1.  In Kindergarden I stood at the door and cried before my first day of school.
Not because I was scared to go in, but because I wanted to be in the Ernie’s and not the Berts.
You mothered me in.
2. In 1st grade you stuck a GIJoe in my lunch bag. I told Brian Lai you were the best mom ever.
You still are.
3.  In 2nd grade you told Ms. Davis that I couldn’t have been the one who stole Mary Helen’s lunchbox.
It was Matt Breedlove.
You were right.
4.  In 3rd grade you gave me a frog ring to give Mrs. Eldridge because she loved frogs.
She let me do whatever I wanted the rest of the year.
You win.
5.  In 4th grade You stood on the sidelines as I destroyed my class in field day.
You’re smile made me run faster.
6.  In 5th grade I lied and signed my bad report card myself and I remember sitting in that meeting when Mrs Fruit told you I lied.
Your eyes were full of grace.
7.  In 6th grade I wanted to give Amber Wasson her own box of 24 Valentines.
You drove me to Walmart at 8pm and bought her 24 My Little Pony Valentine cards.
8.  In 7th grade I threw rocks through the Wrights window and Mr. Wright came over drunk and pissed.
You apologized to him, bought them a new window, and made me ask them for forgiveness.
They didn’t forgive me, but you did.
9.  In 8th grade we couldn’t afford Adidas soccer cleats like the rest of the kids on the JV soccer team were wearing.
I knew we would head to Kmart to buy some Stadia cleats.
We drove to Soccer Warehouse and bought Adidas cleats.
You didn’t have the money. I knew that.
You bought them for me anyways.
10.  In 9th grade you got a job at Marshals.
I didn’t know why my mom had to work but I never missed a youth trip, soccer tournament, or music class.
Now I know why.
11.  In 10th grade you busted me and Peter Kim taking his sisters car out on a joy ride.
You convinced Peter’s mom that he needed to go to church camp with us that summer instead of him getting grounded.
It worked.
What the heck?
You are amazing.
12.  In 11th grade you watched the entire first season of The Real World with me.
None of my others friends moms could even touch your swag.
13.  In 12th grade I came home from spring break with a hickey on my neck and a turtle neck on.
You told me I can’t hide hickeys in the summer and you were right.
Oh. And you told me I didn’t embarrass you, I only embarrassed myself.
14.  In college you gave me a car, moved me into my dorm, wrote me weekly letters, were nice to all my girlfriends, worked 2 jobs to pay for it, welcomed me home when I flunked out, drove me back when they let me back in, and helped me move to California when you knew I needed a year home.
15.  When I got married you still gave sacrificially to me and Heather.
When we ran out of money before the month ended up, you gave.
16.  When we had kids you started doing everything you did for me…for them.
You are a perfect grandma.
Who knew?!
17.  When I tried to self destruct my entire life you stood beside me while standing beside those I tried to destroy with my own selfish ambitions.
You mothered me to Jesus.

Mom.
You destroy any attempt Hallmark could muster telling you how amazing you are.
So I thought I’d give you a glimpse.
I love you Carmen Whittaker.
You are the perfect Mother for me.
Love.
Carlos