When it comes to expressing gratitude, kids are kind of the worst. This isn’t entirely their fault — it takes years for that prefrontal cortex to fully develop after all — but man. If you’ve ever tried to feed a toddler a lovingly prepared meal only to have him balk at everything on the plate, then you understand the definition of having your patience tried. It’s only later in life that you can really appreciate all of the effort that your parents invested in keeping you happy, healthy, and safe from your own childish impulses. There are plenty of things to say to your mom on Mother’s Day that you wish you had told her as a kid.
Fortunately, it’s never too late to relay these messages. After all, moms as a whole tend to be infinitely patient people (all those late-night feeds instill that trait in a person). So if there’s something your mom did for you as a kid that you’re only appreciating now, why not share your gratitude this year? She will probably be more than happy to hear your kind words, even if they are a decade or two overdue. It’s never too late to sing her praises, especially once you’re at a place in life when you can really appreciate all of the time and effort she put into raising you.
1. "You Were Right."
Remember that time you told me not to do the thing, but I did it anyway, and it had disastrous consequences? Yeah, you were right. I wish I had listened to you.
2. "Thanks For Cleaning Up After Me."
Seriously. And this is not just relegated to the baby stage, either. I never realized how much hair I shed until moving into my own place.
3. "I Like Your Cooking."
All those times I snubbed your homemade dishes as a kid? I wish I could take them back. That baked chicken dish is the bomb, and it takes a lot of time to prepare. I appreciate all of this effort now.
4. "Your Sleepover Manager Game Is Strong."
How did you maintain your sanity with a gaggle of 8-year-old girls overrunning the house? I seriously respect your patience now, as well as that time you got up extra-early to get everyone fresh donuts.
5. "Kids Are Difficult."
Parenting is a tough job that requires 24/7 support for a long time. I'm only starting to appreciate that now.
6. "I Love Hearing Baby Stories."
The baby stories that I found so mortifying as a young adult are now completely endearing. It's hilarious to hear about that time I got too rowdy at a crowded restaurant, or spit up on an unsuspecting relative.
7. "I'm Glad You Read To Me."
You probably didn't want to read Goldilocks and the Three Bears every night for four months straight, but I'm glad you took the time to do so. It set the stage for my own love of books that has continued today.
8. "Your Style Is Great."
Sure, we've had our differences over the years, and we may never see eye to eye on certain garments (such as cropped pants). But I respect your sense of style.
9. "Thank You For Listening."
Whenever I had a crappy day at school, you were always willing to listen as I vented. This helped me survive many instances of bullying and other problems that were overwhelming at the time.
10. "You Taught Me To Love Animals."
Your infinite patience and kindness to our pets taught me how to care for animals with compassion and love. It's been one of my best skills in life.
11. "I Love You."
I never said it enough as a child, and I should probably say it more as an adult. But it's the absolute truth.