I used to hate Mother's Day. Hated it! Always....IT seemed to arrive during a period when I was most vulnerable. Another failed IVF. Another negative pregnancy test. Another dream shattered. Another friend or family member pregnant. The hope slipping away...
No one GOT it. Except other women going through what I was living on a daily basis. Other women who wanted to be a mother more than anything and whose destiny appeared to be barren. Infertile. Unable to conceive. My happiness for the other mothers in my life was there, but muted by what I didn't have. It was a separate piece. They were "the have's." I was a "have not." My capacity for loving my nieces and nephew was enormous. Yet, the cavernous place that housed my sorrow over not having my own children seemed endless and all encompassing.
I sit here now, writing this, watching GIRL & BOY outside riding their tricycles. Their little legs whipping around the pedals; their toys strewn on the driveway. I get up having to intercede on yet another argument. It is annoying and aggravating to hear their bickering. Yet, I get to hear it. They are my children. I. AM. A. MOTHER.
I'm thinking of BOY's birthmother. We haven't heard from her in a while and she's most especially on my mind today. She chose us to be BOY's parents, his forever family. She trusted that we would be able to do it. She loved him enough to want a better life for him than what she could provide. She was truly selfless. She did a mothering act. This loving deed helped to create our family and I will never forget that. Ever.
Things are different now. I treasure Mother's Day. The commercialism doesn't bother me. That feels other - at a distance from the pure joy in embracing this day. Sure, there are many times throughout the year that I can acknowledge being a mother. But, Mother's Day is a chance for me to stop, to reflect, and to celebrate the day. I don't know that I will ever take Mother's Day for granted. Or ever forget my first Mother's Day. The words, "Happy Mother's Day!" The calls. The cards. A sense of belonging to a club I had long coveted. One moment captured in a photograph, holding 6 month old BOY on my hip, the swell of my belly pregnant with GIRL visible front and center. There is a radiance about the picture. I can almost reach out and touch it - the happiness on that day.
Today, I want to celebrate Motherhood in all its forms. To the women who are struggling with infertility and yearning to become mothers. To the single mothers who day in and day out struggle to make it work, and do, with grace and strength. To the men who lovingly mother their children. To the many women who have chosen a different path, that of being child-free. And to the ones who haven't chosen, I wish you hope and ...peace. Mothering comes in many forms. And I am confident that all of us - whether mothers of children or not, each of us, can and do nurture lives on a daily basis. We are all Mothers of a sort. And it is important to honor that.
Happy Mother's Day!
**Photo Credit: The Sculpture Gallery