The Things I’ve Never Thanked My Mom For

As I write this, I am sitting on a plane watching Columbia get smaller and smaller as I head home to Chicago to celebrate a special day for a special lady. Sunday marks the (29th) birthday of my beautiful mom.

RhonBon/Rhondizzle is much more than a mom. She’s a musician with a knack for interior design, a Southern cook, an animal lover and a Star Wars enthusiast. She’s spunky, she’s strong, she magically gets an accent when we’re in the South, she walks better in high heels than any gal I know, and most importantly, she would do anything for anyone.

My mom once held a little boy she had never met on her shoulders during a 20 minute light show at Disneyland so he could see over the crowd. She supports two impoverished children halfway across the world and sends care packages to them throughout the year. She held a dying dog in her arms on the side of the road after a car hit him until his owner came. She is an incredible woman who does not get nearly the amount of recognition that she should. She, of course, would never tell you these things herself.

So here I am, exposing all of Rhon’s best-kept secrets. (I heard she’s killer at playing Rock Band drums for “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”). There are many things I have never thanked my mom for and this birthday weekend seems like the perfect time to start:

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Bon Jovi concert, April 2012, KCMO. Jamming with Jon’s mic.

Thank you for raising me with a strong adoration for Bon Jovi and for bringing me to four concerts. You have not only exposed me to the greatest song of all time (“Livin’ on a Prayer”, duh), but also given me the opportunity to use “I’ve touched Bon Jovi twice” as my fun fact for eternity. Crazy things happen in 4th row pit seats.

Thank you for showing me that dreams don’t always have to be realistic and that nothing can stop me from achieving them. Thank you for letting me choose where to go to school and for frequently posting “MIZ” as your Facebook status during football season.

Thank you for buying me not one, but two, cans of pepper spray before I went to college. I have yet to use them, but I will think of you if the need arises (let’s hope it doesn’t?)

Thank you for keeping me from being over-dramatic about trivial things (cough, St. Louis spray tan fiasco of summer 2014) but always being the person I turn to when things really do go wrong. Even when I’m 300 miles away you’re the first I call.

Thank you trying to get me to learn piano, flute, oboe and the ukulele. It was a valiant effort on both our parts, but I somehow missed getting your naturally-musically-gifted gene!

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September 2013: the month we realized there’s no way to make a neck brace fashionable.

Thank you for flying to Columbia for my various injuries and surgeries and not disowning me for the associated medical bills. I’m still going strong on the New Year’s resolution to stay out of the ER!

Thank you for introducing me to every comedy TV show under the sun. Reba, The Office, Arrested Development, The Middle, The Nanny, Friends, About a Boy–I love that we both appreciate the political jokes in 30 Rock and that you only judge me a little for being obsessed with Matthew Perry.

Thank you for coming to my middle school basketball and volleyball games, my diving meets, my cheer competitions. Only a mother could watch that much athletic incapacity that many times without losing her mind.

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We don’t look alike.
Thank you for instilling in me a deep love of musicals. My friends at college think it’s weird when I watch CATS at work, but some of my fondest memories are of going to see shows together. Without you, I wouldn’t listen to the Music Man soundtrack on a regular basis, and really, what would life be without 76 Trombones?!

Thank you for raising me in the church and always reminding me of what truly matters in life. Thank you for sending me to small Lutheran schools before letting me into the big, bad, world of Wheaton public schools (there’s that sarcasm you love).

Thank you for never giving up on me or anyone else, Mom. I would not be half the person I am today without your love and support throughout the years. Thank you for so much more that I could never fit in one post.

I love you and your endless texting typos. Happy birthday to the most fabulous woman I know.