I don't think you can truly appreciate your mother and everything she did for you until you are a mother yourself. At least this has been the case for me. We have certainly had our disagreements over the years. I went through the typical teenage girl stage where my mom and I were constantly at each others' throats. But I think that now, especially having my own daughter, I've reached the point in my life where I can declare without a doubt, and I hold this truth to be self-evident because this is totally at least as important as anything written in the Declaration of Independence: your mother is always right.
What's that? You want specific examples? Well, I suppose I can think of a few...
There are ways to settle a fight over a toy that do not involve biting. Forget what those mean sixth-grade girls say because they don't matter and you are beautiful. You don't have to work quite so hard at every little thing-- not everything has to be absolutely perfect, and happiness is more important than perfection. You should get along better with your brother because even if he's annoying you right now, your relationship will matter to you down the road more than you know. Your father is not always right, but he still deserves your respect. And the ultimate kicker: You are so young, what's the rush to get married?... just enjoy being engaged for awhile and see how things go.
At some point in time, I rolled my eyes at each and every one of these statements, ignored them, and without fail I suffered the consequences. Some of them led to overly dramatic screaming-fights ending in tears and the slamming of bedroom doors (mine, not hers). But I can look back without a doubt and declare unashamedly that in each of these circumstances, my mom knew what was best, and she always was looking out for me, even if it made her unpopular with my teenage self at the time.
And ah, the one about marriage, didn't I eat my words with that one... But I can proudly say that I came right out with it and was not embarrassed, when I told my mom I was filing for divorce: you were right. I was too young. I should have listened.
My mom always stuck to her guns, and I can only hope that I do the same when my turn inevitably comes with my own daughter. She hasn't always lived her life exactly in the way that I want to live mine (I mean really, who has?), but the bottom line is this: she is a strong woman and whatever strength I have, I owe it to her and my father and the way they raised me.
Since I've become a single mother, I've become closer than ever to my mom. She always has my back and does so much for me and for Caroline. I rarely even have to ask. She is always there for us, no matter how much help I need.
I love you, Mom. Caroline and I are so lucky to have you.