On Mother's Day of 2000, I found out I was pregnant for the first time. I actually took at pregnancy test at about 1 in the morning because I couldn't stand it any longer. It was positive, and I woke Jon up and we laid awake talking for most of the night because we were so excited. For Mother's Day the next morning, I gave my mom the pregnancy test across the breakfast table. It is a moment that I will never forget. A few short weeks later (Memorial Day, fittingly enough), we said goodbye to that baby we never met. I got pregnant with Katie the following winter, and it was Kate who first taught me what motherhood really feels like.
So, for the acknowledgement part here:
- to Jon, who has always supported and celebrated that "mother" is my most important role and my single biggest identifying trait of self
- to my mama, who taught me how I want to be as a mother
- to Jon's mom Sally, who is teaching me how to raise a boy to be a man
- to my Gwenn, who showed me how much fun being a mom can be
- to Melody, who has validated so many of my parenting decisions (muahaha...I've won you over to the attachment-parenting dark side!)
- to Shelly, who demonstrates with such grace the life of the single mother with all its trials and triumphs
- to Meeshi, who embodies the love of earth mama, not only for "bone of my bone", but for her beautiful blended family
- and to my Amity mamas...you ladies are crazy and amazing!
No, I haven't won the Oscar, but I'm so emotional about being a mom I can hardly stand it.
This is the forward I received from my new friend Joan a few days ago:
This is for the mothers who have sat up
all night with sick toddlers in their arms,
wiping up barf laced with Oscar Mayer
wieners and cherry Kool-Aid saying,
"It's okay honey, Mommy's here."
Who have sat in rocking chairs for hours on end
soothing crying babies who can't be comforted.
This is for all the mothers who show up at
work with spit-up in their hair and milk stains
on their blouses and diapers in their purse.
For all the mothers who run carpools and
make cookies and sew .
And all the mothers who DON'T.
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.
This is for the mothers whose priceless art
collections are hanging on their refrigerator doors.
And for all the mothers who froze their buns
on metal bleachers at football or soccer games instead
of watching from the warmth of their cars.
And that when their kids asked, "Did you see me, Mom?"
they could say, "Of course, I wouldn't
have missed it for the world," and mean it.
This is for all the mothers who yell at their kids
in the grocery store and swat them in despair when
they stomp their feet and scream for ice cream before dinner.
And for all the mothers who count to ten instead,
but realize 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.
For all the mothers who read "Goodnight,
Moon" twice a night for a year. And then
read it again, "Just one more time."
This is for all the mothers who taught
their children to tie their shoelaces before
they started school. And for all the mothers
who opted for Velcro instead.
This is for all the mothers who teach their sons
to cook and their daughters to sink a jump shot.
This is for every mother whose head turns
automatically when a little voice calls "Mom?"
in a crowd, even though they know their
own offspring are at home -- or even away
at college -- or have their own families.
This is for all the mothers who sent their kids
to school with stomach aches, assuring them
they'd be just FINE once they got there, only
to get calls from the school nurse an hour later
asking them to please pick them up. Right away.
This is for mothers whose children have gone
astray, who can't find the words to reach them.
For all the mothers who bite their lips until they
bleed when their 14 year olds dye their hair green.
For all the mothers of the victims of
recent school shootings, and the mothers
of those who did the shooting.
For the mothers of the survivors,
and the mothers who sat in front of their TVs
in horror, hugging their child
who just came home from school, safely.
This is for all the mothers who taught their
children to be peaceful, and now pray
they come home safely from a war.
What makes a good mother anyway?
Is it patience? Compassion? Broad hips?
The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner, and
sew a button on a shirt, all at the same time?
Or is it in her heart?
Is it the ache she feels when she
watches her son or daughter disappear
down the street, walking to school alone
for the very first time?
The jolt that takes her from sleep to
dread, from bed to crib at 2 A.M. to put
her hand on the back of a sleeping baby?
The panic, years later, that comes again
at 2 A.M. when she just wants to hear
their key in the door and know they
are safe again in her home?
Or the need to flee from wherever she is
and hug her child when she hears news
of a fire, a car accident, a child dying?
The emotions of motherhood are
universal and so our thoughts are for
young mothers stumbling through diaper
changes and sleep deprivation....
And for mature mothers learning to let go.
For working mothers and stay-at-home mothers.
Single mothers and married mothers.
Mothers with money, mothers without.
This is for you all. For all of us...
Hang in there. In the end we can
only do the best we can. Tell them
every day that we love them. And pray
and never stop being a mother....