Dear Annie: Over the years, I've read a number of beautiful Mother's Day poems and notes in Ann Lander's column. One that stood out began with something about a "one-in-a- million Mom" from her kids. It reminded me of my mom. Another one talked about a mom and dad getting ready for bed. That one hit home for me! Can you find these letters in your archives? — Sandra in St. Louis
Dear Sandra: Of course. Here's one of my favorites:
To a one-in-a-million Mom, to you, dear lady, for all the dreams you dreamed for us. Not one of us became the ballerina or vocalist or pianist or doctor or lawyer you were hoping for. The boys didn't become millionaires, and the girls didn't learn to speak six languages. Instead we are the children who forgot to say "thank you" when it probably would have meant a lot to you. We are the ones who talked when we should have listened. We are the little tykes who woke you before dawn to serve you the breakfast-in-bed birthday special: burnt toast, weak tea, unscrambled eggs and half-raw bacon swimming in grease. We gathered around your bed and sang "Happy Birthday, Dear Mommy." You pretended to be thrilled and tried your darnedest to eat the mess we brought to your bed.
Our childhood is over, and here are the "thank yous," many years overdue. Thank you for being there when we needed you. Thanks for being our tower of strength when you needed support yourself. Thank you for believing in us when we had trouble believing in ourselves. Thank you for saying what we needed to hear and for knowing when silence meant more than words. Your wisdom seemed to come from a place that none of us could ever figure out. Thank you, Mom, for allowing us to dream our own dreams, even though your dreams were more glamorous. And thank you, too, for never letting on when we disappointed you.
Most of all, Mom, thank you for giving us the room we needed to grow and the freedom to learn from our own mistakes. We hope we can do half as well with our kids. — Your Loving Children
Dear Sam: Here's the second love note to all the moms out there. There are many fathers who do the same things, too, and your hard work is also appreciated:
Mom and Dad were watching TV when Mom said: "I'm tired, and it's getting late. I think I'll go to bed."
She went to the kitchen to make sandwiches for the next day's lunches, rinsed the popcorn bowls, took meat out of the freezer for supper the following evening, checked the cereal box levels, filled the sugar container, put spoons and bowls on the table and set up the coffee pot for brewing the next morning. She then put some wet clothes into the dryer, sewed on a loose button, picked up the newspapers strewn on the floor and the game pieces left on the table and put the telephone book back into the drawer. She watered the plants, emptied a wastebasket, hung up a towel to dry, wrote a note to the teacher and counted out some cash for the kids' field trip. She signed a birthday card for a friend, addressed and stamped the envelope and wrote a quick reminder for the grocery store. She put some water into the dog's dish and put the cat outside, and then made sure the doors were locked.
Mom washed her face, put on moisturizer and brushed and flossed her teeth. Her husband called, "I thought you were going to bed." "I'm on my way," she replied. She looked in on each of the children, turned out a bedside lamp, hung up a shirt, threw some dirty socks in the hamper and had a brief conversation with the older one who was up doing homework. In her own room, she set the alarm, laid out clothes for the next day, straightened up the shoe rack and added three chores to her list of things to do tomorrow.
About that time, her husband turned off the TV and announced to no one in particular, "I'm going to bed," and he did.