For all of you covered in spit-up, poop, or that unidentifiable crusty thing that won’t come off your jeans.
For all of you wipers of bums and noses; kissers of boo-boos; slayers of mythical closet monsters; cutters of crusts and clippers of tiny fingernails.
For all of you who find yourself saying, “What’s the magic word?” and “Elbows off the table, please!” a thousand times a day, with one hundred forty-two of those times occurring in your sleep.
For all of you who live on coffee, stale Cheerios, and whatever the kids demand for dinner and subsequently refuse to eat.
For all of you who consider five uninterrupted hours of shut-eye a pretty darn good night.
For all of you who silently – or openly – curse people who say things like, “Well, you can relax soon because the weekend is coming up!”
For all of you who do what needs doing, day in and day out, even if you don’t particularly feel like it (which is often).
For all of you whose idea of “me time” is a few moments spent in a restorative blank stare.
For all of you who have no clue where blankie went, but are willing to tear the house apart to try and find out.
For all of you who know that the very best kind of “help with the kids” involves removing the kids from the house entirely.
For all of you who know and accept that you will never again, not even when the kids are grown, be completely relaxed and worry-free.
For all of you who know there is no such thing as a “non-working” mom.
For all of you wrangling the (surprisingly strong) tantruming toddler in Aisle 6, taking some small comfort in the knowledge at least a few of those eyes on you are empathetic rather than judgmental.
For all of you who have endured a nasty cold, a stomach flu, or even a minor surgery and secretly relished the small amount of peace and quiet afforded by your ailment.
For all of you who have experienced the phenomenon of “endless afternoon,” when the hours between 1:00 and 5:00 stretch like the world’s largest piece of taffy (which you are not allowed to eat because your children have gotten to it first).
For all of you who have had the misfortune of having Caillou enter your lives.
For all of you who are so chronically exhausted that you no longer have any recollection of what it’s like to feel truly rested.
For all of you who revel in sticky hugs, sloppy kisses, and gummy and gap-toothed smiles.
For all of you who love and cherish your own moms, or their memories, more than ever – now that you have a crystal-clear picture of what you put them through.
For all of you who enjoyed a well-intentioned but inedible breakfast this morning consisting of incinerated toast, bitten-off strawberry hulls, and something that may possibly (hopefully) have been runny oatmeal.
For all of you who know that in even in the thick of the worst, most hopeless, Alexander-esque terrible horrible no good very bad days, there are glimmers of pure joy and magic that carry you through.
Today is for us. Let’s raise our glasses to one another, whether they’re holding coffee, wine, leftover apple juice, or – most likely – some inadvertent combination of the three.