There is a night heron who is building her nest in the oak tree whose branches grace our back yard. She has been bringing sticks and leaves to build this nest for the past six weeks. Her partner has helped her and they take turns sitting and waiting. And it reminds me what longing there is for the arrival of a child…whether bird or babe. I waited a year and half to have my first child, not on my own accord; but that was what was meant to be. I think of women that have and had it much tougher than me. Sometimes they wait years for fertility trials and adoption, and I think how happy they are once they finally have a child to call their own.
I also have friends who became mothers simply by surprise. They felt they had been knocked over and their lives forever changed within 9 months time and it indeed had; yet once their children came to be, they found what they were really made of and proved to be the best mothers I know: ready for anything, bothered by nothing; the surprise became their joy.
A handful of friends have had miscarriages. And I mean two handfuls…too common and private to discuss. Though to carry a child and then to lose it, I have never been through that mourning; but I can imagine the sadness, although, honestly, not really. Loss like that wounds too deep to imagine. But I feel for them. And at the same time I want them to know they will have a child someday and they will love and care for it. The important thing is to believe they will do so.
To be a mother is to love unconditionally and have patience. Plain and simple and pure. that’s it. But to be a mother is also to teach. Every single thing: hot and cold, to share, to love, to wait…on and on and on. The most difficult lessons are sometimes the most simple of tasks; but to a child, proves to be too challenging to accept, to learn, to adopt. And to a mother, a new mother, proves to be as challenging to teach the task, the skill, as it is for the child to learn.
This I know to be true, the life of a mother is often unacknowledged, unappreciated except for on this day, Mother’s Day, when all glory and gifts and sentiment is given to those that gave this life to us. But there are all kinds of mothers, and women, out there that should be recognized and appreciated. It is not easy to bring a child into this world, to carry, to hold, to teach, to love. There will be kicking and screaming and hurt feelings and sadness and disappointment; but there will be this overwhelming joy and happiness that seems to outweigh it all. I could talk for hours on this subject of motherhood.
My own mother raised my brother and I and taught us everything good and wholesome; but at the same time she worked a full time job and struggled with the balance of it all. I remember purposely hiding from her when she was late for work, causing trouble so she might stay home a little longer just so she would be with me. That desire of longing never goes away. I look back now and think what I put my mother through and I realize all I wanted was her attention. And she gave me that plus so much more: confidence and appreciation for the arts, music, and literature and the love of the unexpected. She taught me how to live, she instilled in me a love so deep that will never go away. And I want to thank her for that.
So on this day, I commend all the mothers: past, present and future. We should hold onto the past because we are who we are because of our mothers. We should live in the present because life is meant to be enjoyed. We should look toward the future because our dreams will lead us in the right direction. What we teach our children is essential, how we teach them is even more meaningful. Every word and direction is important. Every mother is valued and true. Every mother and child relationship is a constant blessing. Just realize the value of it all and embrace it.