This morning, at about 3 a.m., my Mother's Day started out with my daughter coughing, hacking and crying everyone awake, and I got to get up, change her, feed her, and eventually get her back to sleep.
The irony wasn't lost on me since the first four months of her life were like that a lot. And recently, we've enjoyed a full night's sleep nearly every night.
Except of course, the night going into Mother's Day.
Anyone who knows me can imagine how sweet Mother's Day is for me this year. I went from this picture last September -- a new Mom with bittersweetness, joy and delirium in her eyes, to just 7 3/4 months later, having a daughter who is doing everything she can to sit, crawl or stand on her own.
And being my kid, she doesn't know which she wants to do first, but she's quite sure she wants to do it all, and right now.
But this isn't just about me being a Mom.
I have to say this past year has also been about MY Mom.
My Mom's name is Karlene, but everyone knows her as "Bestema" in the family -- that's Danish for "Grandma".
My Mom was a child of the 1950s, who became an adult in the 1960s, when she had all her kids, somewhat insulated from the tumult of the 1960s and 1970s as she raised her family while playing the role of the good minister's wife.
What's amazing to me about my parents is that they came from such different backgrounds (hers from perhaps "too much" love in the form of spoiling, and him from "definitely not enough"). And yet they came together to make parents who really tried hard to instill values into their kids -- with very little money -- and yet all the richness of unconditional love.
If my sister Jill and I worked on Dad hard enough, we knew he'd probably fold like a lawnchair, but if he sent us to Mom, we know we weren't probably going to get what we wanted, because the question was too hard for him, or he knew he'd get in trouble for saying yes (even though he probably wanted to say yes to us darling daughters).
But I have many memories of my Mom taking me alone to the store for a little "girl time", or out to a show, or one time I remember going to Sonja Roiko's modeling show, and her smiling down at me as we sat at a pie place afterwards.
The smile of approval that so many other kids waited for all their lives (and some still wait for) I got many times, even when I probably didn't deserve it.
I'm 41 years old, and she still calls me "pumpkinhead" and a few other nicknames I'm just not willing to share with the blogosphere for fear that it would just perpetuate it.
My Mom was there for us when Jacob was born and lost. She cried along with us, and in our infertility grieved her grandchildren as I mourned my babies.
And so, as she became a grandmother to my living, breathing, healthy baby girl, nothing quite puts a lump in my throat as watching my girl Nora smile and love her Bestema.
Very few people can claim their Mom is the best, and I'm proud to say so. My Mom was, and is, the best mother a girl could ask for.
I love you Mom. Thanks for loving me no matter what, for being there for us, and for being such a wonderful Bestema to our girl.
Happy Mother's Day to ALL Moms, no matter how kids came to you.