My journey to motherhood was not a sprint. If it was a race, it was one I entered thinking it would be a sprint only to learn it would be a triathlon instead and, oh yeah, I wouldn’t have a bike or the ability to swim. And, if it was a race, it’s one where I placed last; lights off, bleachers empty, finish line unstrung, and me crawling to the end.
Some things come easy. This didn’t. It doesn’t. It won’t. Not for me.
Sometimes that’s okay. I know it’s mine, this kryptonite. It doesn’t make me sad on Mother’s Day. It did once. But now, since I have dragged myself across the finish line once, I’m more inclined to tell you the story of my scars than cry in a corner. On mother’s day, I celebrate the journey that named me. And. I acknowledge it’s an unending race I live in.
It’s difficult to describe this place where I live, where I am content with what I have, with mothering who I do, at the exact same time as I am seeking, my mother heart wanting … more. There is always a vague sense of pieces missing. The beauty is discernible without all of the pieces but the missing is crazy-making too.
During the low points of my journey, I have lost hope, shuddering in my loneliness. I like to think I understand those who shed a tear, who hide on this day.
Maybe your arms wish to wrap around your mother who is gone. Maybe they wish to wrap around children you don’t have or children who reject. It’s a day that it is okay to wrap those aching-with-emptiness arms around yourself. It can be a day to mourn and remember and long.
Soul-deep though, I hope you agree, motherhood is an institution worth tribute, worth parties, worth centerpiece flowers and wrist corsages. It deserves the singing of children, the imprint of hands in plaster. It deserves splattered pancake batter and silliness. It is unimaginably good and worth it.
Until there are no more days that belong to me, I will love this day. I will champion it. When each of my children says, “why isn’t there a kid’s day?” I’ll have a ready answer about why mother’s day matters because I’ll say what my mom said to me, “Every day is kid’s day. This ONE day is for me.”
On that day, this day, I’ll re-read my M is for marvelous, O outstanding, T thoughtful, H heartful, E enthusiastic, R respectful poem (heartful – you know I straight up love that – right?) and I’ll roll up my sleeves, clean up the splattered pancake batter, change diapers, make peanut butter banana sandwiches, soothe, hug, and nag my way through to the next year when I get to sit a moment and think about how being a mom rocks. It just plain rocks.