Who gets to be a mother? There is no one way to become a mother. There is no one way to be a mother.
For the ones who get to hear “Happy Mother’s Day!” and the ones who no longer do.
The Mothers who wake this morning to a day like any other, cleaning messes, refereeing scuffles, and bedding down cherub faced urchins who cannot read a calendar yet.
The Mothers who rise up in their beds this morning to be greeted by tiny sticky fingers holding a tray of homemade cards, burned toast and cereal with too much milk.
The Mothers who must work today away from their babies to make sure there is food on the table.
The Mothers who sit in their homes holding folded flags and photographs, cardless and without bouquets and understanding the kind of sacrifice most cannot comprehend.
The Mothers who wake this morning to their nests being full for the day and swell with pride and calm inhabiting space next to them in their church pews for this one Sunday.
The Mothers who have been up since 3 am bouncing colicky infants on their hip and have lost track of days to remember it is even their special day.
The Mothers who may never hear the words “I love you”, but instead know that scripted lines from Barney mean the same thing.
To the Mothers who are surrounded by children and grandchildren…nieces and nephews, whose faces are those of strangers and quietly asking where their own mothers are.
To the Mothers who wear their hearts and heavenly babies in lockets around their necks.
To the Mothers whose gardens held no water.
To the Mothers who were called by their first names, “aunt” or met their children well into adulthood.
To the Mothers who lock themselves in the bathroom from time to time in tears wondering if they can keep mothering.
To the Mothers who prayed, and saved and traveled the globe to find their children and brought them home.
To the Mothers wondering if this will be their last Mothers Day with their children. To the Mothers wondering if this will be the last mother’s Day with their own mothers.
To the Mothers who promised they would upset the lineage of abuse or addiction for their own children, and they did.
To all the Mothers who asked for their children’s forgiveness. To the Mothers whose children did.
For all the Mothers. I see you all. Happy Mother’s Day from one imperfect mother to the whole village.