How does one thank the woman who brought them into this world? I mean, itís a pretty big deal Ö giving birth to a screaming, adorable, baby girl. Plus, Iím a pretty big deal and I have my mother to thank for that.

Growing up I may not have been the angel I claim to be, but my mother will probably (now this is me assuming here) never admit to it. I wasnít a bad kid. I went to school, got good grades, listened when told to do something (most of the time), and for the most part, kept the attitude to a minimum. Not saying that sometimes I didnít slip up every now and again, like the day I came home with a ďCĒ in math. My excuse? I was already a grade level ahead of my peers and if I was in their easy classes, Iíd have an ďA.Ē After all, a ďCĒ is average. My momís response, ďThere is no average when is comes to you. You are not average, you are exceptional.Ē

I guess you can blame my mom for my confidence level today. I know I can do anything I put my mind to and I will rock it out Ö even if I fail. Iíll rock the heck out of failing. A lot of peers and friends tend to pick on me for having a big head or for not being modest when it comes to doing what I do. Itís all in jest, but I know that if my mother hadnít held me to a higher standard, I wouldnít be where I am today. I donít rub in my awesomeness to the outside world, because I know my mother would have my neck if I wasnít just a tad modest. ďYou still have to be a lady and respect others to succeed in life,Ē she would say.

She also taught me when to hold my tongue. I never really fought with my mother, but the one time I argued about dating a senior when I was a freshman in high school Ö wow, that day will forever be stuck in my mind.

My mother has gone through a lot in her life that has made her the courageous, strong-willed, independent woman she is today. The day of the argument was the day I learned that if I followed in my motherís foot steps, I was going to be a courageous, strong-willed, independent (with a little bit of awesomeness) woman as well.

So, in certain situations, Iíll hold my tongue, even if I see faults in the person Iím arguing with Ö or that I know Iím right.

My mother showed me that a kind heart will go a long way. One year I spent all weekend making cute little valentine elephants made out of pom-poms and pipe cleaners to give to my friends. I decorated a coffee can like the candy, Sweethearts, ready to collect the awesome valentines Iíd receive in return. As the day went on, I handed out my elephants with a smile and sometimes a hug, but never got a valentine in return. My heart was crushed. I was sad, I was angry, but most of all I had given up. I had given everything into those valentines for my friends and not one of them gave me anything in return. My mother could see the hurt in my eyes at the dinner table and when I asked to be excused, I hid in my room for the rest of the night. The next morning, I discovered a teddy bear with a rose necklace sitting on my bathroom counter with a small note, with a single sentence, ďYour heart is kind, your heart is special, do not give up on the people you love.Ē

Even today, my mother gives me strength in the lowest of times. I have a very strong-willed and independent son. He tests my patience and my self-control. He is every bit as smart as his mother and as stubborn as his father. He will make an awesome American president, but for now, we need to get through kindergarten. When Iím about to give up, my mother is there, stepping in and giving me an encouraging boost of confidence. After all, there is no average when it comes to me. Iím exceptional. I still have to respect others to succeed, and my heart is kind and special and I donít give up on the ones I love. Thank you, Mom and Happy Motherís Day.