I got the best mother’s day gift — my Mom is here! Not to make my 3 brothers and my sister jealous, but somehow, it worked out for the second year in a row. She and my dad came last year and celebrated my first mother’s day with us … they locked me in the bathroom while they traced Tulsi’s 4 1/2 week old teeny hand and foot on the inside of my first mother’s day card. “Now you know.” my mom said, “Because you are a mom.” She was referring to the indescribable love bursting from within a new, tired mama’s expanding heart. She also wrote that we were now sisters, in that blood-sister/mama-sister way. I love that.

It has been beautiful to see in myself this past year, how much more I am like my mom than I ever knew. I have often thought about her as I stumbled and stuttered and danced and cried and giggled my way thru Tulsi’s first year. By the time she was “my” mom, she probably didn’t stumble and stutter as much as I have since she was an expert by then (I was No. 4 of 5), BUT, she was a first-timer once, too, and it has been nice in my heart to remember that. It has helped me be gentle with myself. In my eyes, my Mom is the best, so naturally, I hope, some of her has rubbed off onto me and thus, passed on to Tulsi. She is now (and was, in all my memories of growing up) what mothers strive to be: compassionate, loving, empathetic, patient, wise, FUN, creative, silly, gentle, thoughtful, affectionate. She is my Mama-Guru, and whether I chose her or whether we were gifted to each other (or both), I am thankful over and over.

And, today, I want to sing: I LOVE LOVE LOVE being a full-time mama! It is a choice, but also grace, that I am / can be. I am thankful for this every day, and for Patrick’s support, too (in so many ways). He has worked extra hard so I can be with her. My mom was a full time mama for all 5 of us (!) AND worked for my dad part time. I know a little now, how much and how hard she worked constantly. She also cooked all the time. I’ve been cooking and baking a lot this year and surprising myself at how much I enjoy it, how creative it is. I’m also thankful that I am in more of a flow with Tulsi (during the days) and my art (at night), this past month. I’m doing it! I love doing both, and the joy nourishes my exhaustion. Plus, it is always nice to find balance so that the next time I am out of sync, I’ll know it is possible to find it again.

This year has also been a year of connecting with other mams — my sister, old friends, new friends, new and veteran mamas, and dear cyber friends (as funny as that sounds). We are very lucky to have each other to share and cheer for and lean on and appreciate. So today, I celebrate you as mamas, too. I learn so much from all of you. Thanks to all of you, and to my Mom, for being my mama-guru’s.

And as Tulsi says, HAPPY “MOM-MOM” Day!