Dear Mom,

Thank you.

College will be here in three months, and in many ways, I’m done being a kid. It’s surreal, to say the least.

In the past 18 years, you have put your entire being into making sure that I turned out OK, and I know that everything I have accomplished, and everything that I will do in the future, is thanks to you. It’s thanks to thousands of sandwiches for lunch.

Thousands of hours cleaning up after my messes. Thousands of reminders, compliments, car trips and prayers. Endless patience, endless love.

Mom, you, along with Dad, have truly been the steadiest and most consistent aspect of my life. Over the years, you have been my teacher when mine was not good enough. My conscience when mine was weak. My friend when I had none. And you have always been, and will continue to be, my number one role model.

Often when I don’t know the answer to a question, I say what I can imagine you saying. I would be nothing without you, both in a literal sense and a step beyond that. Biologically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually – everything that I am originates from you, and I am so grateful.

I’m going to miss having a sandwich sitting on the table for me in the morning and coming home every day to a friend who sincerely cares about my well-being. But I’m ready. You have given me everything I need to be genuinely me and accept any opportunity I come across.

If life gives me lemons, I’m going to make a sorbet. And it’s gonna be delicious. I’m planning on accomplishing great things, Mom, and even though I haven’t a clue what they will be, I know that anything I do will be for you. I might not say it then, and it will probably be for other people, too, but it will be true. Trust me.

Being a mother is one of the most strenuous and thankless jobs, and you’ve done better than anyone I have seen. Ever since your first decision to take on the challenge of raising me, you have continued to put 100 percent effort into my upbringing. It’s time for me to prove that all of that work was worth it.

I know that if I want a good sorbet, I’m going to need to squeeze as much juice as possible from my college experience.

Undoubtedly you will continue to give me the unconditional love and support which has kept me going for so many years.

I will make sure to visit you all the time – just because I’m growing up doesn’t make you less important to me in any way. In fact, as I continue to find more independence and begin my own life, you will only mean more, as I will be aware you provided me with everything necessary to do so.

I’d like to paraphrase the famous Lois Lowry quote from her Newbery Award-winning book, “The Giver”: Thank you for my childhood.

You have been my “Giver” for almost two decades, and I’m looking forward to giving back, both to you and to the world. I love you, Mom. Thanks again.


(Jacob, a Dominican High School, Whitefish Bay, senior, is the eldest of the four Scobey-Polacheck children.)