Picture of my mother and I

An Open Letter to My Mom

Dear Mom,

It’s hard for me to look back on my childhood, but when I do, I think of all of the positivity you instilled in me. When I was little, I wasn’t nearly as affectionate as I am now. But you taught me how to be. Every morning before I would go off to adventures awaiting me in pre-school, you would wrap your arms around me and give me a big hug. You told me to find one positive thing throughout the day, even if it was just my lunch. You taught me since I was young to always put myself in someone else’s shoes. If I came home complaining about a classmate disrupting class, you would make me consider that maybe they had a rough home life. When I told you about a girl being mean to me at school and my sister told me I should fight back, you instead taught me to always go high when they go low, as Michelle Obama puts it. You taught me to see the good in people, like when I used to get annoyed by my teachers and complain to you. Because of this, as I grew older, I began to have more patience with people.

You taught me how to “suck it up” and do chores, because as a child of German immigrants, you had to help your parents whenever it was necessary, without complaining. That brings me to my next point: you are more determined than anyone I know and you never ever give up. Every time I needed help with math homework, you always tried to help me, even if that meant you had to Google what long division was for two hours. You tried introducing trait in me, but I have to say, I am still trying to figure this one out. 

My mother

You are so supportive and accepting. Growing up, you would always videotape me pretending to be a meteorologist or a superstar, and you went right along with it. When I wanted to play “school” and pretend to be a teacher, you bought me stickers and a whiteboard. When I wanted to try something new like horseback riding, you signed me up for lessons. Now that I am older, instead of judging me when I tell you my deepest darkest secrets, you give me even more love. 

Lastly, you are the strongest person I know. Growing up with immigrant parents, you were taught a strong work ethic and worked yourself from the ground up. You were the first in your family to go to college and you paid for all of it by yourself. You became a single mother and hustled between raising your two daughters and having a full-time job. I know you’re hard on yourself, but I don’t think you give yourself enough credit. Hopefully, this letter helps with that. I love you. Happy birthday. 

Love, Gianna. 

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