Let me start out by saying that lots of people have great moms--this, I know. And I know I'm partial in saying that my mom was pretty freaking great. In fact, I think she was the absolute best mom for me that there ever could have been (and that's not just because the best mother for a Leo is another Leo).
My mom taught me pretty much everything I know and shaped me into the person I am today. Just a few days ago, I was thinking back on every one of my most prized attributes, and in one way or another, they came from my mom.
Not to sound conceited, but I consider myself beautiful and I owe that to my mama's rockin' genes. Seriously, you should see the pics. We're practically twins.
My desire to help others comes from the example set by my mother in the numerous humanitarian aid days she dragged us to, service-oriented youth meetings she encouraged us to attend, and her never-ending compassion for those in need. She was the kind of mom that took in strays--my cousins and their three children, my dad's former co-worker, an entire Argentine family, my little brother's best friend.
She made me into a person dead-set on achievement, focused on making my dreams come true. My mom spent every night from 4th-10th grade reviewing my math homework and teaching me through her frustration things I didn't understand. She demanded my best. She made me responsible for my own education expenses, and therefore forced me into being invested in my own education. She is always asking what kinds of jobs I'm looking for because she doesn't want me to sell myself short.
She has been, and will always be, my greatest cheerleader, my most trusted confidante, my accountabili-buddy, my compass, my teacher, my role model. My mom has been a freakin' awesome mom, and not just by pure motherly talent. I know that mothering didn't always come easily to her, and that she had to fight human instinct and the impulse to become her own mother in order to make each of her children the successful human beings we are today.
Mom, thank you for everything. And happy Mothers' Day! I owe you everything.