Photofest/Courtesy Harper Collins

I kissed a lot of frogs, but I had a Prince and Princess Leia.

Mother’s Day is a time when I count my blessings—and Carrie and Todd, you are the ones I cherish the most. I cannot imagine my life without you. In a way, even your father was a blessing. Eddie Fisher was a very famous singer in the 1950s. Together we were known as “America’s Sweethearts,” though not everyone was thrilled about our romance. Frank Sinatra warned me not to marry Eddie, saying, “Singers will always break your heart.” I didn’t listen because I was in love—right up until Eddie left to marry one of our best friends, Elizabeth Taylor. But that’s another story.

Carrie, you are my darling baby girl. Soon after you arrived, I wanted to have another baby so you would always have someone close to you who would love you and help you. I grew up with my brother Bill, who is my closest friend and protector to this day. Fortunately Todd arrived a few months after your second birthday. You were both so young when your father and I went through our very public divorce. With reporters and photographers on the front lawn, it was hard to have a normal life. But our family moved in to help us and love us through the difficult times. We share so many fantastic memories. Although I didn’t have much luck with men, I hit the jackpot with my children.

Carrie, you decided that acting was your destiny, even though your first memory of visiting me on one of my movie sets was seeing me get thrown into a mud puddle. I wanted you to be a singer because of your wonderful voice, but my little princess took off for outer space and became Princess Leia, a character who is loved all over the world. Todd, your small part as a Boy Scout in one of my television specials made you run away from acting. You were more comfortable with the technical side of production than with being on-camera, and chose to learn every aspect of making films and television, where you’ve excelled.

When you both were very young, we were together all the time. You went on the road when I did my theater and nightclub acts. Carrie sang and Todd played his guitar. We got to spend special times with very talented folks. I worked hard to give you everything I could, including good work ethics and compassionate hearts. We’ve managed to stay together in spite of my divorces, your divorces, and many other bumps in the road.

So, my dearest Carrie and Todd, our life continues to be a terrific adventure. You are wonderful people. You make me proud on Mother’s Day and every other day. I’m thrilled when I think about how special you are. I love you more than words can ever say.

And I’m happy I didn’t listen to Frank!

Reynolds is an award-winning actress and film historian and the author of Make ‘Em Laugh: Short-Term Memories of Longtime Friends

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