights chronicling the tales of Laura Ingalls Wilder that helped me develop my love of reading…which I’m certain has played a critical role in the aforementioned love of written word. You had no idea you’d turn me into the child who stayed up far past her bedtime, reading by flashlight under the blankets until the battery or my own eyes faded out.

And perhaps we’re still a step before the most basic element. You gave me a love of reading and writing but you also simply gave me love. You taught me kindness and compassion and how to take things as they come. You helped me learn organization and time management and gave me a love of learning that I will never outgrow. Remember when we used to go to the library to pick out movies? Every single time I skipped over the expected options and went straight for Eye Witness movies. Weather! Reptiles! Asia! You watched every single kid’s documentary I could find and after a while probably the same ones about extreme forces of nature and jungle animals. And you did it with a smile and a shared bag of popcorn in hand.

Dear Mom, I know you’re reading this because being a mom isn’t something you’ll ever outgrow. From the second you had my brother almost three decades ago you signed up for a job that you will never retire from.

From diapers to strollers to learning to drive, you have served your three kids (and two dogs and plethora of fish) our entire life. From sharing Junior Mints to Grandma’s brownie recipe to the Christmas tree shaped cinnamon roll every December 25, you have served your three kids our entire life. From walks to the bus stop to a ride to the DMV to a goodbye at a new college, you have served your three kids our entire life.

And as amazing as the Christmas tree shaped cinnamon roll tradition is, you have served us in an even more incredible way simply by being there.

From breakups to failed tests to botched job interviews, you’ve had our backs. Through anger, frustration, and sadness, you’ve had our backs. And at times when everything in the world seems to be falling apart, you have been there – even when you didn’t realize it.

I wanted to write about a topic of service today. And on Mother’s Day, I see nothing more fitting than to simply thank my mom – who has been providing selfless acts of service for the past 29 years on behalf of my brothers and me.

There’s a lot I can talk about regarding service – but perhaps no aspect of service is as important as the kindness and generosity we learn at home when we have an amazing role model and friend who happens to answer to the word mom.

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