Have I ever said that I HEART the pastor of my church? I think so. But in case I haven’t, let me say it again. This morning at church he prayed, as expected, for the mothers, that God would bless them and thanking them for their ever important role in our lives. But then he also prayed for the countless, and usually silent, women struggling on a day like today, grateful for those who are mothers, but carrying around a weight attached to motherhood for any number of reasons. Whether it’s loss of a mother or a child, those who want to have a child and don’t yet, those who struggle with their own mothers, etc etc. It is a great man who thinks to pray for these women as well. (Thanks Brandon!! Love you man!)
So, not to bring anyone down on such a beautiful day like this. I am not the angry bitter one (any more) who turns to sarcastic and cutting diatribes to devalue the day as a Hallmark marketing ploy or to disrespect the laudable position of mother. I love my mother and the many many mothers who have been in my life as role models and caregivers. I would be lost without them.
But if you scratch the surface of our happy faces, you might see a different, more complicated picture of what mother’s day means to us. For many of us, it is a day filled with bittersweet remembrances or longings or pain or torment or grief or despair. You might see how being a woman, being human, can layer over time a life of choices, experiences, failures, and sorrows, making the very simple word “mom” incredibly complex.
For starters, I am reminded of the mother I never knew, the one who carried me for what I suspect was 9 months and somehow parted with me possibly within days of my birth. I will never know her and I will never know the reasons why this is so. I have come to terms with that long ago, but the sadness still lingers especially on this day.
On another layer, you could look to my current childless state and how I used to struggle with the idea of not even wanting to be a mom, and now whether it will ever happen or not, should I change my mind. Some days, I really feel that motherhood isn’t even a blip on my radar. Other days, the radar is lit up like a fighter jet’s and a computerized voice announces “warning: incoming” (double entendre only marginally intended) and calculations of my fertility cycle flash through my head like fireworks. I’m also not entirely sure I can even get pregnant due to reasons I won’t go into here, but let’s say choices catch up to you sooner or later, and let’s move on.
I also think about the desire to adopt a child and how I used to think that was just a given. Now, I’m not so sure, as I get older every year (funny how that is) and less stable and settled instead of more so. I wonder if I will ever really be ready and if every mother feels this way (I’ve been told they all do but I don’t really trust surveys in Cosmopolitan or Focus on the Family). But honestly, there are times I feel like bringing another child into the world is the single most self-centered thing I could possibly do in life and that it would be better for everyone if I just go for a hike. Literally.
So here it is at the end of the day, after a day with family, not incidentally one of the very best families there is, and I think that Mother’s Day is swell. I do. even if that sounds facetious. It makes me grateful for life and love and having people who give a crap about you and all that “you” encompasses. A good mom’s love is like no other on earth – this much I know. I wish it for everyone – to feel it, to give it. And maybe in the end, the goal in life is not to be a mother, but to love like one whether you are or not.
God bless you all this day and in the days ahead.
and love like you mean it 🙂