As we approach Mother's Day, I want to thank you for being you and always allowing me to be me. I'm sure that, at times, it was an almost insurmountable task to raise four boys, each with diverse personalities and passions. I look back on the many life lessons I more than likely took for granted and realize I owe you an enormous debt of gratitude. But I've always known how fortunate I am to have a mother who views individuality as a blessing, not a sign of being bizarre.
You understood early on my need to express my individuality through my wardrobe. Ironically, that controversial fringed suede vest from 1976 has appeared in more current collections than I can count. And the bell-bottoms I wore while strumming folk songs on my guitar transitioned into the tight jeans and skinny ties I still wear today.
Thank you for always understanding that art is as valuable to appreciate as athletics and that music, no matter how avant-garde, should be experienced, not suppressed. Remember when you rescued my friends and me during my purple-haired punk moment, making the polyester-clad school principal painfully aware that you would not stand for narrow-minded thinking? And later insisting I be allowed to attend a Chanel show instead of class? You had chutzpah! You always have.
With your unwavering, insistent approach, you taught us good manners and that arrogance is ugly, no matter how successful one becomes. "Being gracious is far more welcome than grandstanding" have been words I live by. Treat people like you expect to be treated—values matter always.
Thank you for encouraging me to fill my walls with inspiration. Now I'm an incurable collector, and it's all your fault! "Pretty always trumps peculiar"—about this, you've never been wrong. Although for conversational purposes, I do like the occasional oddity, but I learned that from you, too.
A true Leo, you never shied away from being the center of attention. It's as if you were building a Fashion Director from birth.
You made the rules, you'd break the rules, and Mom, you still rule!
I love you—Happy Mother's Day to you and all the amazing moms,