Monday, May 11, 2015

A Letter From My Daughter on Mother's Day

Written yesterday on Mother's Day and posted later.

Mother Daughter handstand contest at Crux in Bend.  

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!  What a great day (and continues to be)!  It started with an early morning half marathon --The Smith Rock Half Marathon (race report/review SOON) that left me smiling and feeling good.  Then I came home to a very clean house, happy kids, and small but BIG and meaningful gifts.  Every one in my family showed their love in a way they knew would mean much to me.  The kids cleaned their rooms, my middle daughter had small notes and handmade gifts she had been hiding around the house for a week or two, my husband matted (soon to be framed) a piece of art that I've had stored away since we moved (and cleaned the house from top to bottom), and my oldest daughter presented me with a bottle with a letter in it....

A couple of hours of quiet alone time on Mother's Day after my half marathon.  A clean house, words of love, and a matted piece of art just waiting to be framed so we can finally get some art on the walls in this front room.  

All of these gifts of love meant so much to me.  But the letter...the letter made me CRY.  It made me feel so truly SEEN, appreciated and VALUED!

Let me back up a bit.  This year is my oldest daughter's 4th grade year.  She has a teacher we all dream of having for our kids.  She has THAT teacher. The teacher that changes lives.  The teacher that sees these students are HERS and wraps them up with love, holding them to high standards and SEEING them for the individuals they are.  This teacher.  Wow.  If anything, she needs to be wished Happy Mother's Day by all her almost 30 students because she truly is a second mother of sorts...She's their teacher but she loves them and teachers them beyond anything I've seen.  My mama heart is full and THANKFUL to have her in our lives!

My sweet girl with her teacher who came to watch her last soccer game.  It was wonderful to see how joyful this made my see her favorite teacher there to support  her in her sport.  

Anyway, for Mother's Day, she has spent weeks with them ...guiding them through the writing process to write a letter to their mothers.  She challenged them to go deep with their letters using all five senses...What they hear, see, smell, taste and feel when they think of their mothers.  I'm pretty sure her goal was to get the kind of authentic writing from them that would make every mother cry from being touched so much...and she NAILED IT.

I asked my daughter if I could publish her letter on my blog so I could have it on here for my own purposes.  She smiled and thought that would be great so I'm sharing it here (more for me than anythings else...I will print this blog out someday!).

My Wonderful Mother...
When I think of you, I see...The hard working and loving woman who cares for me each day.  I see you tired after cleaning our home.  I know you do that so we don't live in a pigsty.  I see you in the kitchen working to prepare a great dinner.  I see you calling and texting our friends' moms so we can have play dates.  I see you tucking us in at night to make sure we know we are loved.  

When I think of you, I hear you saying.. "I love you."  I hear your footsteps as you run on the treadmill. I hear your fingers click clacking on the keyboard as you type up your book that you're writing.  I hear you singing in the shower.  I hear you saying I'm sorry after a fight.  

When I think of you, I smell...your sweat after a run.  I smell your Burt's Bees lotion as I kiss your neck.  I smell your Aunt's Italian sauce.  I smell your avocado shampoos after a shower.  I smell your minty breath after you brush your teeth.  

When I think of you, I taste the thoughtful lunches you pack for us every day.  I know you don't have to do that but you do since you love me.  I taste the wonderful dinners you have never made before and then you do make them they turn out perfect.  I know you don't like to cook much but when you do they almost always turn out great. I know you do that so we have food in our bellies.  

When I think of you, I feel...your soft skin when you get out of the shower.  I feel your soothing dark brown highlighted hair as it brushes against my neck.  I feel your comforting body heat when you comfort me after a bad dream.  I feel your warm breath as you kiss me goodnight.  

When I think of you, I feel... determined to do whatever I want to do when I grow up like you.  I feel calm, hyper and energetic.  I feel I want to get outside and exercise.  I feel inspired to pursue my dreams and go to any school I want, even Harvard or Yale.  I feel that I want to be like you when I grow up.  

As far as celebrating MY beautiful mother and artist Cher Odum.  I was so happy to be able to drive up to Portland on Thursday for her opening night in a new gallery in the Pearl District. SO SO proud of her!!  It was so special to be a fly on the wall in this gallery and hear what everyone had to say when they saw her art.  Here are a few pictures and captions from this:

A picture of us viewing our picture before the artist reception.  Love her! 

J Pepin Art Gallery 

From earlier:  "Darn near moved to tears sitting here on a bench in this gallery...seeing and hearing strangers marvel at and comment on my mom's work and the story behind these pieces. I am especially moved because I know her story...what it took for her to keep going with her dreams and passions despite the obstacles...the struggles...anxiety/depression...FEAR! I know some of what it took for her to hold fast to her dreams and honor her gifts as an artist! I am also moved by the vision of this gallery...its purpose to reframe the perception of mental illness through art, and recognize the beauty and creativity that can come from it. Another step to overcoming the stigma associated with mental illness! "



  1. That letter brought tears to my eyes...and I don't know either of you personally...I had a similar moment of feeling like my son "sees" me as an individual and not just a mom...I wrote about it in a blog post called "Five Seconds of Cool" the letter, the pics, the story about your mom's art show...all of it.

    1. Thanks so much. I will have to get over to read this post of yours...right now, in fact. :)

  2. What a beautiful, thoughtful post. Thank you.

  3. Love this. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Ok so totally should have read this in private as now tears are streaming and my students think I'm nuts! That line...I feel determined to do whatever I want to do like you!!! YOU are living a life as an example to them and she gets it!! What a sweet letter!!!

  5. Thanks for sharing the letter from your daughter. That was awesome.
    And what a great idea by her teacher. Beautiful!
    Happy Mother's Day to you and Yours!

  6. You are an amazing Mum and you have raised an amazing daughter with a beautiful spirit.

  7. What a beautiful letter from E! Of course, it brought tears to my eyes. What an excellent writer she is! Wow.

  8. Awww, that letter is so heartfelt and I can just picture you perfectly as their mother. I'm sure you'll keep that one forever.

  9. What a wonderful mothers day! I love the thought your daughter put into the letter and that you came home to a clean house!