From Capital Style Editor Kristy Eckert

Dear Mom -
Thank you for reading to me while I was in your belly. For always letting me bring the goldfish home from the school carnival. For allowing me to wear my red patent leather shoes even when they didn't match.

Thank you for helping me come up with clever ways to remember the words on my second-grade spelling list. (I still spell "beautiful" by saying in my head "Bears eat apples under trees in Florida until late.") For cutting the crust off my chip-chop ham sandwiches. For having family sing-alongs and silly bingo games and an unending supply of Twizzlers on road trips. (I have no idea how you survived without DVD players and iPods. Mad props, Mom. Seriously.)

Thank you for reading us "quotes of the day" from that little book in your glove box every morning before dropping us off at the middle school, even though we rolled our eyes. Thank you for spending countless hours crafting signs (and buying buckets full of candy) to help me win the student council election. Thank you for continually driving me to jazz classes rather than telling me that becoming a backup dancer for M.C. Hammer was not actually a viable profession.

Thank you for making me try everything at least once. For never letting me out of a first commitment, even if a better offer came along. And for making killer peanut-butter milkshakes.

Thank you for making me continue piano lessons when I wanted to stop. For paying boatloads of money so I could have straight teeth. For stressing the importance of Sunday School.

Thank you for kissing Dad in front of us. For never saying mean things about anyone. For always having Fruit Roll-Ups in the cupboard.

Thank you for hiding the sailor dress under the rocks by the creek the day after you knew I went there and made a wish for it. For posing for ridiculous photos when I got my first camera. And for buying me Z. Cavariccis when nobody else's parents understood why it was necessary to have ugly pants that cost a fortune.

Thank you for getting up first and going to bed last. For doing all the things I never knew you did until I started doing them for my own little people. And for loving me with a fierceness that yes, Mom, I do now understand.

I love you.
Happy Mother's Day, Me