Mother’s Day 2011. Caught me totally off guard. I thought it would be just another Mother’s Day. The day has been bittersweet for me since I lost my own mother 25 years ago. But having my three children certainly added meaning back into the day. And as time passed, the sting of not having a living mother on Mother’s Day lessened. But this year was different. And I didn’t realize it until I got to the day. There were some inklings. I was finding it difficult to post about To Mama With Love. I had committed to tweeting and posting on Facebook but I just couldn’t seem to embrace those tasks. Finally, when I posted an old photograph of my mother, (she was probably around 18) and the comments started rolling in, it hit me. This Mother’s Day is a loaded one for me. I mean, it is loaded every year when you lose your mother. But this year is my last year as a mom with my children living at home with me. This fall, my twins will be leaving for college. It is a time I have lived for. I truly adore my children. I love spending time with them. I genuinely like them as people. But after being a single mom for really all of their lives, I am ready to take care of me. It was in that mindset that I approached this annual celebration of mothers. When I posted my mother’s picture on Facebook, I mentioned that, after 25 years, I still missed her. Almost immediately people started posting about how beautiful she was and how she was watching over me. And so in the grocery store, reading those comments, I started to cry. Because as much as I am tired and ready to take care of me, I have loved being a mom. There is nothing in this world I ever wanted to be as badly as I wanted to be a mom. And it has been a very sweet ride. In spite of the fights and the exhaustion and the many, many, many thankless hours of never ending tasks, I wouldn’t give it up for anything else. Being a mom has added meaning to my life in ways nothing and no one else could. So, although I am ready for this next stage of my life to begin, I am feeling a little sadness about the end of this amazing and monumental stage of my life. I can’t wait to eat cereal for dinner and go to 5 night time meetings in one week and not feel guilty about not being home cooking and emotionally available to my kids. But for just this moment, I will be a little sad about what is ending and will acknowledge how lucky I am to have been able to be a mom and follow in the footsteps of a long line of proud, loving and strong women.