Sunday, May 12, 2013

An Ode to Mothers of All Kinds

I would be remiss if I didn't give a shout out to mothers, in all their many forms, on this, our special day. Mamas of the world, this one's for you.

To the stay-at-home mama whose gynecologist appointment might be her only chance for adult conversation before her husband comes home, you teach me humor, even if the laughter has a bit of a hysterical edge to it.

To the mama who works all day outside the home, you teach me to multitask. Two full time jobs with no days off is tough, but damn, you make it look easy!

To the mama who found conceiving to be harder than she expected, you teach me patience.

To the foster/adoptive mama who loves her child as if he were born from her own body, you teach me generosity.

To the mama who has buried a child but lives and loves on, you teach me to stand up under the weight of the world.

To the mama with no children who smiles when someone offers to let her babysit their children for extra money--even though she's 30-something, owns her own home and vacations overseas every year--you teach me graciousness.

To the mama who molds children who aren't hers all day, often with no thanks from their parents, you teach me that sometimes it's worth it to grin and bear it. Would I put up with that crap for somebody else's kids? I hope so.

To the single mama who struggles to be both mom and dad, succeeding at it more than she fails, you teach me there is transcendent power in a mother's love.

To the mama of a child with special needs, you teach me not to take a single victory for granted and that self-pity wastes time. You're too busy helping your child figure out how to take the world by storm for such things.

To the grandmother who over the table of an imaginary tea party is asked, "Nanna, did you ever have any children, back in the olden days?" simply smiles and says, "Yes." You are a sensory delight for a small person. Your years of stories for history, your silver hair for brushing, your soft waist for squeezes, your cheek for kisses and your lap for cuddles are some of the best memories I have of being a kid.

All of you have mothered me by the examples you set when you didn't know I was watching. If I manage to resemble you in any, small way, I will be better for it. So, today, as I get cosseted and celebrated for doing nothing more than what each of you has taught me to do, I tip my mama-tiara and tap each of your beautiful shoulders with my scepter in gratitude for your courage and faithful service.

God bless you, you beauties. Happy Mother's Day!