You may be the architect of your dreams, but it was your mother who dusted them.
I don’t mean the magic, fairy kind of dust that Tinkerbell sprinkles about. I mean she dusted them with synthetic ostrich plumes dyed bright pink. She kept them oiled and shiny. She took them out for a drive around the block every now and again to make sure the battery didn’t up and die.
Your mother kept your dreams clean until you were ready to pull them off the shelf.
She stayed up at night after you went to bed and reinforced your matchstick Golden Gate Bridge with super glue. She carefully transported dioramas and poster boards. She had a last-minute science fair project up her sleeve if and when the potato gun failed to shoot.
She typed that 25 page report you waited until the last-minute to finish on a manual typewriter after the electricity went out (thanks, Mom).
She told you that you had a beautiful voice the year you tried out for choir. She correctly guessed Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star when you played discordant notes on the recorder. She applauded your un-jazzy jazz hands, found the ounce of grace in your gangly ballet recital, told you no one noticed when you flubbed your one line in the school play.
She stood at the edge of the soccer pitch in the rain. Or the sleet. Or the snow. She sat on cold, metal bleachers that aggravated her hemorrhoids just in case you threw that Hail Mary pass. From the bench.
She got out a dustpan and brush to pick up the pieces of your first broken heart and helped you puzzle piece them back together. She waited until you went to bed before she cried for you.
She drove you to dance class and waited in the car on hot, sticky seats.
She kept a hidden stash of Saltines and ginger ale for sick days. She emptied the basin when you threw up.
She tucked you in every, single night. Even if she wasn’t home to do it, she did it when she came in, when she got home, in her heart.
She went to all your conferences, all your concerts, recitals, assemblies, open houses. She knew every teacher’s name. She knew what your best subjects were, the ones you needed help with, the ones you hated.
In 18 years she prepared close to 20,000 meals (excluding snacks and Leap years), did over 10,000 loads of laundry, inside-outed 5,000 pairs of socks. Despite this, she’ll still cook dinner and do your laundry for you whenever you come home for a visit.
She said “you’ll be great,” when you said you wanted to be a truck driver. Then a hairdresser. A journalist, an accountant, an actress, a teacher. She said, “you’ll be great,” when you confided that you were worried about being a Mom or a Dad.
And sometimes she put her own dreams on hold so that she dust yours. Because that’s what Moms do.