Apr 26, 2016 - Things to Do

Dear Mom, thanks. Let’s celebrate our moms for dealing us when we were kids

Dear Mom, thanks for not making fun of me for crying about a reindeer ornament and for teaching me my first lesson in communication.

When I was a little girl growing up in rural Illinois, one of the more exciting events of our small town holiday season was the opening of Toyland at Farm & Fleet. It was just an overly dramatic unveiling of all the best Christmas toys strategically displayed at the center of the store but was always exciting to us nonetheless.

Levans kids Christmas, 1990 vs 2015
Levans kids Christmas, 1990 vs 2015

One year when I was maybe 7 or 8, I bypassed the toys in Toyland for reasons unknown and latched on instead to a $4 reindeer ornament I found on one of the elaborate Christmas tree displays. Always the overthinker, I carried the little reindeer around, fretted about whether or not to ask for it, ultimately decided to hide it in the branches so I could come back and fret some more another day and went home without ever mentioning it.

Later that night I found myself in such a tizzy over the reindeer that I started weeping uncontrollably to my mom who, of course, was completely in the dark about what had tripped her most melodramatic middle child’s latest implosion.

Jane Levans mother's day
My mom in the 80s, likely trying to figure out what she’s going to do with me for a whole lifetime.

She probably had to choke back tears of laughter when I finally explained that I was worked up about a reindeer ornament no one knew existed but me. Instead of dismissing me, she let me feel my ridiculous feelings, validated my volatile emotions and explained to me that the only way to ever get what you want is to ask for it.

So thanks, Mom, for being patient and for teaching me a mantra I still lean on today when I forget to speak up.

Let’s celebrate all the little things our moms have done for us over the years.

It’s funny how we can hold on to little inconsequential moments like my reindeer meltdown for a lifetime, learning crucial life lessons at a time when our parents perhaps don’t really even realize they’re parenting.

This Mother’s Day, help us say thanks to all your moms (and mother figures) in Charlotte and beyond for all the little things they’ve unknowingly gifted us along the way. Fill out your “Dear Mom, thank you” (anonymously or not) and we’ll run a collection of them next week to celebrate motherhood in all its beautiful, exhausting, thoughtful, thankless glory.

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