To my Mom,

Thank you.

Thank you for being there for me for all the practices, competitions, and field trips. You have been my biggest fan through every single stage of my life and I couldn’t ask for a better cheerleader. Thank you for knowing when I was wrong and spanking me when I was being a brat. I may not have liked it then, but looking back, I know I’m better off. Thank you for holding me while I cried and promising me that tomorrow would be a better day. You’ve been my rock through breakups, life decisions, and new chapters. You’ve carried me through when I was convinced I couldn’t go on. Thank you for (sneakily) becoming my very best friend, being my first (and daily) phone call, and being my biggest (and most caring) confidant. You answer your phone with the same enthusiasm every time, whether it’s my first or the fifth call of the day.  I am eternally grateful. Most importantly, thank you for showing me right from wrong, for encouraging me in my walk of faith, and for teaching me the value of respect not only for others, but for myself as well.

Thank you for teaching me the importance of hard work, and the essence of the American Dream. While you and Daddy have worked so hard to give me the greatest life possible, you also reminded me that everything has a price tag, and “nothing in life is free, except for Jesus.” You have always pushed me to be the very best version of myself and to work for the things I want, rather than to expect them. Thank you for making me independent, and telling me to never rely on anyone. Every single day, I become more confident in myself. You always told me that the ability to be financially and emotionally stable on my own was imperative, I see now that you couldn’t have been more correct. Thank you for passing down some of your best qualities. Everyone knows where my hard head and stubbornness come from and here’s a hint – it’s not Daddy. You taught me to fight for everything that I believe in and to never back down. Because of you, I am not afraid to stand up for my beliefs. I tell it like it is and I debate fiercely and with everything in me. I inherited my convictions and my passion from watching you, and I’m a better person because of it.

Thank you for always believing in me. There’s nothing I want more than to make you proud. Thank you for understanding when I just couldn’t swing that one class, or when that test just didn’t go as well as I hoped. Know that moving out was hard for me too, and I probably cried almost as much as you did during my first two weeks at school. I will forever be your little girl, no amount of growing can change that. Thank you for giving me a sister, one to torture and love just the same. She is by far one of the biggest pains and one of the biggest blessings in my life. Thank you for not giving up on me, especially during those preteen years. I hope to have half the perseverance you had – and maybe a little easier first child too. Thank you for keeping me grounded. You never hesitate to remind me where I came from and sometimes, I need that reality check.

I love you, Mom. You’re my role model and even though I laughed at everyone who told me this would happen, you’re my best friend. I got my independence and my sass from you, and I couldn’t be more thankful. Sometimes, I know I get busy, but you are so appreciated. Certainly I wouldn’t be the woman I am today if it weren’t for you. So, thank you – for absolutely everything. You’re my hero.

Love always,

Lauren N
Lauren is one of our managing editors here at Future Female Leaders. When she is not editing FFL articles, you can find her color coding her whole life in her Lilly Pulitzer agenda. She's a southern girl who loves Hokie football and isn't afraid to be politically incorrect, so consider this your trigger warning.

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