For teaching me to ride a bike. For teaching me to cook. For teaching me to use my creativity when I was bored. For teaching me I could aim high and reach it. For teaching me that a mom can be an awesome mother and still be successful at something other than being an awesome mother. For charging us 25 cents when we were mean to each other. For paying us to do chores. For coming to my room in the middle of the night when I was scared. For coming to all of our school ceremonies and recitals. For coming to our classrooms dressed up like a witch and teaching us how to make bread sticks called witch's fingers. For taking us on vacations. For taking us on summer picnics at the river. For taking us to state parks. For taking us to the pool. For letting us pick our own friends. For letting us pick our own colleges. For letting us pick out our own clothes and never commenting that my purple and yellow shirt didn't really match my pink sweatshirt. For letting us get whatever pets we wanted, even if the cats ate the pet mice, the gerbils had 87 babies in 6 weeks, the cats ate the pet chicken, the hermit crab died and stunk, the fish spent more time swimming in the toilet than in their bowl, the cat ate the gerbils, the hamster wheel squeaked all night, and the parakeet went through more newspaper in a week than a recycling center. For insisting on blinking, colored Christmas lights on the tree. For insisting on early curfews. For insisting on always knowing where we were and when we'd be home. For making us homemade cakes. For making us homemade Halloween costumes. For making us whatever meals we wanted on our birthdays. For making us real hot chocolate on snow days. For making 300 gingerbread men every Christmas and inviting every child we'd ever met to come to our house and decorate one. For making our house a creative, secure, loving place to grow up.