It's Mother's Day.
I am not a mother myself, nor do I think I will be one anytime soon, so I do not celebrate myself today.
I haven't spoken to my own mother in over three years, nor has she tried to reach me, so I do not celebrate my mother today.
Today, I celebrate all the people in my life that have gathered close to mother me when I've needed it most.
To Maria, who has not only shared but in effect donated her mother to me and embraced me fully as her sister. Who tucked me in to her couch on Christmas night when I was ravaged by the flu, and who makes sure I always have a stuffed animal to cuddle up with when I sleep over.
To Maria's mom, who calls me "Sandra" lovingly and tells me to cover up my cleavage and always tells me she loves me before she hangs up the phone.
To Edith, who bought me Theraflu and orange juice on her way to work when I was too sick to walk across the street to Duane Reade. Who made me homemade guacamole so I would have something soft and delicious to eat after gum surgery. Who ran through the late night streets of San Diego looking for something to cool the disastrous sunburn on my legs after kayaking in La Jolla.
To Michelle, who has picked me up off the floor and ground more times than I can remember, and who never gets grossed out by anything (except dust and mice and cockroaches).
To Nicki and Chrissy, who rescued me from my college break homelessness and gave me a place to stay with their families, despite my recklessness with new-found freedom.
To Jon's mom, who taught me how to wrap presents, welcomed me home for Thanksgiving, and gave me Benedryl when I discovered I was severely allergic to their dog.
To Alexis, who gave me a gift certificate for my first eyebrow wax well into my 20s, telling me, "It's time." She was so right.
To Cara Edwards, who took me shopping in London for my first box of tampons, an essential item that was somehow not allowed by my overprotective, Catholic parents.
To every person who has painstakingly taught me how to cook, bake, put on makeup, survive a bikini wax, love myself, and be loved by others, I celebrate you today. I would not be the same person without you.
And I am still learning....
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