Happy Mother’s Day
“What sir, would the people of the earth be without Woman? They would be scarce, sir, almighty scarce.”
Mine is a life of many joys and blessings. But like everyone else, there is the reality of hopes not realized.
It is unlikely that I will have children. Because of my health it is riskier for me than it is for most. Adoption? Not certain for the very same reason.
I am a mother in one sense. I do have two beautiful, perfect four-legged babies. Being a dog mommy may not qualify in the eyes of some. I stand by the assertion. Love is, after all, just that. Love.
But not having children in the conventional sense, I can’t help but feel I will always have some unfinished business. All my fabulous, feminine inner workings won’t have the chance to bring forth the wonder of life. I won’t feel that miracle grow within me. Circumstances preclude me from adding to my family in other ways. I am sometimes scared that as a woman, it will feel like something is always missing.
Despite everything, I also know I came into the world just as I was meant to. If I wasn’t me, if it all didn’t unfold as it was intended, I would not have known the joy of being a daughter.
I believe there are no accidents. The universe has a way of joining us with the people who are meant to shape us and make us who we are. The most precious blessing of my life is being my mother’s child. Aside from my husband, there is no one else on this earth I cherish more.
She is the kind of mom dreams are made of.
And her message is always simple.
It is one of love.
“Women’s liberation is just a lot of foolishness. It’s the men who are discriminated against. They can’t bear children. And no one is likely to do anything about that.”
My earliest years were the definition of idyllic, living in an island paradise. Finding puka shells on the beach. Watching sea turtles. Standing before the turquoise, limitless ocean. All the while my tiny hand in hers. Under her wing, always safe and loved.
My childhood was stable, yet growing up there were periods when happiness was elusive for me. Looking back, I knew all my life I wasn’t well. I tired easily. I always experienced pain. I was confused by every sensation, and scared of what it meant for my future. I felt isolated and unsure of myself around my friends. Relationships suffered, even at my young age.
I had the love, beauty and comfort of home to run to when life felt so uncertain. It was my solace. My mother made it that way. She tried to understand me in a way that only she could.
My pre-teen years seemed to be the epitome of girlhood awkwardness. Sometimes I thought it would never pass. Mom was always there to build up my struggling confidence. I would often sit back and study her, soaking in everything there was to know about my future years, being a woman. I coveted everything about her. Expressive brown eyes. Shiny espresso hair. Skin like a china doll. I watched how she moved, the curve of her hips, the femininity of her walk. How adult and sophisticated it all seemed. I was mesmerized.
Simply stated, she was stunning. But her womanly beauty aside, what I wanted most was a heart as big as hers, one that could let the whole world in. Her compassion for everyone and everything. Her selflessness and spirit. It was a tall order I was sure to not live up to.
I grew up. For a time I lived two hours away from her. Some may relish the comfortable distance. Not me. I missed her terribly. She would send me cards and photos, and I tacked them to my wall, always turning to them to grasp a sense of her love. Even though I am closer now, a mere three miles away, I almost obsessively hold on to the simplest things. A handwritten note. A movie ticket stub. A receipt from lunch we shared. Anything to keep memories alive and well. There can never be enough.
When we are together, extravagance isn’t required. It can be conversation at her kitchen table, or soy mochas as Starbucks. I hold on to every second. Each one is a gift.
She’s the mom who will provide anything I want and need, a generosity I don’t deserve for any particular reason. Other than for one profound yet simple fact: she loves me and wants me to be safe and happy.
“God could not be everywhere, so He created mothers.”
We are two different women in many ways. I don’t have an unrelenting faith in people or the world. I can be a bit cynical at times. Selflessness is not my strong suit. I don’t forgive easily. I can be terribly judgmental, mostly of myself. I am not proud of these things. But I am working on it every day.
From her I have learned what it means to be a loving person. That as scary as it is, it is ultimately worth it to open your heart. The alternative is tragic. From her I know that misguided judgment can be destructive. Consideration for others is everything. And forgiveness can heal. Every life she touches is changed in a positive way.
I have the blessing of her for a reason. And every day I recognize the significance of this, the magnitude of this gift. It shapes my every decision and behavior when I go out in the world. She is my light, my teacher, my confidante and friend. She can be counted on to remind me I am worth it. That I am beautiful. That I am deserving of all the great things life has to offer. That I am fearless. That I am loved.
I love you, Mom.
As you to say to me every chance you get, you are my moon and stars above.
Wishing you a beautiful Mother’s Day.
And for all the amazing, phenomenal moms out there, conventional or otherwise, I wish you a beautiful day as well.
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