? Those endless bowls of macaroni that you made me to ensure the happiness of my stomach.
? All the time you've spent prodding me to study and helping me with homework and projects (even if it was as little as gluing a map of France on a poster board).
? For all the money you've spent on tutors, SAT prep classes and other educational boosters. Because of all your help, concern, anxiety and Benjamin Franklins, I'll be going next year to "the best school for surfing" in the nation, according to Sports Illustrated.
? Sending and chauffeuring me to all those church activities, piano, karate, tae kwon do, ballet, tap dancing, Chinese, art, gymnastics and swimming lessons. I didn't stick with all of them, and in some cases, I downright hated them (remember all those tantrums I threw?), but I do enjoy telling people that I used to learn ballet from Kelsey Grammer's ex-wife.
? Dealing with my erratic driving. I'm sure that time sitting in the car next to me were some of the most terrifying of your 40-something years.
? Reading to me when I was little and always taking me to the library. That love of books has carried to today since I'm a huge fan of Calvin and Hobbes comic books.
? Clothing me. Those dresses you bought for me were adorable (my favorite was the one with the blue polka dots), and at age 7 I was definitely the cutest kid in school.
? Disciplining me when I was bad. The occasional spankings you gave me for throwing those earsplitting tantrums on the kitchen floor. They were all worth it - I didn't have to work for all the butt muscles I've built up in my derrière.
? Having such good taste in the fixtures you've put in our house to make it comfortable. All my friends love our atrium. They call it the "middle yard."
? Teaching me the importance of good eating habits. I'm still not a big fan of all the sugarless ice-cream, the "I can't believe it's not butter!" margarine, the low-sodium crackers and the low-fat cheese, but I've definitely become more conscious of calories. If it weren't for your super healthy conscience, my sweet tooth would have made me at least 20 pounds heavier. Next year when I go to college, instead of acquiring the freshmen 15, it'll be the freshmen 10 for me.
? Taking me to exotic places in the world. Peeing on the side of a stranded road on the way to Death Valley was definitely a once-in -a-lifetime experience.
? Loving and supporting me.
? So far, spending (or wasting, depending on how you look at it) those long 18 years of your life you've devoted to sheltering, clothing, feeding, raising and bribing me. Hopefully, you're somewhat happy with the result.
Happy Mother's Day.