Thursday, May 10, 2007

This Is For You, the Mother

This is for the mothers who have sat up all night with sick toddlers in their arms, wiping up expelled bologna and cherry-Kool Aid saying, "it's alright baby, Mommy's here."

This is for you who have sat in rocking chairs for hours on end soothing babies who can't be comforted.

This is for all the mothers who travel with sippy cups and diapers in their purses.

For all the mothers who run carpools and make cookies and sew Halloween costumes. And all the mothers who DON'T.

This is for mothers of lost children, of stolen children; mothers who mother only in their hearts.

This is for the mothers who gave birth to babies they'll never see. And the mothers who took those babies and gave them homes. And for the mothers who lost their baby during pregnancy and will never get to watch them grow on earth but will know them in an instant when the time comes.

This is for the mothers whose priceless art collections are hanging on their refrigerator.

And for all the mothers who freeze on metal bleachers at football or soccer games instead of watching from the car, so that when their kids ask, "Did you see me, Mom?" they can say, "Of course. I wouldn't have missed it for the world."

This is for all the mothers who yell at their kids at the grocery store and swat them in despair when they stomp their feet and scream in public. And for all the mothers who count to ten instead, realizing how child abuse happens.

This is for all the mothers who sat down with their children and explained all about making babies. And for all the (grand) mothers who wanted to but just couldn't find the words.

This is for all the mothers who go hungry so their children can eat. And who wear old jeans so their children can dance in new tap shoes. For all the mothers who read "Goodnight Moon" twice a night for a whole year and then read it again "just, please, one more time".

This is for all the mothers who teach their sons how to cook and their daughters to sink a jump shot.

This is for all the mothers whose children have gone astray and can't find the words to reach them.

This is for all the step-mothers raising another woman's child who give their time, attention and love...sometimes totally unappreciated.

This is for the mothers who taught their children to be peaceful and now pray they come home safely from a very wrong war.

What makes a good mother anyway? Is it patience? Compassion? The ability to nurse a full year, cook a perfect dinner or sew a button? Or is it in her heart? Is it the pride you feel when you watch your child take their first step or the ache you feel the first time they say "i'll do it by myself, mom". Is it the jolt that takes you from sleep to dread with a fearful cry or from bed to crib at 2am just to put your hand on the back of a baby just needing Your touch?

It is all these things and a thousand more.

I know for some of you, this weekend will be painful. I wish you peace and hope. We are mothers. Whether we're mothers of children we have or mother's of children we're waiting for. We are mothers.

Gina, Leah, Janet, Denise, Emily, Jodi, Tammy & all of you...Happy Mothers Day.